Nineteen-year-old Star Collins never intended to return to her hometown, Avenue. That part of her life ended when she was nine years old, and child services took her away from her hoarder mother. Her mother chose her stuff over her daughter. That part of her life was supposed to be in the past.
But her mother has just passed away and Star finds herself giving up her summer to quietly clean out her old home. She just wants to sell it and move on with her life. However, things aren’t going the way she planned. With her dyed-black hair and tattoos, she’s attracting almost as much attention from the small town residents as Ash Winthrope, the guy who was just released from prison.
All Ash wants is a chance to start over. He screwed up and he knows it, he’s going to have to live with the guilt for the rest of his life. But he’s stuck in Avenue until his parole ends, and no one, not even his own parents, wants anything to do with him. Nearly out of money and completely out of options, Ash takes the only job he can, helping Star haul stuff out of her mother’s house.
Neither of them expects anything to happen between them, or for their lives to change. But sometimes meeting the right person is all it takes.
Happiness is a fragile state. This is something the main characters of All It Takes know only too well. Ash’s life went bad in a flash and a scream in a car crash. Each time Star’s life changed for the worse it was something simple: a phone call, for instance.
Sadie Munroe’s debut All It Takes is the story of two damaged people finding their way back to that fragile state.
I loved the voices of both Star and Ash as they work through their pasts in All It Takes. The task of clearing out Star’s mother’s home extraordinarily suited for just that. Sure, they both present tough fronts– Ash in particular seems to think that a barrage of f-bombs will keep the hurtful world at bay– but ultimately, they have soft, gooey centers.
While All It Takes is absolutely a fit for the New Adult audience, with all of the– er, admiration of the human form that that entails, I enjoyed the aspects of Star and Ash’s burgeoning relationship that weren’t sexual the most (although there’s nothing wrong with a little ~sexual healing, baby~
Just a personal preference. They laugh, grow closer together, and start to forgive. In Star’s case, she begins to forgive her mother. In Ash’s… himself.
For fans of damaged characters in their NA, I’d unreservedly recommend Sadie Munroe’s debut, All It Takes.