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

The Stories Stars Tell

by
4.13  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Ever felt like the sum total of your choices have fixed your story in the stars?

For Emma Matthews, she feels like all of her choices are rooted in the fear of letting down her parents… God…of never being good enough.

For Tanner James, he’s wearing an identity he has created with his friends and their pact—Bro Code—fixed in sex, alcohol and bad choices.

Both are longing for a
...more
Kindle Edition
Published October 13th 2020
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 The Stories Stars Tell, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Stories Stars Tell

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  67 ratings  ·  48 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Stories Stars Tell
jessica
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
came for the lovely title and cover. stayed for the compelling story.

this is a slow burn, for sure. a slow burn with the romance, a slow burn with the character development, a slow burn with the plot. but once it warmed up, it really caught fire. the strength of this story is definitely how it respectfully handles the many issues and worries that plague those who are coming-of-age.

the only thing preventing me from rating this higher is the characters seem to be clichés of what the author thinks
...more
Susan's Reviews
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emma and Tanner - the couple that never was... until the last two weeks of senior year! The Stories Stars Tell takes you through their whirlwind relationship during those fateful final days.



The chapters are arranged in countdown format, jacking up the tension and suspense as we tick off each remaining day before Emma and Tanner graduate high school, and Emma prepares to leave for college.
Emma, the epitome of a "devout Christian girl," has always had a thing for Tanner. Tanner was too messed up,
...more
nina
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Thank you to Mixed Plate Press for providing me an eARC through NetGalley!

I originally requested this book because the description was quite intriguing. It revolves around two high school seniors, Emma and Tanner, at the end of their senior year leading up to their first year post-HS.

There were some moments in the book that I enjoyed such as the when Emma was with her friends as they kind of reminded me of me and my own friend group. I liked the discussions they had around faith as I feel I hav
...more
C.L.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Does the book count as a “read book” if it’s a book you’ve written? 😁 Because I’ve read this a gazillion times and I love it every single time - not tired of reading it yet. I know I’m partial and all, but I sure hope it resonates with other readers.
Brinley
When I opened this book up, I expected a romance. I expected fluff, lighthearted banter, and laughter. I didn’t expect something thought provoking. I didn’t expect themes of religion, purity, and sexual abuse to be explored. Sometimes though, the unexpected turns out to be something you needed.

The Stories Stars Tell tells the tale of Emma and Tanner, both seniors set to graduate in eight days. After a single kiss junior year, they’ve orbited in different circles, coming close, but never interac
...more
Olivia
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-2020
4☆

I requested this book on a whim, as I thought the synopsis sounded like something up my alley. I was pleasantly surprised.

What I liked:

- the romance, it made me feel very single, which usually means its written well. I loved how they made each other better and they were so cute together
- the friendships (Emma's) and their developments (Tanner's). I needed more Ginny and Josh
- the conversations in the story - how people need to first look at themselves and make themselves better, about religion
...more
Stephanie Keesey-Phelan
I adored this book. Emma and Tanner were so relatable and brought me right back to my own experience with love in high school. Tanner and his friends made up a group of characters I would usually have a hard time relating to; but C.L. Walters told their stories with such care, even the least-likable among them felt real and believable. Emma's struggles with herself as a young woman in her relationship, family, and community rang true. This book was a pleasure to read and sure to be one that I co ...more
Ingrid
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an E-copy of this book!
Review coming in the first week of January.

Happy new years eve xx
Janine Caroline
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautifully written book has so many layers. The Stories Stars Tell is a YA love story that grabbed me from beginning to end. It explores loss, religion, purity, sexuality, toxic masculinity, friendships and family. I adored Emma and Tanner’s journey through the struggles and delights of self discovery. I’ve read and loved all Walters books but this one is my standout favourite.
BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)
Every time I read a book by C.L. Walters, I am transported into the story, and I stay there until the end. This book was another amazing story by her, and it’s my favorite by her so far! I love that she is always able to touch on subjects that are hard-hitting, and real-feeling. They bring situations to life that people are struggling with and provide a perspective to consider and relate to.

