Monday, November 23, 2015

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

Title: Before We Were Strangers
Author: Renee Carlino
Pages: 320
Genre: Romance/New Adult
Publisher: Atria Books/Simon Schuster Canada
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Buy: AmazonCA| Chapters Indigo| Kobo 
*received an ARC for review purposes from Atria Books*

Summary (Goodreads)

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:
We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.
You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.
We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.
Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…
I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.
After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?


AMAZON   ***   BARNES & NOBLE ***  iBooks

RenĂ©e Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of romantic women's novels. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.


I absolutely loved this book that I had to finish it in one day! Loved every minute of reading because while reading it I got all nervous and anxious at what was going to happen next for these characters. There was tears happening during some points. Renee Carlino is a great writer that immediately drew me in with just the plot and I am very glad that I own all the rest of her books since I've only heard amazing things about all of them. But I was very happy with the entire novel! 

Before We Were Strangers is told from Matt and Grace's point of views and divided into four parts. Part one is set were Matt is 36. He is a photographer who lives in NYC, divorced and not happy with how his life turned out so far. Then one day while standing on the platform he sees Grace who is his college girlfriend. But then the doors to the subway closes and he then wonders if he can ever find her again.

I loved the entire premise of how the book sounded because it takes place back 15 years and the present. Both Grace and Matt's point of views felt real and also heartbreaking at some parts because you got to see what they were both feeling during their relationship. Renee did a brilliant job between their narration. Part 2 is when they reflect on what happened in college in their dorms. Part 3 is when we go back to the future. I was excited to see how they met  and how they really understood each other from being friends first then becoming more.

Then we go back to the present and Matt puts an Ad out about Grace that only she would understand. It was adorable!! Also Grace's point of view was very interesting because we got to see her passion in music and Matt's photography. Part 3 is one of the parts that made me cry and I felt that the book ended on a good note for me because it was a beautiful story that I want to probably re-read it after writing this review. Overall if you haven't pick up any of Renee Carlino's books I recommend you do because her writing reminds me of Colleen Hoover which is also addicting. If you go to the bookstore, be sure to check this one out!


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