Tuesday 5 July 2022

⭐️ Anna Todd ⭐️ THE FALLING ⭐️ #TheBrightestStars1 ⭐️

 ©  Bianca 

• USA: 5 July 2022
• Europe: 28 July
• Book #1 in the #Stars Trilogy
• Military-coming-of-age-dramance
3.9 Stars

A new love story from Anna Todd begins with THE FALLING, the first novel in a new trilogy (Brightest Stars) from the #1 internationally best-selling author of the AFTER series.


Twenty-year old Karina is proud of the independent life she is trying to create for herself in Ft. Benning, Georgia. A dutiful officer’s daughter, supportive sister to a troubled twin brother, and caring friend to her roommate, Elodie, she always puts the needs of others ahead of her own, and prides herself on being a fixer of broken thingswhether its the house shes just bought or the fragmented family she works hard to keep intact.


Like anyone who has grown up around an army base, Karina also knows the background noise that follows men and women home from war. And when she meets Kael, a handsome soldier on the cusp of discharge, she’s immediately intrigued by his brooding presence and enigmatic silence. As their uncertain and unexpected friendship starts to turn into something more, Karina tries to piece together Kael's story: he is emotionally closed off, recovering from wounds and other trauma in the aftermath of two tours in Afghanistan. In her practice as a physical therapist, Karina has a strong desire to help him heal, and though it challenges her many insecurities and anxieties, she has an equally strong desire to trust him. But that trust is fragile, like the preciousness of a soldier’s life. It can be gone in an instant. Ultimately facing a crossroads, their relationship will be tested by the one thing that Karina cannot accept, forgive, or understand.


Anna Todd’s Brightest Stars trilogy continues with THE BURNING and THE INFINITE LIGHT OF DUST, coming soon.


I have read this book in 2018 when Anna first released it. I liked it, but it was a bit boring and silly. But I really wanted to read the next books because I hate not finishing things - and I loved Kael. But then she never released the next two books in the series - due to depression or anxiety or stress or fear-of-not-having-written-the-story-she-wanted or whatever personal reasons. Which is totally understandable, but still sucks for readers. So I was happy to see that the series was getting a new look and here we go. I will leave my old review in here for you to read, since I don't think much will have changed in the story. But I will write a new one once I'm done reading!

What I already don't like much is the cover. The old one was soo pretty with the stars and stuff. The new one looks like Scully and Mulder are about to drive down that road. So weird. There are no aliens and dark country roads in this story.
And I also am still very worried that Anna won't have books 2+3 done yet and we'll have to wait another few years - which I would hate! I hate that so much. If I were an author - I would write all the books in my trilogy and then I would release the first one. Not a second sooner!

Okay. I'm back now after finishing the book.
Anna says that she changed a lot and that 30k new words were written... I didn't really see that. Could be because I was fast-forwarding a lot. I sometimes just couldn't read all the thoughts and inner monologue passages, so I only read the conversations. The book is still way too slow and full of nothing. It's just ... nothing and that repeats itself constantly. Walking to work. Everyday. Telling us every few pages that she has to be at work at 11 am. Walking back home. Talk about her house. Talking with Elodie - which is also stupid. What is she doing there? I like her but she doesn't need to be in the book like that. Talking with Kael. Falling for him. Not wanting to fall. Worrying about the brother. Not seeing that he has bigger problems. Daddy issues. Et etera.
The idea is there. It could be so great. This young, brave, smart, strong twenty year old girl with her dream job and her own house and doing some HGTV stuff, building a great life. Meeting this hot, silent, mystery army guy. But nothing happens. And it's all so immature with her constant sorrys and daddy issues. Just don't go to the tuesday dinners. Why did she buy a house in his town anyway? Ugh. It's all so therapy-session-worthy-ish. 
I don't know. I love Kael. But Karina really needs lots of therapy and time to grow up some more. She's not ready for that happily ever after yet. And that's why we get three books. And I hate that. First I hate waiting - which is just horrible with my bookalzheimers. And then I just wish that Anna would've put this whole story into one huge book or maybe a duet. But three books? Ugh. What has to happen to our darlings until they get that happy end?
Three books is just too much.
If a book doesn't have one scene where I say awww or where I laugh about things ...  I don't know. I want to love this, but I just can't. Maybe once I'm done with all books I will be in love with everything and everyone.
Also - now that I think about. We get this prologue and then the book ends without getting back to that at all. That is weird. Yes, we get more books, but shouldn't a prologue of one book be finished in that book too?? I think so. Hm.

Okidoki - that was it. Now follows my old review - which is a lot more positive. But my reading likes and dislikes have changed a lot in four years. LOL! 

Don't let me scare you away from reading this book - it's still a great Anna Todd romance - we just have to wait a while for that happy end!


