Tuesday, February 9, 2016

To the Stars by Molly McAdams: Review + Giveaway


I'm really happy to be taking part in the release of TO THE STARS by Molly McAdams. I enjoyed this one *so* much and it is filled with so much emotion. Harlow and Knox and their story really captured my heart. I hope you'll love it, too - and don't forget to enter to win a signed copy and a gift card!


In the second standalone book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.

He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.

When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was two and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.

Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?

MY THOUGHTS 

Timing is everything. Knox and Harlow meet when he is headed to college, but she is just shy of sixteen. Knox promises to wait for her until she is eighteen but there was no happily ever after. 

Harlow remembers well the day she turned eighteen and received the call from Knox that she'd been expecting. She's haunted by the answer she gave him and still dreams about him every night. She knows she made the wrong choice and is plagued by thoughts of how different her life would be if only she'd chosen differently.

Harlow's life now is about survival. Getting through each day. A chance meeting with Knox is a stark reminder of the love she once had and the nightmare her life is now. Despite her best efforts to keep Knox at an arm's length, he sees what no one else does: that Harlow is broken. All of a sudden Harlow's choice and the years apart mean nothing - because Knox never stopped loving her and refuses to walk away when she needs him most.

I was completely pulled in to this story from the very beginning. I would like to have seen more of the early days of Knox and Harlow's relationship to better see how and why they fell so deeply in love, but even without that I was sold on their relationship. It was impossible not to pull for these two. I loved their devotion to one another even when the odds were stacked against them. There were flashbacks to their past interspersed throughout the book which gave more insight into how their story unfolded. The changes in Harlow from a bubbly, laughing teenager to the woman she became were heartbreaking. But she remained completely selfless and was determined to keep those she loved safe from harm. Knox continued to show that he was a decent man with a moral code that he lived by, even when it was a struggle. To the Stars definitely made me feel. From the swoony feelings of a young couple in love, to heartbreak for Harlow's reality, anger when I felt that Knox's friends were being completely unsupportive, fear for Harlow, and hope for her future. I have to be honest and say there were parts of Harlow's story that were difficult to read. It was raw and shocking and was painful to read about. To the Stars wasn't always an easy read but I loved it.

To the Stars is an incredibly emotional story about the enduring power of love. This is not a light and fluffy romance - the subject matter is dark and the theme of violence and abuse could prove too much for some (or even triggering). But ultimately I will remember it for the story of two people robbed of their happily ever after and willing to fight for a second chance. 

EXCERPT


Setting my cup on the table in front of me, I searched through my purse for my iPad, and smiled to myself when I checked to find there was still a charge on it. I set an alarm on it to know when to leave in case I was able to escape my reality for a little while, grabbed my coffee, and gently sat back in the chair as I tried to get into the book I’d been reading last week on my Kindle app. I had more than enough time to read during the days, that wasn’t the problem. It was whether I could push away my real life enough to let myself enjoy the fairytale that determined if I ever read.


More often than not, I ended up staring blankly at my iPad long after it had shut itself off from lack of use as I thought about whatever was going on with Collin, or my own fairytale I’d given up.



Like now, I realized, when I noticed my screen was black again. I didn’t even know how long I’d been sitting there just staring at it. I took a deep breath in, preparing for a silent sigh out.



My breath caught in my throat when a body next to me blocked the sun, and a deep, fluid voice asked, “Why would anyone waste their time only loving someone to the moon…”


…when they could love them to the stars?

He didn’t finish, and I didn’t say the words out loud. But everything stopped around me for heavy seconds. The rise and fall of my chest halted, I no longer heard the background noise, music, and voices in the coffee shop … all time seemed to stand still as I sat there trying to assess whether I was dreaming or not.

“Harlow Evans,” he said softly, and I let out a shuddering breath as everything came filtering back in. “The last person I thought I’d see when I woke up this morning was the girl I’ve been waiting seven years for.”

My head snapped to the left, and my soul ached when I looked at Knox Alexander for the first time in four and a half years. Time had changed him in amazing ways—and at the same time, nothing about him was different at all. Those dark eyes began to lock on mine, and I quickly looked away from them. I didn’t want to see what they would tell me, I didn’t want to know what they would find.
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ABOUT MOLLY MCADAMS

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she's not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach… which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm... or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren't really happening.






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