Book Review: When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis (ARC)

When the Stars Lead to You

Author: Ronni Davis

Publication Date: 12 November 2019

Genre: YA Contemporary

Pages: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Eighteen-year-old Devon longs for two things.

The stars.
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.

As soon as I finished reading When the Stars Lead to You, I was reeling from all the emotions of this book that I definitely needed to take a few days to wrap my head around everything that I read.

Devon is a biracial (half black and half white), sixteen year old girl that dreams of being an astrophysicist. She loves getting lost in the constellations and galaxies. During summer vacation, she meets Ashton. It’s basically love at first sight for these two. Their whirlwind romance is the epitome of the summer of love. They shared their hopes and dreams and this felt like the beginning of forever. Everything changes at the end of the summer when Ashton doesn’t show up for their date, and Devon doesn’t hear from again. Left heartbroken, Ashton decides it’s best to focus on her lifelong dream of becoming an astrophysicist and to continue to study the stars that she loves so much.

Fast forward. Now it’s Devon’s senior year. Devon is a shoe-in for valedictorian at Preston Academy. All Devon plans to only focus on is getting into her dream school: McCafferty where they have a specialized astrophysics curriculum. Well…until a new student shows up at Preston…Ashton. Oh, and his parents’ families are the founders of Preston. All those old feelings and the betrayal comes rushing back. Can Devon and Ashton get over what happened in the past in order to have a future together?

The first part of this story did not immediately pull me in since I am not typically a fan of the whole “instalove” plot line. However, I think that if I was sixteen years old and experiencing my first love again, I’d feel differently because I definitely remember clouded judgement and being wrapped up in those intense feelings. That being said, I implore people like me who aren’t such an instalove fan to hold on because the story really kicks off once the timeline fasts forwards to Devon and Ashton’s senior year because Ronni Davis doesn’t shy away from social issues such as racism, mental health, suicide ideation, and parental emotional abuse.

I loved the conversation around interracial dating and the issues that can arise when tradition and conservatism are an expectation. There’s a situation where Ashton tells Devon that his parents assumed that Devon was an exotic fling since she is traditionally outside of what is expected of the family. As a biracial (half black and half white) female myself, I have found myself in similar situation on several occasions.

Additionally, Ronni Davis does an impeccable job of depicting depression. She gives such a thorough insight into this disease as well as how it personally affects those around you, regardless if they are willing to accept it or not. I’ve never experienced a YA book that was willing to show the raw honesty of depression and its consequences.

Overall, this is a fantastic story that highlights the real world problems that can permeate relationships on how we decide to learn and grow from them.

Thank you to The NOVL for providing an ARC for review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

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