This was a lot different from what I was expecting but I did kind of love it.
Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).
The story of the heart can never be unwritten.
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.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It took me a little while to process this book but it really was kind of wonderful. Different to what I was expecting but somehow more.
Told in two separate time lines, one the present and the other 10-15 years earlier, it really drew me in to the lives of Macy and Elliot and the relationship between them. I absolutely adored watching them first become friends at the age of 11, seeing them grow up together and for that friendship to turn into something more. It’s just so sweet and real and perfect. Also, I have to say how much I loved the way the author portrayed the relationship between Macy and her father, the closeness and understanding between them was beautiful to read and I loved how much he tried as a single parent to do what was best for his daughter despite not really understanding her. He’s such a strong and reassuring presence.
The present day I wasn’t so sure about. I found it fascinating watching Elliot and Macy meet again 11 years later and I still adored Elliot but there was something about Macy I couldn’t get. It is deliberate, she’s shut down, unemotional and distant and it does work but makes it difficult to connect with her or understand her actions.
The story itself focuses primarily on their relationship and is a lot more serious than I was expecting but it does flow along quite nicely. The author gets the pacing pretty much spot on and the mixture of past and present is perfect. There is just enough revealed to give you an idea of what happened but still keep you guessing. It is an emotional read in places and I will admit to crying more than once (including in my workplace on one occasion) but it also made me smile and just sigh with the cuteness of it all.
It really is a wonderful story and I did come to really care about the characters. If you’re a fan of CoHo I think you’ll love this.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. As always all views are my own