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.
A riveting story about love and lies, THE BRIGHTEST STARS will stay with you long after the last page has been turned.
The Brightest Stars
by Anna Todd
Anna Todd writes such riveting novels and The Brightest Stars isn’t any different. I was hooked from the beginning and every single word on these 310 pages enamored me. I usually don’t go for military romances because I’m a military wife myself, but this plot didn’t throw me off and I was able to relate to a lot of the military day-to-day that you see in this story.
“I would always remember that, the way he made parts of me ache that I had never felt before. I would always be thankful for that.”
Karina is a military brat so she’s used to the craziness that military life can bring. With that said, she wants nothing more than to find her own slice of life away from her overbearing father and step-mother. She’s happy to have a small house that is solely hers and a good job at a message place. She’s content. Minus things with her brother being crazy and her father insisting on weekly dinners, she’s almost happy. Enter Kael. He’s a soldier who just got back from downrange and has this quiet sense about him. It frustrates and fascinates Karina to no end.
There was definitely a slow burn feel throughout the novel. It entire story opens up with present day 2019, but then jumps back to 2017 which where most of the story stays. Because of this, to me, it felt like watching a car crash in slow motion. You know where they’re at presently but Anna is giving us their past and it’s heartbreaking and breathtaking….you can’t help but watch.
“The brightest stars burn the fastest, so we must love them while we can.”
Together Kael and Karina complimented each other in a way that pushed them past their boundaries. It’s a heady combination and I loved watching them together; they fit somehow….like a perfectly twisted puzzle. Both characters were relatable and it was easy liking them. Karina is just a girl trying to live the best life for her as possible all the while trying to keep her brother from falling apart. Kael has secrets in his quiet demeanor and you can’t help but want to figure him out.
The plot itself was written beautifully. It kept me entertained and wanting to know more. The only flaw for me was that Anna took the slow burn concept to a whole new level. At times, the story moved along slowly, but it didn’t detract from the overall feel of things. I also didn’t know that this was a series or that it would end in such a big cliffhanger. I still would have read it, but I would have been better prepared. Overall, I loved the book and I cannot wait for the next installment.