Emma and Tanner are two teenagers, coming ever closer to their adult selves. They are both searching for w
...more
Mary Ann Tippett
The Stories Stars Tell Shines

A John Hughes themed novel about the friendships that shape our lives.
I’m a big fan of author C.L. Walters since I read her first book, Letters She Left Behind. But I’m an even bigger fan of John Hughes films. So when I saw she’d incorporated elements of Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off into her newest novel, I nearly weeped for joy.

Walter’s “The Stories Stars Tell” is a triumph. Within the crisply written pages of her poignant young adult
...more
Brandann Hill-Mann
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for the opportunity to give an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This is the fifth book I have read by C.L. Walters, and by and far the best she's put out to date. Walters has a way of digging into topics which are difficult to think about and are sometimes not talked about for these reasons. Her knack for writing teens who show complexity of character in order to provide nuance for a topic, in this case teen sexuality and dangers o
...more
Farah
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was reading The Stories Stars Tell and thinking to myself how amazing the writing was and how the author was slowly building the story up, taking the time to explain each character and their situation and really making the reader understand what was going on. And once the backstory is set, before you know it, you're strapped in and enjoying the book right until the end. And that ending, oh my heart!!!!

This book in a nutshell - Emma feels the pressure of being the good Christian girl who never
...more
Mae Wagner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lily
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Stories Stars Tell is a well written coming of age story. It addresses lots of important themes such as loss, expectations, sexuality, consent, purity culture and self discovery but in an accessible and honest way.

As I've been reading shorter books lately I was initially daunted by the size of the book (nearly 500 pages) but C.L.Walters has a very readable style to her writing which made it easy and enjoyable to read. I also think the length was necessary to give time to develop the characte
...more
A.
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review: The Stories Stars Tell ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I got this book from @cl.walters as an ARC.

✨This book is one of self discovery for both of the characters, Emma and Tanner.

Emma is exploring her sexuality and what that means in terms of her faith and her religion, her family, her anxieties and fears and socially.

Tanner is exploring what it means to be a man and how that notion doesn't always match up with real life. And I think partly too, there's an overlap where he is rediscovering his sexuality a
...more
Paola
Aug 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you know the feeling of reading a book and liking it so much  that you wish you could read it for the first time again and that makes you kinda sad 'cause you know it's not possible?! Well, I read this book twice and even though I didn't think it was possible, I completely fell in love with its story twice. I swear the second time I read it I devoured it like the first one and I might sound crazy but I think I loved it even more! Every single page caught my attention till I was completely eng ...more
Sania Jain
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review 🌸
The views are entirely my own.

The stories Stars tell took me to a younger version of myself. The characters are so relatable.
The curiosity in Emma as she is going through her teen years is amazingly portrayed. The self doubts a girl faces in those school years is something Emma is juggling through. That and well of course exploring more!
We see Tanner's perspective about his self explorations as well.
He wants to th
...more
nina
Aug 26, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally requested this book because the description was quite intriguing. It revolves around two high school seniors, Emma and Tanner, at the end of their senior year leading up to their first year post-HS.

There were some moments in the book that I enjoyed such as the when Emma was with her friends as they kind of reminded me of me and my own friend group. I liked the discussions they had around faith as I feel I have gone through the same kinds of conversations with my family as well. Som
...more
CR
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This slow burn romance was beautifully done. Emma and Tanner were so adorable and I just couldn't stop grinning throughout reading this story. Although this is a whopping 500 page story I felt like it was over far too soon. I needed more.

This is one of those well rounded stories that doesn't shy away from the topics that need to be discussed. From sexuality to religion and more. I enjoyed every page and couldn't put it down.

This story about coming of age and self discovery is one that will blo
...more
Ali's  In Literature
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amber
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start with my couple of gripes before I get into the good stuff!

1) There was reference to Tanner's loss of his v-card to AN ADULT WOMAN at the age of 15, I won't spoil it by saying who but the WHO makes it even worse. It is only mentioned a couple of times, briefly, so it's something you can skim over if that bothers you. But for me personally, I felt like this needed to be addressed more if it was going to be mentioned. As in, addressed by his MOTHER who should've definitely followed up
...more
Vera Lazzaro
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Diving into this book, I got what I thought I'd get. And then things changed.

