Can a beating heart bleed from the shattered pieces?
Her heart cracked when her best friend walked away; it completely shattered when she lost her family in a tragic accident.
Now orphaned at seventeen, Charlotte Peterson is forced to live with her former best friend, Jacob Parker. Charlie, a talented pianist, desperately wants their loving friendship back, but something is holding Jake back. The more she spirals into the darkness of depression, the more she needs him.
Jacob vowed to stay away from her—no matter how much he still loved her. Armed with secrets that would have destroyed both of their families, he chose to end their friendship and walk away, which nearly killed him. As he watches the girl he once knew begin to fade away, however, he realizes that their relationship is more important than the truth he’s hiding.
Now it’s up to Jacob to put the pieces of Charlie’s broken heart back together—even if it means revealing the secrets he so desperately wants to protect her from.
Will Jacob find a way to bring back the carefree, talented girl he once knew, or is it too late for both of them?
Brilliant, moving and perfect for a romance-lover, Under A Million Stars has both the wow factor and the haunt factor. My reluctance to read this book eased after the first chapter and I couldn’t seem to stop reading. You’ve done yourself proud Rita Branches.
My heart broke for the two characters, Jacob and Charlotte. Their feelings for each other reminded me soon much of Romeo and Juliet but without the suicide at the end. Charlotte was definitely a character to adore. Considering all the tough things she goes through in the novel, she makes it to the other side. Despite crying a lot, she does have an inner strength. Jacob was such a cutie – or at least he was when he wasn’t treating Charlotte like crap. Guys who act nasty to girls are a major turn off normally, but Jacob was a sweetie underneath all that bitterness.
In terms of plot, the book was brilliant. It dealt with the sensitive issue of loss and guilt just perfectly. This can be absolutely crucial, because it helps the reader identify with the situation, and if the same thing is happening, they can at least understand how they need to tackle the issue. I was also really pleased with the books ability to surprise me, even though I wasn’t expecting at. Plot twists are an amazing feature, and I’m so glad that Rita Branches decided to use one in her book. Sometime I adored was how gripped I felt when reading the book. Not once did I sit and think that I wanted the book to end, and never did I check to see how far along in the story I was. Oh no. Instead, the only word to describe myself when reading the book was this – engrossed. That takes a very special kind of book, so well done!
Also, the cover is lush. I think its absolutely beautiful, and if I had an endless stream of money, I would quite happily pay the £9 cost of the paperback version. Maybe I can wait a little to get the paperback copy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want one soon. I’m immensely proud of this book and will defend it again all who will award it a 3 or less. Rita Branches does deserve a lot of praise for her story, and I think she deserves snaps for the fact that she has taken the initiative to self-publish and share this wonderful book with the world.
e x c e r p t o f t h e b o o k
These two weeks had been hell for me.
I didn’t know how I was going to pull this off for the eight months I still had left in this hell of a town. My parents didn’t get me, and she was around all the time, suffocating me. My heart skipped a beat every time I heard her voice, and it doubled in speed when she was near me. I wouldn’t be able to stay away, I knew it. She was breaking my heart all over again.
I heard her at night, when she thought everyone was sleeping. I just sat on the floor, resting my head against the wall, and listen to her cry and throw up every other night.
I stayed there like a jerk, as if I didn’t give a crap about her or her feelings, but I cried. I missed her. I wanted to hold her at night and tell her that everything would be alright, but I couldn’t. I promised I would stay away—I couldn’t hurt her, anymore. I pushed my knees to my chest to hold myself together and to keep me from crumbling. Sometimes, I had to place my closed fist against my mouth, so she wouldn’t hear me sob. I wished she would have, though. I wished she would have opened the door and saw me sitting there, caring about her, suffering like she did.
My mom was getting suspicious about me. She knew about her, or at least that something wasn’t right. My face, the permanent dark circles under my eyes, and my lack of appetite wasn’t normal, though. I was okay, before her parents’ accident—I had started to pull myself together.
This night was especially bad. She stayed in the bathroom for hours. I had been on the other side, hearing her cry and wishing I could take it all away.
I was starting to get really scared for her. I left before my parents woke up, unable to face them and those disapproving looks, anymore, like I wasn’t doing anything right with my life. They wanted a perfect son and they didn’t have one.
I was in no condition to go to college—I couldn’t even imagine myself being closed behind four walls for another four or five years. I needed something to take my thoughts away—something that would fuel me with adrenaline. They wouldn’t approve of the plans I’d been making. They’d hate them, in fact, but I didn’t care, anymore, I just needed to get away.
As if all this isn’t already enough but there is a lovely little giveaway in play for everyone. You’ve got to be in it to win it.
May the odds be ever in your favour.