Title: All It Takes
Author: Sadie Munroe
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Source: ARC from NetGalley
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.
You know those books that you haven’t heard anything about until someone recommends them to you? Then you read them, not really knowing what you’re getting yourself into, but quickly realize that the book should have been on your radar all along? Sadie Munroe’s All It Takes was totally one of those books.
Star has spent the better part of her life not thinking about her past, about the mother who chose all her stuff over her daughter when child services came to take her away. But now that her mother has died, Star is forced to go back to her hometown of Avenue to empty her hoarder mother’s house. What Star thought was going to be an easy enough task turns out to be a whole lot more than she bargained for. And the only person willing to help her is Ash Winthrope, the only guy in town who is attracting as much attention as she is. Ash doesn’t want the attention he’s getting. All he wants after having spent the last five years in prison is to start over. He screwed up, he knows it and he wants to move past it, even if he will have to live with the guilt for the rest of his life. But Star is willing to take a chance on him. Neither of them expects anything to come out of their summer hauling crap, but sometimes you find the right person in the most unexpected place.
I honestly hadn’t heard of Sadie Munroe’s All It Takes until it was recommended to me by a friend on Goodreads. Usually, I’m pretty well aware of what’s coming in the world of New Adult literature, but this one had completely escaped my notice. But then I saw that the book was on NetGalley and I figured, why not? It sounded like something I would be into and it had been recommended to me, so chances of me liking All It Takes were pretty high. So what was the verdict, you may be wondering? I totally loved All It Takes. It was so interesting to read a story about hoarding, a subject I find you don’t necessarily see that much in books (or at the very least, not the ones I’ve been reading), seeing how it affects everyone in the hoarder’s family. But that was only one aspect of the story. All It Takes was also about acceptance: about accepting yourself and your past and moving past it. About not letting your past define your entire present and future. And that’s because Ash and Star definitely had more to deal with than the average person, and they had a long way to go when it came to a acceptance at the beginning of the story.
I have a lot of admiration and respect for Star. I mean, to go everything she had gone through and come out of it all the way she did takes a lot of strength. And to the outside world, she mostly showed that strength, but she was also incredibly vulnerable. Because underneath the surface, she was afraid of becoming her mother, of ending up alone with only piles and piles of stuff around her. As a reader, it was interesting to see the juxtaposition of that strength and the vulnerability. But she had some people in her life who were there to help her, some of them completely unexpected. And that’s where Ash came in. For so much of the book, I wish Ash could see himself the way Star saw him and the way I saw him. Yes, he was someone who made a mistake and he had to suffer the consequences. But he recognized that he made a mistake and he wanted to move past it. But no one would let him. And i wanted so much for him to be able to get his fresh start, for him to be able to move on with his life even if he still had to live with the guilt of what happened on the night of the accident. And I just loved seeing Ash and Star together, that easy friendship they had before they became anything more. They were just two people who needed that one person that would change their lives and they found that in each other.
Sadie Munroe’s All it Takes was a complete surprise to me. This was a book I knew nothing about but that I will now be recommend to all my fellow New Adult lovers.