Review: “When The Stars Fall” by Emery Rose

Book Title: When The Stars Fall

Author: Emery Rose

Series: Lost Stars, Book 1

Rating: 5⭐

Release Date: October 19th, 2020

Goodreads | (Available on KU)

Synopsis: Growing up, Lila Turner and Jude McCallister were best friends. Then they were lovers and then it all fell apart. Their relationship has spanned years and pain and trauma, and now that they might have a third chance at things, can they make it work?

Review: First things first, this book is so angsty and so beautiful. I had to sit down and devour this book once I got started and even then, I couldn’t put it down once it was over. I think I’m still reeling from this book. Secondly, this is a book about love in its rawest form. It’s about accepting the faults and flaws of the ones you love so you can love them harder and stronger than they want at the time. It’s a love story about fighting against the odds to always find love in the darkest days.

Emery Rose shoves her hand into your chest and rips out your heart with her writing and her characters. But then she puts it all back together and slaps a cute bandaid over your chest too. I am so glad that I got to experience this book, because it was absolutely beautiful and a must read for everyone who loves angsty romances, with such incredible characters and a relationship that will test you every step of the way.

Lila and Jude have the most complicated relationship, even as kids. Sure, it’s cute and it’s fun and you get to see them grow up, but it’s complicated. I loved reading about the McCallister family, because they were just so much fun, but also so heartwarming that you feel like you’re part of their world. Lila’s family life is a little less exciting, but you get to see just how strong all of that makes her. Jude and Lila meet when Lila and her mother move to this new town. She’s welcomed into the McCallister home and the boys all tease and taunt and warm up to. But it’s Jude that fits into her life the best. Their friendship is so strong and to see that evolve from something innocent into something so painful is probably the most beautiful thing in this book.

“What happens when the stars fall, Jude?”

“I’ll put them back in the sky for you.”

Like all handsome boys who grow up to be devastatingly handsome and charming, Jude likes to live his life in the fast lane. He and Lila have all these unrequited feelings, but they don’t act on it, because it’s easier to just ignore what’s going on than to accept that they belong together. Plus, Lila doesn’t feel like she deserves Jude. He’s her first almost everything, while Jude’s living the big popular man on campus life. But then when they finish high school, Jude’s off. His dream to join the Marines kicks in and he’s gone off to fight a war that Lila doesn’t want him to fight. And when he comes back after five years, it rips them apart completely.

“I wanted to be her first kiss. I wanted to be her first everything. I wanted to be her two in the morning person. The one who was there for her no matter what.”

Watching the struggles that Jude and Lila go through when he comes back from the war is so painful. You can see just how much they love each other, but it’s also so hard to hate Jude for what he’s putting Lila through. It’s traumatic for him, but even so much more for her. Their lives were supposed to line up and everything was supposed to make sense. Except, nothing makes sense for either of them and the pain levels just keep rising because they’re not doing the right thing for themselves. Their relationship is so raw. It’s beautiful to see these two 9 year olds grow into teenagers, fall in love, be ripped apart and put back together. Their love is hard earned and their relationship even more so. It’s like every step Lila takes forward, Jude takes two back and that keeps happening.

Emery Rose has written such a heart wrenching book that reading this made me cry a few times. When you can feel the pain and struggles the characters are going through, that’s when you know that the book is perfect. It’s a story of young love, about giving love a second chance and about putting yourself first so you can make sense of your own life and love. And with characters that you grow attached to, When The Stars Fall delivers a punch to the gut with every chapter and every twist.

“The stars are still in the sky, baby. Just open your eyes and look up. On the darkest nights, they shine the brightest. And one day soon you’ll see that you never really needed me to put them back in the sky for you. You’re strong and brave and fierce. You’re a goddamn warrior, Rebel. The real hero in our story.”

Lila Turner is such an incredible character. She’s so strong, to go through losing all that she did, to standing by Jude’s side through his good and bad times – that takes courage and strength that is beyond what most are capable of doing. And at the end of the day, Lila always loves the right way. She’s capable of saying no and standing her ground, but she also knows what she wants and how she’s going to get what she wants. She’s no pushover, even when she’s so desperately clinging to the idea of what that could mean for her.

You want to hate Jude for being an asshole and an arrogant teenage hotshot, but you also can’t help but love him for being the way he is. He might have treated Lila like shit at one point, but somehow you don’t hold that against him. Because what he does later is probably much worse and that’s what breaks your heart. And yet, seeing the struggles he goes through and to feel his pain as he heals, that’s what makes you love him.

And Emery wrote these two brilliant characters in such a way that you feel like you know them. Like they’re your friends or next door neighbours or people you grew up with. But it shows you that love is not always happy or filled with joy or positive. Love is about all of that, but also pushing through the pain and the struggles and fighting for the one person in your life that makes everything worth it.

“You owe me an entire galaxy. I’m still waiting for you to put the stars back in the sky.”

I think I need a day or two to recover from this beautiful book and I can’t recommend it enough, because it did everything I never knew I wanted a book to do to me.

Thanks to Emery Rose and Wildfire Marketing Solutions for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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