Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beneath Wandering Stars” as Want to Read:
Beneath Wandering Stars
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beneath Wandering Stars

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  454 ratings  ·  113 reviews
After her soldier brother is horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Gabriela must honor the vow she made: If anything ever happened to him, she would walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain, making a pilgrimage in his name. The worst part is that the promise stipulates that she must travel with her brother's best friend--a boy she has despised all her life. Her brother is in a ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 1st 2016 by Simon Pulse
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beneath Wandering Stars, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Casey I would say 12 and up would be fine. There were several kisses, and quite a few swearwords (all P*****) so kind of whenever you think you could read…moreI would say 12 and up would be fine. There were several kisses, and quite a few swearwords (all P*****) so kind of whenever you think you could read that i guess. There might have been some lewd comments, but nothing explicitly bad. I don't remember anything else. Hope this helps!! Have a great day.(less)
Ashlee Cowles Gabi is 17 and a senior in high school.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  454 ratings  ·  113 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Beneath Wandering Stars
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
Originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction: https://afrolicthroughfiction.wordpre...

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*

I have such mixed feelings about this book. I dont know how to write this review because this is honestly unlike anything Ive ever read before. And Im not sure what to think about that.

*takes a deep breath* But Im about to try.

I know what my hesitation is about. Or rather, my uncertainty. This story follows two people who go on a pilgrimageand
A YA novel about being a military brat. The anguish of having a beloved brother in a coma from a potentially fatal attack. A wide rift between father and daughter on the cusp of adulthood.

The book is mostly about the journey but is very thought provoking on many levels. Humanity. What it means. Who are we? Why is there war? And many more questions.

But they arise throughout the story in appropriate and easily accessible ways. After all, there's no need for 10 dollar words to contemplate our
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
Actual rating: 4.5 (though I'm super tempted to rate this up)

This is the YA travel book I've been craving since I finished Gayle Forman's Just One Day duology! And omg there's love-hate girl+brother's best friend romance okayyyy
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
I really enjoyed this book. I was heart-warming and comforting. I loved Gabi and how she found herself through a pilgrimage for her brother. (The family relationships in the story are so strong and developed, despite spending much of the time focused on Gabi). I also loved how Gabi and Seth's relationship developed realistically over the course of the story.

May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Picked this up for the 2018 PopSugar reading challenge. Beneath Wandering Stars is a book by local author Ashlee Cowles and the following is a review I probably shouldn't be publishing because this book was gifted to me by my ex-boyfriend who knows her personally, but my fervor beats out my better judgement (and likelihood of ever meeting her).

I'll start off by saying that I really didn't want to like this book. I picked up Beneath Wandering Stars five months ago, read the first chapter, and
4.5 stars. Clean and simple. What a YA book should be like. Full review at Ash Reads Stuff.
Leslea Wahl
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was blown away by this story. Beneath Wandering Stars was one of those books that I couldnt put down. Its a powerful story about dealing with a traumatic experience and discovering who you are.
Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Santiago is an Army brat living in Germany where her father is stationed. She is counting the days until her high school graduation so she can get back to the States and far away from the military. But when her soldier brother, Lucas, is critically wounded, her priorities
Malia Saldaña
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-books
This book was really good!!! Oh my gosh it gave me all the feels!😊 I love Seth and Gabi. I loved that she was an Army brat like me.:) I want to go back to Spain after reading this book. A quote from the book People May be the only home the Army issues, but theyre the only home that matters. ...more
I got an ARC of this and was intrigued, because I had visited Santiago de Compostela back in 2011 on a pilgrimage. This book was FANTASTIC. People with or without faith can relate to everything Gabi feels as she walks for her brother. Suffering and joy, life and death: these are huge concepts that all people grapple with and try to understand. The author delivered such wisdom without being preachy, and made a realistic ending. LOVED IT!
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this well-written YA book that explored complex characters, military life, & a their life-changing trek to honor a brother & best friend. And of course I loved the romantic chemistry between Seth & Gabriela. All around amazing read.
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-books
Almost passed this one over but really glad I didn't. Just a good read about finding oneself and traveling.
This book was incredible from start to finish. Potential review in a few days! (Or later today, perhaps.)

Happy reading!
Viktoria Van der bilt
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned, 2019reads
It was difficult to get with this book.

This wasnt really bad, I guess, but I found some undesirability that made finishing this a bit of a chore. For starters, there werent enough words when places and structures were described so I found it difficult to imagine said things.

The named pilgrims and other characters met along the way proved to be in quantity more than quality as well - there were too many of them and yet no one really stood out. Yes, this has a pilgrimage plot and perhaps the
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Beneath Wandering Stars is a decent three star book. I really enjoyed the character of Gabriela. Her background as a ''military brat" was really relatable as my family moved around a lot, and it can be hard sometimes. Add on to that the fact that her brother is in a coma and might not come out, that was just a heartbreaker.

The story is well written for the most part. Following Gabriela through Spain was really great. The food descriptions combined with all of the little details about the
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beneath Wandering Stars completely captured my attention. This book is a blend of literary fiction and contemporary YA that will be thoroughly enjoyable to readers from both genres. The tension arrives in the first pages and never loses momentum while the author layers in beautiful language, homage to classic literature, and a unique and deep perspective on experiencing foreign culture.

Gabriel Santiago stands out among YA heroines as a fully realized character with an expertly crafted heritage,
The Book Girl
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite YA novels I have ever read. I know I say that I loath young adult novels, this book might have just made me change my mind. The writing this book is spectacular. I am unsure words can express my feelings about this wonderful novel.

