Star Collins, a 19-year-old who has been living in the foster care system for the last 10 years, returns to her small hometown after finding out that her mother has passed away. As a hoarder, her mother had chosen her stuff over her daughter, and now Star is tasked with the job to clean out her house so she can sell it. Fresh out of a 5-year prison sentence for a mistake he made, Ash is kicked out of the house and struggles to find work. Star hires him on to help with the overwhelming task of emptying out her mother’s home.
Girl meets boy, boy meets girl. That’s not new. But what makes All It Takes a unique story is the circumstances that these two meet. So often I’ve read books where two characters have a “meet-cute” is in a glorified scenario but nope. This one is about hoarding. These two find a connection while swimming through mountains of junk and garbage.
I didn’t grow up in that small of a town as this one was set in, but it reminded me how you still always bump into people you know everywhere you go. Told in alternating points of view, Munroe does some great scene-setting, giving the readers a real taste of what it’s like to be a pariah in such a small town. I loved the dynamic between Star and Ash, the sarcastic, curse-filled ridiculously flirty banter they have, though I was hoping Ash would eventually be a little less self-pitying and have more to lust after Star about than just her long black hair and how hot she is. That being said, the heat radiating from this pair is on fire! It was also interesting character development to show how different these two are around each other versus what they are perceived to be like to the rest of the world. It’s a little nod to not judging people because of how they look or their circumstances because you may have no idea what they’re going through.
Beyond the flirtations between Ash and Star, there is also the underlying story of friendship. Even if you take away the romance, the friends factor among the supporting characters is just as prominent. Subplots of past and present pals, your choice in friends changing as life moves along. A glimpse of what one’s life would be like if they had stayed in the small town versus getting out.
The ending of this book leaves me torn. I’m torn because I appreciate the need to not have to answer everything and tie it all up in a neat little bow, but I’m left with so many questions still! And I wouldn’t necessarily think it’s enough questions to warrant a sequel. I like that this was a standalone. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I haven’t read many in the New Adult genre but with All It Takes, and others that I have read, I’m definitely interested to check out more.