After a chapter in 2019, we go back to 2017. Karina is 20 years old. She's just left home - her dad and new step-mom's place - a little while ago, and now she's more or less happily living her life and working at a massage place.
Enter Kael. He's just back from Afghanistan today and he needs a massage real bad. Not that he said any of that to Karina. He's not what you might call a talker.☺
But he's a buddy of Karina's roomie's husband - so he's staying at their place for the night ...
The new guy in her life is unfortunately not the only exciting thing Karina has to deal with. Her family is a tiny little bit challenging too .... and Kael's military past and present also have to be dealt with.

What will happen with Karina & Kael?

Even though you won't yet find out - but book #2 will be with us ... one day soonish. 

I remember way back when Anna posted the first Chapter on Wattpad - I read it, even though I hate Wattpad. But I just had to read it after all her teasing about it. And I remember loving it!
I didn't read any more on Wattpad, I stayed strong and now I finally have the book!
It has this slow and sad and heartbreaking mood throughout. But we also see some adorable smiley moments from Karina and Kael. I just adored those two. I had to keep on reading just to see Kael smile! LOL!
It takes Karina ages until she even gets a word out of Kael. He's a silent thinker. But he doesn't mind her talking. Non stop. Adorable.
But of course we just know that there's a lot of baggage behind Kael's silence. He doesn't talk about 'work' - about the war. And he doesn't share much about anything else. And we just want to know allll the things about him.
I loved Kael and Karina's conversations. She talks, he listens ... and I think that they're both falling in love a little bit more with every word she says and he doesn't.
It's all really sweet ... but also very heartbreaking, because we know by reading the first chapter, that there won't be a happy end for those two anytime soon. The past. Family. Secrets. Military. War. Heartbreak? No idea what will happen - but I just know that it won't be easy for them or us ....

I also like that the story is real close to the current times in terms of military and racism and it's also inspired by Anna's real-life story.
If I had to complain about a little thing... I'm writing this while still reading the book - I'm only halfway through now. And I have no idea how it will end... BUT. What I do know is that there will be three books in this series!!!!! And NOWHERE on amazon or goodreads, does it say so. I only know because the german publisher already has all three books/covers up on their website and on amazon ... Book 2 will be out 2019 and book 3 in 2020. WHAT???? I will be so mad if there will be a cliffhanger and nobody told us about this being a series! I'm still living with the problably very false hope that the three german books are just one book cut into three shorter parts.
(Back now after finishing - and yup. Cliffy. Not a realllly bad one - nobody got shot or anything, but it's so not finished. And I'm tempted to almost call it borderline criminal what Anna and the publisher did. Not telling people they're not buying a standalone, but book #1 in a trilogy? Not nice at all, because I wouldn't have bought the book if I had known. I have to read a series once all books are out. That's obviously why they did it, to make more money. Not ok!)

Another tiny little thing. The writing. While very beautiful at times. Sometimes it's very confuzzling. Anna jumps through the days so weirdly. Something happens and then Karina's walking home and tells about what happened last night and suddenly it's a while later and she's telling us about another thing. I was really confused at times. And sometimes I didn't know who was talking.

And the whole slowness of the whole book - the relationship.... it was a bit too slow and uneventful for my tastes. It all just blubbers along so slowly and silently. Like lying in the sun next to a little creek with a bit of a slow John Mayer song softly playing in the background. I know, I'm weird. Nothing happens almost all through the book, not even a kiss, and then suddenly they're dating and lying in bed? And it all happens within a week. It's so very weird. Which is making more sense, now that I know there will be three books about K+K.
And then the thing, the secret, the 'lying'? I didn't think it was all that bad? Karina mega-exaggerated about the whole thing. But I have to remember that they're all only 20 years old. So they're allowed to react immature.

Maybe another editor should've gone over the book again. There were some things that a really good editor would've changed.

BUT - still - even though this book and the people responsible made me mad in the end - I still loved Kael and Karina so very much! And I can't wait to read the second book - even though I might have to read this one again to remember what happened - I HATE THAT! ☺

THE BRIGHTEST STARS was such a heartbreakingly beautiful & adorable love story!
Run to your nearest amazon for your own Kael - this one is MINE!!!!

♥ Excerpt ♥

Elodie sat down on the couch an 

 Links to the Book & Author 


Anna Todd is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of the After series. Hailed by Cosmopolitan as “the biggest literary phenomenon of her generation,” Anna began her literary career on the social writing and reading platform Wattpad. Published on Wattpad in 2013, After has over 1.5 billion reads on the site. The print edition, published in 2014 by Gallery Books, has been published in over 30 languages and is a #1 bestseller in Italy, Germany, France and Spain. Paramount Pictures acquired film rights to the series with Offspring Entertainment (Step Up franchise, Rock of Ages) set to produce.

Anna received the award for Best New Romance Writer from the New Romance Festival in the fall of 2016. Her next book, The Spring Girls, is set for publication in January 2018 and will be a re-imagining of Louisa May Alcott’s classic, Little Women. Anna Todd was born in Dayton, Ohio. She and her husband currently live in Los Angeles with their dog Watty.