Summary (from the publisher):
Eighteen-year-old Devon longs for two things.
And the boy she fell in love with last summer.
When Ashton breaks Devon’s heart at the end of the most romantic and magical summer ever, she thinks her heart will never heal again. But over the course of the following year, Devon finds herself slowly putting the broken pieces back together.
Now it’s senior year, and she’s determined to enjoy every moment of it as she prepares for a future studying the galaxies. That is, until Ashton shows up on the first day of school. Can she forgive him and open her heart again? Or are they doomed to repeat history?
From debut author, Ronni Davis, comes a stunning novel about passion, loss, and the power of first love.
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
I’m always up for contemporary romance, not to mention one where the romance begins at the beach. When the Stars Lead to You starts with Devon and Ashton’s summer romance at the shore. The two spend many summer nights under the stars- Devon is a budding astrophysicist after all. But when Ashton breaks Devon’s heart at the very end of the summer, it takes a long time for her heart to heal. After the next summer, Devon enters her senior year ready to enjoy every moment with her best friend and compete for a spot in her #1 college’s astrophysics program—until Ashton shows up on the first day of school.
When the Stars Lead to You starts off with a very sweet romance, as Ashton and Devon spend the summer together. As someone who is trying to brace herself for the upcoming winter weather, I loved being transported to warm summer days at the beach. I didn’t mind the insta-love too much because I knew based off the synopsis that Aston and Devon wouldn’t be starting the school year together. However, that’s where my love for the insta-love ended.
Between their summer romance and the development of their relationship during the school year, Ashton and Devon’s relationship moves very fast. While I don’t mind insta-love sometimes, their relationship moved too far too fast. While I’ll get into their relationship more, I also found some of their dialogue a bit cringe-worthy. Although I guess it was somewhat predictable, I didn’t even understand why Devon decided to rush into another relationship with Ashton. However, I do understand why Ashton decided to end things to the first place because of his struggles with depression.
When the Stars Lead to You’s synopsis doesn’t really cover how much this book is about Ashton’s depression. Ashton finds so much support and love in Devon, but he definitely wasn’t in a place to be in a relationship. I really appreciate what Ronni Davis did with Ashton’s storyline. Besides from getting to understand his battle with depression, she really dives into what it is like to be in a relationship with and love someone who has depression. But at the same time, I think Devon, and Ashton, should have realized in a better fashion that Ashton really need to work on himself first before really diving into a quite mature relationship (both sex and thinking about engagement rings included).
The plot definitely became a bit melodramatic at times (see thinking about marriage above). Ronni Davis again does some great work in the book about race, as Ashton’s elite, white family does not want him to be in a relationship with a biracial person like Devon. Devon expresses what it is like being biracial and some of the discrimination she faces because of her identity. However, the plot became really stereotypical when it came to Ashton’s parents and their approval of the two’s relationship.
My favorite parts of When the Stars Lead to You surrounded Devon’s love for the stars and college dreams. Devon is super determined to get into her dream astrophysics program and must compete for the #1 spot in her graduating class to earn scholarship money. Ronni Davis really captured the tensions around being able to afford college and Devon’s pressure to perform. Correct my reader brain if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’ve read a book with a character for a love for stars since Wendy Mass’s Every Soul a Star (sidenote: such a weird flashback, but I think it’s time that I reread all of her books!). Devon also has a great relationship with her parents, although I wish they had helped her with her relationship with Ashton more.
Overall, I appreciate When the Stars Lead to You for incorporating heavier elements within its contemporary romance story. However, I struggled with its development and the characters’ decisions and actions. I think this book is well-suited for readers who enjoy insta-love contemporary and want to see heavier topics (in this case, depression) incorporated within.
I received this book in exchange for review. By no means did this affect my thoughts or opinions.
“I was going to miss my morning yoga routine on the beach, inhaling the sea’s briny scent with every deep breath. I was going to miss the oceanfront view out my bedroom window” (30).
“The scent of saltwater filling the air. The cool ocean waves crashing over our toes as the tide rolled in. He’d asked me a million questions about the moon and the tide, and he’d asked me to point out my favorite stars to him. I’d taken his hand and pointed out to Arcturus – but he wasn’t looking at the sky. He was looking at me” (103).
“ ‘I know you love the stars and would take them home if you could’” (122).
Enter to win 1 of 3 copies of When the Stars Lead to You! US only.
About the Author
Ronni Davis grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where she tried her best to fit in—and failed miserably. After graduating from The Ohio State University with a BA in Psychology, she worked in insurance, taught yoga, and became a cat mom.
Now she lives in Chicago, where by day she copy edits everything from TV commercials to billboards, and by night she writes contemporary YA about =brown girls falling in love. When she’s not writing, you can catch her playing the Sims, eating too much candy, or planning her next trip to Disney World.
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