Sunday, September 27, 2015

Review by Marina and Jackie: Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

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?


Ever wondered about the one that got away??? The one part of you that was missing?? As the cover of the story suggests..its a (love, hate)…Love story. Aptly put.

This book….is incredible!! I couldn’t put it down and absolutely loved it! I loved the characters, the heartache, the way the story is told from recently to fifteen years ago and back to present day.

Matt Shore works at the National Geographic, he goes out with his boss for a meal and at the subway, sees a lady that catches his eye. Train is in, she turns his way and gets on board, they both call out to each other…then the train is gone…Matt…behaves like he’s seen a ghost. This lady he just saw, was a past love from fifteen years ago. He tries in vain to search online for her, but to no avail. His boss suggests putting out an add…..then Matt talks about after meeting Grace.
Then we delve into their past. Fifteen Years ago, at college, he meets the Green-Eyed Lovebird, namely Grace. How they meet, how they get to know each other and connect. The way the story is told, their ups and downs, just made it so real and I couldn't help but fall in love with the characters.
What happens when they actually re connect? I can honestly say that part threw me for a loop…and there are some secrets and surprises in store for the reader. That is all I will say as you have to read it. This part of the story made me cry, I honestly hoped for such happiness for them both, do they get it??? Read it and find out!!! 
A beautiful story from the talented Renee Carlino.

Paperback ARC received from Simon & Shuster AU.

I was given this paperback book by Simon and Schuster Australia  for an honest review.

This is the first book I have read by Renee Carlino and I wish I had found her sooner.

This is a story about first love and second chances and I really don't want to give too much of the story away.
The first part of the book is about Matt and Grace as young adults, getting to know each other and falling in love but the timing is all wrong.
The Second part is 15 years later and when Matt spots Grace getting on a subway train, he has to reach out to her but with no contact number he decides to put a message under Missed Connections on Craigslist hoping that she will read it. The last thing he expected was to get a call from her. Both of them had a life that didn't include each other, they both have secrets that need to be talked about, is the timing right now can they get past the secrets?......
This book had my emotions all over the place. First Love its fresh, new and exciting but it doesn't always work out. Second chances are just that, putting our mistakes right, forgiving and letting love grow.
I loved how Renee wrote this book, she gave me a connection with the characters even though at times I found myself wanting to shake Matt and Grace. I did not see that ending coming ......
I will certainly be looking at other books by Renee.

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of romantic women's novels and new adult fiction. 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.


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