Review : Falling Stars (Thompson Sisters #1.5) by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Charles Sheehan-Miles - Falling Stars

Synopsis :

Crank Wilson and Julia Thompson love each other madly. But after Crank’s huge mistake during the summer, on the road with Crank’s rock band Morbid Obesity, they aren’t getting along. 

Sean Wilson and Carrie Thompson are the seventeen year old younger siblings of Julia and Crank. Carrie is on her way to New York to start college at Columbia University and Sean is on his way home to Boston. For the next five days, they’re stuck in a car. Along the way, they’ll contend with screaming matches, giant spiders and a 240-pound pissed off Marine.

And the whole way, Crank will be faced with one question. After he screwed up so badly, is there any way he can win Julia back?

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My Review :

I am just going to begin with saying that Charles Sheehan-Miles is one of my favorite authors, and his Thompson Sister series is one I will read again and again. He writes with such fluidity and strength, every word you read having a purpose. I find myself trying to find clues along the way then resolve to just enjoying the ride. The depth of emotion he pulls from each and every one of his characters is what makes his stories so magnificent. You will finish one of his books feeling as if your soul has been altered irrevocably. Even having never experienced anything near what each of these characters have, I find myself connected with them on a pure human level. Their triumphs are my triumphs. Their devastation is my devastation. When they fall in love, my heart bursts from my chest right alongside them. Charles doesn’t just tell you a story, you truly live it!

I’d managed to avoid voicing the one thing I truly didn’t want to say, the thing that would ruin our trip and break my heart. Which was, I didn’t think I could stay with Crank any more, and that this trip was going to be our goodbye.

Right from the beginning we are simultaneously filled with a impending sense of doom all the while holding out hope. Surely the couple that we fell hopelessly in love with in A Song for Julia isn’t headed down the path to a resolute conclusion. Say it ain’t so?!  Not Julia, a character the likes of which is still so broken yet on the road to recovery and finally out from under her parent’s watchful and scrutinous eyes. Certainly not Crank, a man who went through his own disappointments and was mad at the world. We left this couple with answers, a clear and promising future, completely immersed in each other, so completely in love. What could have possibly happened to cause them to voice such doubts?

“It’s just that…I see what you and Julia have, and I’m watching  you throw it all away, and it just makes me feel like you’re a pack of idiots. She worships you, Crank. Do you know how rare that is? I’ll be lucky if I ever find anyone I love half as much.”

In Falling Stars, we pick up near the end of the summer after A Song for Julia. Having toured for a few months with Morbid Obesity, Julia, Crank and Sean pick up Carrie and make their way to the east coast. Tension is thick on the journey, neither Crank nor Julia knowing where it will lead them, and neither will voice their concerns, hurt, and uncertainty. Sean and Carrie provide the much needed comic relief on this mismatched road trip of epic proportions. Shenanigans ensue, one involving  a huge eight or more legged creature and the police, and the outcome is……well, you will just have to read to find out.

“Carrie, you know, some day you’ll find a guy who will be your soul mate. Someone you would do anything for. Someone who makes you feel whole”

She gently shook her head in frustration. “When I do, I guarantee you I’ll stand by him. I’ll be his strength, and he’ll be mine. I won’t let some stupid jealous bullshit get in the way of who I love. It’s a damn shame to see you and Julia doing that.”

Besides the continuation of Julia and Crank’s growing relationship, I was continually amazed and devastated at the foreshadowing in this book. If you have read The Last Hour, you will get what I am talking about. I loved the relationship between Crank and Carrie. It was abundantly clear that he has a soft spot when it comes to her well-being and that he would always be her protector, when she would let him. I loved the no-nonsense dialogue that Carrie delivered to him, seeing through all his crap.

Once again we got to witness one of the sweetest relationships I have ever read; Julie and Sean. They truly are best friends, and it permeates so well in this book! There is a pure honesty in Sean’s words. You can merely be in his presence and know that he only speaks the truth. Carrie and Sean are so invested in the relationship of Julia and Crank, and it is clear from the start that they will do anything to help them find their way back to each other.

Falling stars might be bullshit. And I knew just wishing wasn’t going to be enough. If I wanted her, I had to go to her.

It is true when they say that sometimes the best things come in small packages. This novella is only 70 pages, but you will leave MORE than satisfied!  Drawn in from word one, I couldn’t wait to continue on the journey with them all, and devoured every last word. A resounding 5 stars from me! I cannot wait for more Thompson Sisters!!

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About the Author :

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This is the part where I tell you about me.  Side Views is my personal blog, where I talk about whatever happens to be on my mind: books, publishing, politics, parenting, whatever.

I’m a forty-ish writer of several novels including Republic, Insurgent, and Prayer at Rumayla.  I’ve got a few short stories and two non-fiction books out there as well.

My background: I spent some time traveling the Middle East on my own in the late nineteen eighties, then went back courtesy of the United States Army as a tank crewman during the 1991 Gulf War.  After that I spent most of the next two decades pursuing dual careers: nonprofit activist and information technology professional. Eventually the two combined: from 2003 until 2009 I was completely in the nonprofit sector, served as executive director of two nonprofits and director of IT of a third.

Unfortunately, when the 2008 economic crash hit, it took my career with it. For several years I had to retool, and managed restaurants in the Atlanta area. Recently I found my way back into my chosen career: I work in veterans outreach and public affairs for a law firm which represents disabled veterans. In my free time I write books, this blog, play with the kids, and generally try to make it through life doing as much good as possible.

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