This is a novel that is centered around being a military brat. I love this concept because I like near bases and have friends that were military brats. This books starts out with the pain of having a loved one in a coma. The main characters
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thank you to MeritPress for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a review.

Beneath Wandering Stars was an okay book. It wasn't bad, but it didn't stand out to me in any big way. It was a different kind of book because it focused on the pilgrimage of the main character, something that isn't seen frequently in YA books. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this book because it was different. This was a very character driven book, and the plot action served to further characterize
Amanda Rogozinski
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you have ever read the Iliad or Odyssey this book is for you (Cowles frequently quotes these two works and they shape the characters). If you are allured by the idea of a pilgrimage, or simply a spiritual journey, and all the philosophical reflections that go along with it, this book is for you. If you sympathize with the struggles young soldiers have, or are willing to, this book will deepen your compassion. And, lest you think it is all talk, if you are in the mood for a slow, clean, tender ...more
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is beautifully written and hard to put down. It has been a couple days since I finished reading Beneath Wandering Stars and I find myself missing it. Truly the sign of a good book, like a new found friend come and gone too quick. That feeling of being lifted higher by the story and feeling more and more connected with each turning page. I'm thankful for the journey through the pages. Gabis adventure, emotions and wise words made me happily pause to reflect on various journeys and ...more
Karen Hamer
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC and read it after my 17 year old daughter. It was a tasty Ambrosia to someone who doesn't eat ambrosia. I read late. I read early. I read all the way up until teaching a drama class, and repeat. My friend in New Zealand had finished walking this Camino a week before and I thought "can such a thing exist" - the camino and this book. It can; it does. I never was a military brat - we sold our last two fighter planes to Australia a few decades back - and the structure of the ...more
Lydia Patterson
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When you finish a book and wish there was a sequel because you're already missing the characters, you know it's something special. The characters in this book, namely Gabi and Seth, are relatable and likable and completely drive this story. They feel like friends. The writing is superb and strikes a wonderful balance between compelling dialogue, gorgeous descriptions and philosophy/spirituality. The story is simply beautiful and really makes you feel like you're walking right alongside Gabi and ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely book.
Gabriela Santiago and her family must face the possibility that Lucas, Gabi's older brother, may die as a result of terrible war injuries. She embarks on a quest to fulfill her brother's last request: to travel the Camino Santiago in Spain. Complications ensue when Gabi finds she has to make this journey with Seth, a guy she believes is responsible for her brother's wounds.

The novel combines elements from Cheryl Strayed's Wild and Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Lucia R. Hrin
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book gave me a new insight into Military kids that added to my understanding of what being a third culture kid is also all about. I've hiked the Camino de Santiago and this book brought back so many crazy and wonderful memories. A pilgramage brings with it a special time to reflect, to think and to examine yourself. It also opens one up to new things. This book captured all those great ways to experience the trek and of being human at a special time in your life when you are passing into ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This might be the first YA labeled book that reads much more maturely. It was a complete surprise, and a delight. I connected with this book in a lot if levels, and I have no doubt those similarities solidified the 5 stars from me! Having a father who is retired from the Army, I spent a lot of time on bases, experiencing the "brat" life. I love hiking, and everything one learns during those personal adventures... For a debut, Ms. Cowles told a beautiful story!
Jan 01, 2017 added it
Enjoyed. The dialogue of Seth and Gabi seemed a little 'teenage cliche' which was annoying. Real teenagers don't speak that profoundly or with that much attitude constantly. It was an amazing storyline however.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-english
I have mixed feelings about this book. That's why I'm giving it a solid three stars.
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although slow at time, this book has an incredible depth to it that's highlight by brilliant writing.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
a beautiful and touching story about a sister who honors her brother and learns about the world and her place in it on her journey. Sweet touching and tear inducing, a great read
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading this book and it is amazing. As a military "brat", I think this author did a wonderful job on connecting with me. #HOOAH
Melissa Stacy
**this review contains spoilers**

**please avoid this review if you do not want spoilers, thank you**

"Beneath Wandering Stars" is like a YA-novel-version of "Eat, Pray, Love" -- only without the level of spiritual growth. The book features a blatant disregard for medical realities of traumatic brain injuries and combat wounds, and pins the protagonist's moral hardships on issues surrounding the U.S.-led wars against Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The novel is told from the point of view of
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Girl, Arise!: A Catholic Feminist's Invitation to Live Boldly, Love Your Faith, and Change the World
  • The Geography of Lost Things
  • We Walked the Sky
  • Wanderlost
  • Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy, #3)
  • The Door That Led to Where
  • Rite of Rejection (Acceptance #1)
  • Garden of Thorns (Garden of Thorns, #1)
  • Going Over
  • Sick Kids in Love
  • More Than Words Can Say (Patchwork Family, #2)
  • Love à la Mode
  • The Shadows We Know by Heart
  • Golden Chains (Fantasy and Fairytales, #2)
  • Awake in the World
  • Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
  • The Island
  • Urchin of the Riding Stars (The Mistmantle Chronicles, #1)
See similar books…
Ashlee Cowles grew up an Army "brat" and subsequently worked with a nonprofit that supports teens in military families. She holds graduate degrees from Duke University and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and teaches literature and philosophy. As a student, Ashlee studied abroad in Spain and walked part of the Camino de Santiago. When she's not traveling, she makes her home in Colorado ...more

Related Articles

Regular readers of romance know that the genre is currently chock-full of fresh plotlines and heroines who save themselves (and sometimes the he...
129 likes · 53 comments
“Tell me, niña, when faced with a serious problem, what do many people ask their friends to do for them? Send up a kind word to heaven on their behalf, no? It's the same with the saints. They are just people, but perhaps they have a better perspective than we have down here.” 1 likes
More quotes…