A while ago I came across this cover and immediately fell in love. But the book was not available yet, and instead, I downloaded the debut novel by Rita Branches. I read the book. I loved the book. I even wrote a blog post about the book. So when I was offered an advanced copy of Under a Million Stars, I jumped at the chance to read it.
Under a Million Stars is a sad story. The overarching theme of the book lends to a beautiful, but solemn read, filled with heartbreak and sadness. After performing at a piano concert, Charlotte Peterson is greeted with the news of a tragic accident that took away her family. Charlie is sent to live with family friends the Parkers. There is only one problem with this. Jacob Parker is the love of her life and her best friend, only he hasn’t spoken to her in two years. What follows is their story of re-connection and along the way, secrets are revealed the will change their lives.
Although I didn’t fall in love with this book quite as much as Painting Sky, it was a beautifully written story of loss and love, and the flashbacks to their childhoods give deeper insight into their relationship and the choices they made.
And the story is filled with some beautiful words.
I focused on my racing heart, threatening to explode in tiny sharp pieces inside of me. Maybe they would puncture some important organ. Bleeding to death right there on the floor would have hurt less than losing my heart. – Rita Branches, Under a Million Stars.
My life didn’t just start to change three months ago. My heart might have shattered completely three months ago, but it had been breaking ever since Jacob pushed me away. The day he broke our friendship without further explanation had opened an endless crack. – Rita Branches, Under a Million Stars.
I think maybe the setting I was in didn’t match the tone of the book. I was in Fiji. The sun was shining. The pool was calling. I think that this book would be best enjoyed in winter, snuggled in a nest of pillows on the bed, hot cup of coffee . . . no, hot chocolate, in hand, raining splattering on the window. Yes. That would be ideal. Maybe then, I would have been more likely to forgive Jacob’s coldness and Charlie’s refusal to eat.
Under a Million Stars has a release date of August 8th, 2016. If you head over to Amazon and pre-order now, you will get it at the introductory price of 99c. Even though I’ve already read it, I’ve still booked my copy. We indie authors need to support each other and Rita is an author I’d definitely recommend supporting!