Nineteen-year-old Star Collins never intended to return to her hometown, Avenue. That part of her life ended when she was nine years old, and child services took her away from her hoarder mother. Her mother chose her stuff over her daughter. That part of her life was supposed to be in the past.
But her mother has just passed away and Star finds herself giving up her summer to quietly clean out her old home. She just wants to sell it and move on with her life. However, things aren't going the way she planned. With her dyed-black hair and tattoos, she's attracting almost as much attention from the small town residents as Ash Winthrope, the guy who was just released from prison.
All Ash wants is a chance to start over. He screwed up and he knows it, he's going to have to live with the guilt for the rest of his life. But he's stuck in Avenue until his parole ends, and no one, not even his own parents, wants anything to do with him. Nearly out of money and completely out of options, Ash takes the only job he can, helping Star haul stuff out of her mother's house.
Neither of them expects anything to happen between them, or for their lives to change. But sometimes meeting the right person is all it takes.
It isn’t often that a book surprises me, and I’m not talking about the twists and turns within the story, but as to how the story is presented but All It Takes surprised me, but it was in a very good way. When I first read the blurb my interest was definitely peaked, but I hemmed and hawed a bit because there was a chance that since this story falls under the New Adult arena that it could’ve veer into the realm of unnecessary drama/uber angsty-ville based on the issues that both Ash and Star were dealing with, but at the end of the debt I had in my head with myself I just had to give it a go and I am very happy that I did because once I started it, I had a very hard time putting it down.
I really liked both Ash and Star. Star, despite being only nineteen is much more secure in herself than most. She hasn’t led an easy life, but instead of dwelling on the bad she celebrates the positive, she also has an impish side. Ash is sweet and hard working and my heart just broke for him at what he had to endure from the majority of the people in the town, including his parents. Together they made a great pair and I enjoyed watching as they went from strangers to friends to lovers. They got to know each other and found that, outside of their mutual physical attraction. they liked who the other was on the inside. And neither added any unnecessary drama to their budding relationship. They each have their own demons to fight but they handle them with a maturity that was quite refreshing considering that in many NA stories it would have been the catalyst for the characters to create more drama than necessary.
Most of the unnecessary drama comes from the narrow minded assholes that inhabit the town of Avenue and while Ash and Star do their best to either avoid or ignore it they don’t just lay down for it either. They do give the proverbial middle finger to the town, but do it in a way that had me wanting to high five them for it. Outside of the jerks in the town, which not all are, there are Autumn and Roth, Star’s college friends, who add a good dose of humor to the story.
The story itself flowed well and at good pace but never felt rushed and though there is no huge cliffhanger as to if Ash and Star get their HEA, I do have unanswered questions about a few things. These questions do not affect how I feel about the ending, I just want to know more. Also, something I feel that I need to address is that this book is done as a first person dual POV (Star and Ash’s) and what I appreciated the most about it was that they both sounded like the people they are described as. What am I talking about? I’ve read numerous first person POV’s and enjoyed most of them, but there are times when the characters use words to describe either their feelings or another person that just don’t fit with the picture I have of the character. Not to say that using big, pretty words and waxing poetic isn’t possible, but it isn’t always realistic. With Star and Ash, their thoughts and observations match them.
The Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a quick, fun and sweet strangers to friends to lovers read with a minimal amount of angsty drama then this one is for you!
~ ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
Sadie Munroe has been dreaming up stories for as long as she can remember. She is often found staring off into space, brainstorming her next plot, even when she hasn't quite finished the one she's currently working on.
It's a problem.
She lives in Ontario Canada with her family and her dog Trips, as well as what some people would consider far too many books (they're wrong).
ALL IT TAKES is her first novel.