Monday, August 3, 2015

Review: All It Takes by Sadie Munroe

22843165Release date: June 30th 2015
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:
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.

*Approved via Netgalley

To be honest, I didn't read the blurb before going into this book. Something about the solemn girl on the cover and the title intrigued me enough to request it on Netgalley. Good thing I did. All It Takes was a great read. I went in blind and received a wonderful surprise. 

The story is different in the sense that not only were the characters flawed, but the major thing, in my opinion, is that the plot surrounds a topic that has made me an addict to a certain TV show. I've never read about hoarding before, so it was refreshing to find a story that depicted it so well. And that had a lot to do with the writing style and how well the author delivered descriptions that made visualizing every scene so easy. I felt Star's shock upon seeing the true state of her mother's house for the first time in years, and I could relate with how overwhelmed it all was for her: trying to clean the place as well as what her next step should be. Then here comes Ash. 

Not without trouble of his own, Ash gave me the impression from start that there was a lot more to his story than just causing a terrible crash that led to someone's death. I connected with him as much as I did with Star, and that's mostly due to the fact that the story is written in alternating POVs. I loved getting inside Ash's head and feeling what he was going through: the scrutiny of returning to his hometown after what happened, and the guilt he held on to. Wow. He couldn't catch a break. No one would hire him and people treated him like a leper. Like he'd intentionally went looking to kill someone. It unnerved me how disgusting these town folks were and I cursed them on many occasions (inside my head). Even his parents were indifferent towards Ash when he came home. I can't believe his mother and the cowardliness of his father in standing up to her. Like seriously? Anyway, thank goodness these two imperfect characters came together. 

Star's such a wonderful person. She sympathized with Ash and stood up to others on his behalf. I mean, in spite of not knowing the guy, she went out on a limb and offered to pay him for helping her clean out her mother's house. And maybe it's because she needed the help, but I still found it nice of her to do that when no one else would hire him because of his past. Perhaps in a desperate way, they both helped each other and in the end, healed each other's hearts.

I'm not one to go deeper into a story in fear of giving too much away, so all that's left to say is that this one was truly realistic and enjoyable. The pacing was fast and to the point, and the overall feel of the story was believable. Without a doubt, I highly recommend picking up All It Takes if you're looking for gritty characters, small town setting, and a book that involves hoarding (if you're a fan of the TV show like I am). 

Sadie Munroe About the Author
Sadie Munroe has been dreaming up stories for as long as she can remember. She is often found staring off into space, brainstorming her next plot, even when she hasn't quite finished the one she's currently working on. 

It's a problem. 

She lives in Ontario Canada with her family and her dog Trips, as well as what some people would consider far too many books (they're wrong). 

ALL IT TAKES is her first novel. |


  1. I've read one book where the character's father has a hoarding problem, while the rest of the family tries to keep the mess from invading their own spaces in vain. I've watched that show before. Very disturbing at times, truly.

    1. Yeah, truly disturbing. Sometimes it's hard to remember that hoarding is an illness too and not get mad at the people. But it definitely takes a lot to handle, no matter if you're the hoarder or someone affected by it. I'd like to read that book though. What's the title?

  2. I haven't encountered a book that touches on hoarding before, so this one sounds interesting Shane! Star sounds like she was a key part of Ash's healing journey and difficulty with his issues. Lovely review Shane!

    1. Thanks, Jeann. She definitely was helpful in him facing his inner demons. I hope you give it a read too :)

  3. I really like the cover of this one. I'm glad it worked out for you. Sometimes I don't read the synopsis as carefully as I should and end up not liking it. I have a hoarder in my family -- it's not THAT bad, but he's definitely a hoarder on some level -- so it sounds like something I might be interested in reading.

    1. I feel like a lot of us knows a hoarder or two but it's not as serious as the TV show or in this book. But definitely give this one a read. Hope you like the story if you do pick it up :)

  4. OMG, that blurb sounds amazing! <3 The girl's got to be one of my fashion icon.. LOL :)

    P.S I've got a giveaway on my blog.. Hope you can join shane. :)
    Donita @ My Random Book thoughts


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