Karina knows the harsh realities of military life. And like anyone who has grown up around an army base, she knows the background noise that follows a soldier home from war. That’s why she’s forging her own quiet life in her own little house. But she hasn’t turned her back on her family. She’s the glue that holds them together–when her father is deployed, when her brother, Austin, has another brush with the law.
Karina knows that she has to look after herself, that she can’t always fix what’s broken. But when Austin’s behavior worsens and her father’s reactions grow more extreme, Karina feels her own edges beginning to fray. That’s when she meets him–a closed book she’s desperate to open.
At just twenty, Kael is a handsome, brooding soldier struggling with the aftermath of two tours in Afghanistan. He’s emotionally damaged and closed off. Quiet doesn’t begin to describe him. But as Karina gets used to his stable presence, she finds it hard to ignore the way he makes her feel. In their time together, she finds the stillness she has always wanted and never found. She lets down her guard. And she lets herself fill in the blanks about this mysterious man.
But illusions quickly made are quickly shattered. That’s when Karina has to find her own courage–to untangle the truth from the lies, and decide what she’s going to do about it.
I was gifted an ARC of this book to read, and I’m so thankful for that, I couldn’t wait to read it and already had it preordered anyway, to get to read it early was an added bonus!
I don’t even know where to start with this one, except just…. wow.
Anna Todd is no doubt my favourite author, the After series is my all time favourite set of books, and The Brightest Stars did not disappoint one bit, it’s very
different from Anna’s other work but equally as brilliant with captivating writing, fantastic characters and a really great plot, with twists and turns throughout.
I was immediately pulled into Karina’s world, she is a 20 year old massage therapist trying to make a life for herself without her fathers help. And then comes Kael, like a storm invading her life with his quiet ways and charms, I think I would immediately fall for him too. The way Anne wrote his character had you intrigued right from the beginning.
All her life Karina has been surrounded by soldiers and the army, being brought up as an ‘army brat’ as she says, and Kael is no different, fresh from deployment with what seems to be a weight on his shoulder and plenty of secrets. Being only the first book in a series there is a lot left unknown, which has left me literally pining for more. I just need to find out what happens next, the book starts in present day, with what seems to be a lot going on, I have so many questions I need answers too, it’s only a short part at the beginning before it then backtracks to two years previous, I just know I am hooked.
The romance plays a huge part in the story and as always with Anna, it’s hot and steamy, but tasteful and just the right amount. I loved the relationship between Karina and Kael, how quickly it became so intense, I tore through this book so quickly, it’s a page turner for sure.
The rest of the characters/side characters create a good dynamic too, adding depth and drama to the story, especially Karina’s brother, Austin, with his kind of messed up life.
The book does end on a cliffhanger, if you know Anna’s work the way I do, however, you will most likely be expecting this, girl loves a cliffhanger. As much as I love to hate cliffhangers I know how much hype it’s already created for me and this series, I am desperate for the next one already, I was desperate from the minute I finished the last page.
I can’t recommend this book enough, just like with any of Anna Todd’s work, she is a fantastic author and such a lovely person, please pick up this book if it has intrigued you in any way. It is out on September 18th!