Emma is your typical high-school religious girl, all As and headed to one of the best colleges, having movie nights with her best friends Ginny and Liam (who's gay! I was so, so ready to be bothered by the gay best friend trope...) and Tanner is the bad boy, the fucker with the tragic past, always partying with his friends and having whoever girl he wants.

Seen the premises, I was sure I would not enjoy this book. But I
...more
ysa
Dec 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this book got me, the reason why I requested this in the first place. I liked reading this book until I hit the 50% mark; the scenes felt like repetitive and that's why the story fell flat. During the first part of the book when the mcs didn't get together yet, I liked their chemistry. But when they already got together It was just them kissing all the damn time that I just tend to skim over these scenes. I also think that this would have been better told by one POV, and that is w ...more
Lindsey Collins
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emma is about to graduate high school and she still has a lot of questions. She's been crushing on the school's bad boy and her plan to kiss him and get over it never went the way she wanted it to. Her faith and religion make her feel wrong and like her feelings are bad, but she can't stay away from Tanner. He's more than the party boy everyone sees him as, and Emma is the only one who sees it that way. Tanner and his family have been destroyed and he's been trying to hold himself together for y ...more
hollie
When I say I really wanted to like this, I mean I really did. But everything about this book was so dull to me and I actually found it increasingly hard to finish. Maybe it’s one of those books I just didn’t read at the right time considering I’m on a bit of a dark mystery/thriller kick, but this book felt like I was reading a fourteen year old trying to write a book about her older peers.

The characters first of all were bland which is likely why I didn’t like this character driven story. I felt
...more
pageswithpayten
Thank you NetGalley, Mixed Plate Press and C.L. Walters for gifting me an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!
Emma is your typical good girl. She loves her friends and family, she follows the rules, gets good grades, avoids getting tangled up with boys and drama and she loves God. Tanner is your typical bad boy. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks, parties too hard, drinks too much, does too many drugs, sleeps with too many girls. Emma wants to shed her good girl ima
...more
Rachael
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arc
This is one of the first books I've read that includes both Scripture quotes and fairly graphic sex scenes. Normally it is one or the other in romance novels, especially YA/NA. I actually felt it was more relatable; I remember having some of the same doubts and worries the main character Emma had when it came to aligning my choices with religious and societal expectations and ideals.

The bad boy hiding a vulnerable nice guy inside is very familiar; three different popular books/movies came to min
...more
Michelle
Mar 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

TW: sexual abuse, sexism, toxic relationships, alcohol, partying, sex
I liked this much more than I expected to! This gave me so many nostalgic feelings for the types of books I used to read in high school. The characters of Emma & Tanner were so flawed, but done in such a strategic way. This book touched on important topics such as conflicting ideas within Christianity/faith, feminism, women in society, the patriarchy, soci
...more
Habby AB
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read by C.L. Walters, and she surely delivered. Again.

The book touches on the challenges of young adults coming to terms with their sexuality, along with the lines of consent and the shame that comes with. It's a book I wish I had read in my teens, navigating through my own sexuality and everything tied to it.

It's also a story of self discovery for both characters. From the perspective of a young Christian girl, Emma feels real and vibrant. I loved the character Ta
...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Always Jane
  • Faking Reality
  • 10 Truths and a Dare
  • The Castle School (for Troubled Girls)
  • Where the Road Leads Us
  • Float
  • Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, #1)
  • In the Shadow of a Wish (Fareview Fairy Tale, #1)
  • The Righteous (The Beautiful, #3)
  • This Might Get Awkward
  • Saints and Misfits
  • Tigers, Not Daughters
  • Better Together
  • Duty Bound (Angelbound Lincoln #1)
  • #Blocked (A Social Media Love Story, #1)
  • Outrageous (Rebels of The Ton, #2)
  • How Sweet It Is
  • The New Me
See similar books…
67 followers
As a kid, my world revolved around two things: stories and make believe. I have built a real life around those two things as well: I am a teacher of stories and a writer of make believe.

While I went to high school in a small town in Oregon and college in a smaller town in Oregon - both gifted me with treasures to fill my creative reservoir and most importantly, my husband. We got married, I follow
...more

Related Articles

  Adriana Herrera was born and raised in the Caribbean and now lives in New York City. When not at work as a trauma therapist, she writes...
19 likes · 0 comments