Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashley Cowles
Published by Simon Pulse on August 1, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Army and Family Life
Source: Sent to me for review from Merit Press
Buy it: Amazon // Book Depository // Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★ 4/5
// SYNOPSIS //
After her soldier brother is horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Gabriela must honor the vow she made: If anything ever happened to him, she would walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain, making a pilgrimage in his name. The worst part is that the promise stipulates that she must travel with her brother’s best friend–a boy she has despised all her life. Her brother is in a coma, and Gabi feels that she has no time to waste, but she is unsure. Will she hesitate too long, or risk her own happiness to keep a promise? An up-close look at the lives of the children of military families, Beneath Wandering Stars takes readers on a journey of love, danger, laughter, and friendship, against all odds.
// MY THOUGHTS //
Finally trying to play catch up with all of my reviews! Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles was sent to me from Merit Press in exchange for an honest review! Thank you so much Merit Press! I had no idea what this book was about until I read the summary on the slip cover when I received it. This book did not disappoint me! I’m glad I went into it sort of blind, because it made it that much more intriguing!
I read this novel a few weeks back, and really enjoyed it. It was refreshing and clean and honestly nothing like anything I’ve ever read before, and I loved that! The story follows Gabriela as she walks the Camino de Santiago for her solider brother who was injured in Afghanistan. Gabriela has grown up her entire life as a military brat, moving from place to place. She has a strained relationship with her father who is also in the military as well. When Gabriela’s brother is wounded in action she sets out to fulfill one of his requests should anything ever happen to him; the only problem is, she has to go with her brother’s best friend Seth, a guy she’s hated since before she can even remember.
As you can imagine a romance blooms between Seth and Gabriela as they walk the Santiago. Although, the romance was not the sole focus of this book. This was more so a journey of self discovery for Seth and Gabriela. She had to come to terms with life and death along this pilgrimage and what those two things meant to each other.
I loved the interactions between Gabriela and Seth throughout their journey. They were sweet and funny and incredibly real. I really want a soldier boy Seth of my own, even if he had some problems of his own. This book had a lot of culture in it and the way the author described the scenery definitely gave me a huge case of wanderlust. The book did have some small Spanish words in it, which I easily could figure out just from the context in which they were used in, but you could also look them up online.
All in all, this was a lovely book to read. I think it took me two or three days, but you could easily devour this in one sitting, it’s just that good. It was eye opening to see how military families differ from non military families. The sacrifices they make, and the things they endure.
I just want to say thank you to all of the military families out there for everything that they do!
If you’re looking for a great book about adventure, love and self discovery Beneath Wandering Stars is a perfect fit for you!