A little side note: I didn’t know that Christina Lauren was two people! This was such a well written book knowing that two people contributed to the story. I kept trying to think about how they each contributed to both. Other books I’ve read written by two authors usually have two main voices. For this one, it was so consistent that you can’t even tell.
Here’s more about the book
Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.
But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.
Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.
I was so surprised by how much I loved this book. Seriously, it took me two days to read it. I tried to find faults or reasons why I couldn’t finish this book in less time than that, but the only reason for that is because I wasn’t in the mood to read.
This book covers so many themes. The most obvious one is love and romance, but there’s a touch of loss and grief on Macy’s part. Losing her mother when she was young feels like something that she’s still coming to grips with even as an adult. However, trigger warning if you’re sensitive to loss and grief.
The story is written in two different timelines. The past timeline is to catch you up on what’s going on with Macy and Elliott and their relationship. The present timeline moves slower than the past, but shows the current emotions and issues each character is currently going through. The two timelines will eventually merge together, but the ending will surprise you as much as it did me.
One of my favorite character traits from both Macy and Elliott is the fact that they’re both book nerds. They grew up reading books in the closet of Macy’s summer home. She would come and visit as much as possible and Elliott just happens to be the boy next door. He’s even described to be a dark haired, light-eyed, nerd with dark rimmed glasses. I think he might be every book nerd’s dream guy; sensitive, straightforward, thought-provoking, and a little bit sexy.
While Elliott is basically your ogle-fest for the entire book, Macy’s character is robust and well developed. She’s a resident in her late 20s who is in a love-less relationship with a man who had lost his wife to drugs. Throughout the novel you get this feeling that she’s almost like a ghost. She’s not really a person, but a shell of a person who walks around coasting through life. It’s when she meets Elliott again that things start to fall into place, questions are being answered, and love is rekindled.
Throughout the book, you read about this event that happened between Macy and Elliott that drove their relationship apart. You get some ideas of what that might be, but the reveal is far more complicated than just a case of the green envies. I found myself compelled to know more about what happened between them and that contributed to my unput-downable-ness of this book. You want to dig in more, you want to find out what happened. You’re rooting for one guy and the other turns out to be better. It’s definitely an emotional rollercoaster.
In my opinion, I feel like Macy and Elliott were meant to meet as adults rather than as kids. Their relationship as kids felt so much more mature than the relationships I had as a kid. I feel like the consequences of everyone’s actions were a little more aligned with their ages, but they felt like an old couple even when they were 16.
Of course you have romance. Romance novels will always be a weakness for me, but when it’s coupled with some more “serious” themes, it feels like I’m getting my cake and my veggies too. I loved this book and I’m hooked on Christina Lauren. I’ll definitely be checking out more books by this duo in the future.
- Paperback, 432 pages
- Gallery Books (April 10, 2018)
- Rating: 5/5 starS
I received a copy of this book from Gallery Books for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.