STARR FALL (Starr Fall #1) - by Kim Briggs

STARR FALL - Kim Briggs
Published: 2016 - by Inkspell Publishing.
Genres: Young adult / romance / thriller / contemporary
Pages: I don't know! I read the eBook, but I couldn't find the page number on Goodreads.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Implied sexual content and mild violence.
Format: eBook.
Source: Thank you to the author for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
On the run from the Organization, Starr never planned on falling in love. Starr Bishop’s the complete package. A perfect smile, brains to match, and a winning attitude. Boys want to date her and girls want to be her. She’s the type of girl you want to hate, if only she wasn’t so damn likable. But don’t worry, she’s not interested in your boyfriend. Boys are one complication she can live without. When the Organization decides she’s not only the model student but the ideal assassin, Starr’ll need a lot more than high test scores and extracurricular involvement to get herself out of that commitment. Dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood is the last person she’d expect—or even want— to come to her rescue. From opposite ends of Webster High’s social hierarchy, their lives collide in one electrifying moment. Christian isn’t the Goth loner he pretends to be, he’s a part Cherokee, All-American boy who wants to be a hero, Starr’s hero. Christian makes Starr forget that the Organization is after her, but nothing will stop the Organization from collecting their top recruit.


I really really really wanted to like this book! I love thrillers with a dash of romance, and the cover is so stunning.
Unfortunately, though, it just didn't work for me.


But it's definitely exciting and fun. The writing flows well, it's fast-paced and easy to read, and I really liked Briggs' writing style. I flew through the book in about two days.
I didn't like the dialogue. Christian and Starr's conversations, particularly, are unnatural and uninspired. I just ended up cringing whenever they spoke to each other; their voices don't sound unique or realistic, and their exchanges are frequently out of character.

The plot is disappointing. It is fun, but there's too much romance and very little thriller. There are also a ton of questions about the Organisation, Starr's family and her friends, that are left unanswered. Everything is glossed over and shoved to the background to make room for Starr and Christian's "banter" and flirting. And when you don't ship them, it's just painful to read.  
In addition, the ending is completely underwhelming. There's basically no climax, and I was extremely disappointed having been expecting some sort of proper confrontation and fight.

I loved the female characters. Di is an awesome friend for Starr, and their interactions are fantastic. Jody and Sami are also vivid, brilliant characters, but their page time is unfortunately very minimal.

I really liked Starr. She's ambitious, driven, no nonsense and clever. She's a straight-A student, more cheerleader than the girl next door, but I liked that for a change; most of the books I've been reading recently have been focused on the underdog, and so it was nice and refreshing to appreciate Starr's personality. (Besides, there's nothing wrong with being the popular girl). I just wish she'd maintained her awesomeness when Christian came into her life...
I didn't like Christian at all. He's basically Edward Cullen meets Christian Grey meets childish adolescent. And that brings me to the romance:

I hated the romance. As soon as Christian steps into the picture, it's like the thriller aspect is pushed to the side so he and Starr can cuddle and flirt. Not to mention Christian is patronizing towards Starr, overly protective, extremely domineering, constantly saving her, and even going as far as to threaten her and kiss her to stop her talking. It has all the ingredients for an abusive relationship and it makes me sick and angry. It's unacceptable, repulsive, and an absolute insult to Starr's character - or her character's potential.
That isn't real love. It's a form of abuse.
Here are some passages that highlight the exact state of their relationship:

“Christian, I promise not to anywhere.” He shakes his head. “If I promise to be a good girl and stay right here, will you take a shower?”   “If you promise to be a good girl, and you promise never to sneak off on me again, ever.” His eyes darken – daring me to disobey him.

{Starr starts talking} His red-hot finger is back on my lips......"Starr, enough!” he warns. “We are going to the cabin. We are going to have fun. We will decide what plan of action to take later. Understood?” I nod my head, unable to say a word. He removes his finger, and I’m able to talk again. “But I - " His finger is back on my lips before I can finish. “Starr, we will discuss our plans later! There are plenty of ways I can keep you quiet, you know.” I open my eyes wide at his words, both a threat and a promise.

“Listen Christian, you are not going. You just got out of hospital. I’ll be safe with Ben.” His body tenses, his fists tighten, and his face turns a bright red. “You are not going unless I am with you! End of discussion!” His demeanor relaxes almost instantly. “Besides, if it’s as safe a place as you say, we’ll be fine. Won’t we?” He smiles.

{Starr’s talking about her friend, Frank.} “Well, Frank is not joining our operation!” he {Christian} thunders at me {Starr}. “Says who?” I roar back. “Says me,” he snarls and storms up the trail.




Starr Fall is fun, exciting, and well written, with fantastic female characters. But the romance isn't romance at all, and I didn't like how the thriller aspect was shoved to the side to make way for Starr's love life. 
I also hope that the second book answers at least some of the many questions that are left unanswered in this book.