First of all a big thank you to Edelweiss for giving me ARC copies of both these books! They were both pretty good reads.
Beneath Wandering Stars By Ashlee Cowles
Goodreads Synopsis: After her soldier brother is horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Gabriela must honor the vow she made: If anything ever happened to him, she would walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain, making a pilgrimage in his name. The worst part is that the promise stipulates that she must travel with her brother’s best friend–a boy she has despised all her life. Her brother is in a coma, and Gabi feels that she has no time to waste, but she is unsure. Will she hesitate too long, or risk her own happiness to keep a promise? An up-close look at the lives of the children of military families, Beneath Wandering Stars takes readers on a journey of love, danger, laughter, and friendship, against all odds.
Beneath Wandering Stars is a decent three star book. I really enjoyed the character of Gabriela. Her background as a ”military brat” was really relatable as my family moved around a lot, and it can be hard sometimes. Add on to that the fact that her brother is in a coma and might not come out, that was just a heartbreaker.
The story is well written for the most part. Following Gabriela through Spain was really great. The food descriptions combined with all of the little details about the villages and towns they went through made me feel like I was walking with her. The only thing that stopped me from giving this book four stars was the love interest Seth. Seth is the best friend of her brother, and he is a huge jerk from page one. Now part of this is a me thing as I find that guys like him are generally rude and I dislike them a lot. He’s always wants to be in charge and acts like Gabriela needs to be a solider like him.
I really hated it that he got involved in her relationship without her asking him. *Spoiler* He ends up emailing her boyfriend saying he knows that the guy is cheating and that he needs to breakup with Gabriela. All this without having actually met the guy.*End Spoiler* It was disgustingly controlling and manipulative. She never once asked him to do this. And on top of that he never apologizes for literally ruining her relationship. Of course she ends up falling for Seth anyway and that was really frustrating. I’m really tired of the troupe that guys can do things like this and get away without apologizing.
So for me this book was just okay, a solid three stars.
History Is All You Left Me By Adam Silvera
This is one of those times that I wish I was little less picky. I really really wanted to love History Is All You Left Me, because hello it’s about a bisexual and gay male relationship, also OCD representation.
In the end I think I’m going to give it three stars. History Is All You Left me is definitely an emotional book, and by the end of it was I worn out. So I really have to hand it to Silvera for being able to write something so raw and heart wrenching. I did like the overall idea of the story, the prose, and the way it was all put together.
I guess for me I just didn’t connect with the characters as much as I wanted to. Griffin is a complicated guy to say the least, not that I blame him. I know how hard it is when someone you really love dies. But Griffin was really selfish for the entire book. He breaks up with his boyfriend Theo and then gets upset when Theo moves on.
Theo ends up dying and then Griffin ends up making a lot of bad friendship decisions. Every time I wanted to connect with him, he would again do something stupid or selfish and I just couldn’t like him as much as I wanted to.
Despite this I would still say you should read History is All You Left Me. I think my opinions on it are a case of it was me not the book.