“No guarantees. That’s life in a nutshell.”
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC of At the Stars by Elisabeth Staab. This is the first book by her, but I will definitely be looking for more of her work in the future; At the Stars was brilliant! It was the perfect New Adult romance, because while it used several clichés from the genre, it avoided the more annoying ones (instant-love, slut-shaming, overly possessive alpha male, and whiny heroine). Instead, she took the tropes she did use and put a unique and beautiful spin on them. She created two deep and unforgettable characters, whose story is both sad and touching.
Cassie is an incredibly strong young woman, though it may not seem like it at first. She has been through a mini-hell in the past few years, and Jake meets her in the middle of an emotional and mental breakdown. Despite this, he feels a pull towards the girl he saved from death. Cassie, on the other hand, just wants to figure out what to do with her broken life and tattered heart. She just wants a fresh start, which is something many people can relate to. It takes a lot of guts to pack your entire life into the back of a car and take off across the country to an unknown destination, but that’s what Cassie does. She is truly fearless. Getting stuck in a small town with a dead car was definitely not part of the plan, but she makes the most of it, because she is a survivor. Jake tries to fight his attraction to her, but just as her undying spirit endears her to the reader, it draws him to her in ways he can’t describe. He’s hesitant to get involved, though, due to his dark past. What hurt the most about his character was his constant self-antagonization over an accident that he had no control over but still haunts him.
I think one thing that happens all too often in society is that people are shamed for their baggage. The reality is, everyone has baggage. Nobody’s, and I mean nobody’s, life is perfect, and this is the story of what happens when two people look past the baggage and accept each other for their beautiful souls. Elisbeth Staab breathes life into these characters with her talented writing abilities. This is a dual POV novel, and I really loved seeing through the eyes of both of the main characters. Each had such a deep background and unique voice that the story would definitely have been lacking had it been written in single POV. The side charcaters, A.J. and Dante, where also very endearing, and I’m eagerly awaiting Dante’s story, which is supposedly being released soon!! YAY!
It’s funny (Cassie has a fantastic sense of humor), it’s touching, heartbreaking, inspiring, and refreshing. At the Stars is truly wonderful addition to the growing genre of New Adult romances. So grab your e-reader or head on over to the bookstore, because you definitely don’t want to miss out on Cassie and Jake’s story.