When The Stars Lead To You is a summer love ending without a hint that turns into a heated romance where the relationship’s growth is intertwined with both the protagonists’ individual growth. A biracial relationship with a depression representation and a female main character whose dream is to be an astrophysicist along with emotional wonders about forgiveness are all the good things making up this young adult contemporary romance.
➝ Sum it up in points!
✔Focus on self-love
✔Pressure of legacy
✔STEM female main character
✔Consensual sex in teenage romance
✔Own-voices depression rep
➝ Trigger Warnings
⇾ Unannounced disappearance of the other half in a relationship
⇾ Suicidal thoughts & intentions
⇾ Suicide attempt
⇾ Societal microaggressions towards biracial identity
⇾ Family pressure
When The Stars Lead To You shows an insta-love that starts on a beach to a second-chance romance in high school that dives into the main characters’—Devon and Ashton—aspirations and the difficulties associated with those dreams. Devon loves the stars and wants to become an astrophysicist but her parents’ financial status might raise a problem; Ashton wants to do anything that doesn’t confine him to the list of duties he needs to carry out as the son of an esteemed businessman and expensive family. This intertwined plot of two teenagers lives brings their complex relationship and individualistic story lines into clear focus.
This YA contemporary romance definitely deserves recognition for the own-voices mental health rep that it showcased. Though, I’m not a part of the represented community so my opinions should be considered secondary to an own-voices reader. Not only does the story execute an accurate portrayal of a depressed character but also enlightens the readers on it by showing the non-depressed character educating herself about the symptoms, effects, and struggles of depression. This can certainly be a great way to normalise mental health education, especially when an individual needs to gain that knowledge by themselves.
Another strong aspect in terms of the mental health representation is the alertness that Devon shows once she finally fathoms Ashton’s suicidal ideation and depression. Her responsibility as an important person in his life, or even as a human, is proved through the conversations she carries out with him (regarding his thoughts) or through her push towards therapy or her actual presence most of the times.
The biracial relationship and its struggles are also portrayed in a very subtle yet glaring manner through microaggressions that Devon had to face, or the racism-oriented implications made by Ashton’s family when they simply assume Devon to be an exotic fling based on her different racial identity.
Sex in young adult books is an important theme, if present, and When The Stars Lead To You did a great job in making its characters take decisions for themselves, without the influence of society, parents or peers. Consent has been indicated and shown clearly which makes the heated romance in this teenage setting a pleasure
(pun-intended) to read.
Overall, When The Stars Lead To You is a teenage romance I would recommend to anyone looking for a young adult relationship that progresses through time and explores various themes, from sex to mental health, while the protagonists are growing through every page too.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this via my participation in a blog tour but that, in no way, affects my rating and/or review. Thank you, FFBC tours, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, and Ronni Davis! This post contains affiliate links.
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Title: When The Stars Lead To You
Author: Ronni Davis
Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Release Date: Novemeber 12, 2019
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 galaxies. That is, until Ashton shows up on the first day of school.
Can she forgive and open her heart to him 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.
Ronni Davis grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where she tried her best to fit in—and failed miserably. After graduating from The Ohio State University with a BA in Psychology, she worked in insurance, taught yoga, and became a cat mom.
Now she lives in Chicago, where by day she copy edits everything from TV commercials to billboards, and by night she writes contemporary YA about brown girls falling in love. When she’s not writing, you can catch her playing the Sims, eating too much candy, or planning her next trip to Disney World.