Title: Under a Million Stars
Author: Rita Branches
Publisher: Rita Branches
Publishing Date: August 08, 2016
Number of Pages: 322
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Can a beating heart bleed from the shattered pieces?
Her heart cracked when her best friend walked away; it completely shattered when she lost her family in a tragic accident.
Now orphaned at seventeen, Charlotte Peterson is forced to live with her former best friend, Jacob Parker. Charlie, a talented pianist, desperately wants their loving friendship back, but something is holding Jake back. The more she spirals into the darkness of depression, the more she needs him.
Jacob vowed to stay away from her—no matter how much he still loved her. Armed with secrets that would have destroyed both of their families, he chose to end their friendship and walk away, which nearly killed him. As he watches the girl he once knew begin to fade away, however, he realizes that their relationship is more important than the truth he’s hiding.
Now it’s up to Jacob to put the pieces of Charlie’s broken heart back together—even if it means revealing the secrets he so desperately wants to protect her from.
Will Jacob find a way to bring back the carefree, talented girl he once knew, or is it too late for both of them?
Under a Million Stars follows the story of a girl who was left broken and devastated by a tragic accident and a story of love, which was broken by so many lies.
Meet Charlotte Peterson, a pianist, a daughter, a loving sister. Meet Jacob Parker, an athlete, a son, and the one who knows the biggest secret that can break not just his and Charlotte’s hearts but also tear their families apart.
Under A Million Stars was written on dual points of views: on Charlotte’s and on Jacob’s. First POV’s from these two made me feel slightly uncomfortable and quite disappointed. There were times where I just find myself questioning their actions, choices and decisions – especially Jacob’s. There were also a lot of instances when I just wanted to scream at them and tell them to stop. Stop the drama. Stop this childishness. Be mature enough to make the right decisions. Stop breaking each other’s hearts even more. It’s obvious how they truly love each other but pride and being oblivious to each other’s feelings holds them back. Fortunately, their characters – from more than the half of the book – slowly developed. From being both stubborn and prideful, they managed to learn how to handle and express their emotions very well, which opened the opportunity for me to connect with them, understand them, and even love them in a deeply way. The lovely thing about Charlotte and Jacob is they’re realistic and – sure enough – can speak in a deeply emotional way to teenagers who feels broken, lonely, confused or ecstatic because of love.
I killed Mom, Dad, and Jamie, and, with them, my dream of becoming a promising musician.
Under A Million Stars really didn’t meet all of my expectations. In fact, it met only one. Aside from the cover and the title, what made me hope high for this book was the prologue. The prologue was something that will remind anyone of If I Stay by Gale Forman – even if you’ve only seen the movie just like me. With that prologue, I expected this book to be inclined with music, but it’s not. And the blurb, made me hope for this book to be as painful as it sounds, but it was also not.
While the prologue went good, the preceding from the very first chapter just became the opposite. The narration was so fast and things were less elaborated making the reader being unable to comprehend and feel what the narrator had just said, and the words seems non-sense or meaningless. The pacing from fast on the start became so slow in the middle. It just became better few chapters away to the end.
And there are instances where the words and emotions were just feels forced, from the POVs of both Jacob and Charlotte, you’ll already feel how forced they were, specially the emotions this book were trying so hard to give. Under A Million Stars – obviously – meant to break hearts. But on the first half of the book, it was crystal clear that there are a lot of failed attempts to do so. The first half – or more – of the book was just not executed very well, but it slowly had progress and became better up to the end.
The plot isn’t that impressive. It was honestly just okay, just ordinary. There are lots of high school drama happened, totally cliché and I really didn’t enjoyed it at all.
She hugged me tightly, and soon my tears matched hers. She fell asleep after what seemed like an eternity. I took some time to watch her sleep—watch her squirm and frown, whimper and shiver, probably plagued by the nightmares that invaded her nights. I kissed her forehead each time, trying to mend her broken heart, only to open cracks in mine.
It honestly needed to reached more than the half of the book for the story flow to be well and the failed attempts to deliver emotions succeed. What I loved – and sure you will too – is how this book is filled with emotions. It was heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time. Even though there were a lot of failed attempts to do that, it eventually worked. It’s a book that can leave a wide grin or staple a smile on your face for minutes and make you feel too much pain in your chest. It’s the kind of book romantic or hopeless-romantic people will like. And it’s the only expectation I had for Under A Million Stars that it managed to reached. It’s just sad that it needed more than the half of the book for this to happen.
Even though the book was meant to break hearts, it was ended in the opposite way and I think that’s beautiful. Heart-breaking books mostly just want to push too much to the point of trying so hard to be painful until the end just to torture their readers, but Under A Million Stars isn’t the same. It was just beautifully ended and I do not regret reading Charlie and Jake’s story. From being broken, they were fixed. Fixed by their selves and their love for each other. After reading this, I felt so full of hope and love. Because of how smoothly the flow of the story suddenly became few chapter away to the end, I didn’t realized that I was already almost done. I didn’t imagined that I will ever wish for this book not to end, but I did.
Overall, it was just an average because it still has a lot of improvements to make. I know it can be fixed because it was already proven on the way it got better a few chapters away to the end. What I loved is how this book made me feel giddy, deeply in love, and in pain. The journey of Charlotte and Jacob healing, trying to fix their selves, their friendship and love story was one I am so glad to read. I felt so connected to them that I don’t feel like leaving and closing the book anymore.
Under A Million Stars is a story of love, loss, recovery, family and friendship. Capable of making a reader feel emotional.
It had been settled; we would stay together forever, until we became stars.
“but I knew he would just throw me the rehearsed speech about how we couldn’t be together, and I was tired of that shit.”
I just wanted to be alone with him, pretending that we were still fifteen—pretending that nothing had changed.
The sound of that laugh made my heart skip a beat; I craved her laugh, like an addict craved their next high.
He treats you like shit, but you seem to forgive him all the time. He only has to call and you go running to his side.
Why did he have the ability to tear me up, even when I believed I had nothing left for him to ruin?
“I can handle that kind of literature. Sometimes, a good romance can make us smile and hope for a better future.”
Rita Branches is the author of young adult and new adult contemporary romance. She published her debut novel in April 2016 and her second novel published in August.
Rita lives in Portugal and has a degree in Landscape Architecture, although from a very young age, her love has been in books. She has a healthy obsession with books, you can always find her with her eReader. She’s been writing for years, but just ventured into the publishing world in 2016.
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Thank you very much YA Bound Book Tours and Miss Rita BranchesRita Branches for the review copy opportunity!