Also by this author: Beautiful Beginning, ,
The heart may hide, but it never forgets.
The first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).
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 teen 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 reading 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.
Shifting through the motions in life can lead you down roads that you may not have predicted. Macy Sorensen was working in pediatric critical care, devoting long hours to her job, and was engaged to a man who ‘fit’ into her life. A contentment was evident between Macy and Sean. Not exactly the kind of romantic relationship you would expect when declaring that you were planning to marry.
Everything about Macy’s life seemed perfect on the outside until a familiar face from the past came barreling back into the present. Eleven years…..that is how long it had been since Macy cut Elliott out of her life. Elliott was Macy’s first friend, first love, first EVERYTHING!! Now Elliott is in the same town as Macy and has made himself plain in his desire to find out what has been going on in her life in his absence. What Macy fears most is Elliott’s desire to air out the events that lead to the dissolution of their friendship….then end of their love.
As Macy and Elliott begin to reminisce and spend a little time together, they both realize that the feelings they pushed aside all those years ago are still running rampant. Both have moved on with their lives, but clearly realize that tensions from the past will not be buried so easily.
The story surrounding Elliott and Macy is definitely a page turner. With a trail that leads you from the past to the present, nothing is off limits. What I loved initially was the way this story lets you know that an event happened during the past that altered the path that Elliott and Macy took from that moment forward. It was emotional and easily believable. A journey that was layered with unresolved affection and the notion that sometimes people ‘settle’ in life. It was so engaging…..until it wasn’t.
Let me explain…..it will be hard to put into words without giving away the plot, but I sure am going to try. The entire book gives you flashbacks to the past. Allowing readers to glimpse how the relationship between Macy and Elliott began. From those first tender tendrils of friendship, to the moments the two shared, each nuance of growing up and maturing. Each laid a foundation of what was to come. All during the past and present, readers never really know what the event was that justified the ‘breakup’ and over 11 years of separation.
There is one moment in the book that has really stuck in my head. The insane reaction to events were absolutely unbelievable and did not seem to ‘match’ the rest of the story. There is a moment that Elliott and Macy share at a family event, and the reaction that Elliott has is absolutely a ‘say what’ moment. Then it’s like ‘all is forgotten’ in the very next chapter. It’s not a hot/cold type scenario. It is one that literally doesn’t fit the dynamic of the story and certainly wasn’t thought out when fleshing out the plot of this story. It’s like hanging on the edge of a cliff, waiting for that finality, and you are just left hanging there. I kept saying to myself that the reaction wasn’t resolved or discussed. It happened and then it was completely glossed over. Kind of like ‘now you see me, now you don’t’. It was nuts!
Then readers finally discover the ‘why’. That event that led to the years of turmoil for these two characters. The one thing that caused hurt feelings, unresolved pain, and an event that altered every decision that Macy and Elliott ever made from that point on. When I read what the event was….I was seriously saying ‘is that it?’. The letdown from the revelation was epic for me. It wasn’t the ‘act’ that blew it for me…it was the way the secondary characters were so flippant. The way that the explanations explained the way this resulted in years of hurt feelings and loneliness.
Then another revelation is unveiled. It was a HUGE event that explained so much about Macy and how she looked at life. What it didn’t explain was how that led to Elliott’s explanation from that moment forward. The reaction or lack of reaction from Elliott’s family is simply not believable with the groundwork that was laid in the moments from the past that readers were privy to. Nor was the believability from that moment on in the story. There are some plot lines that simply were not fleshed out enough in this story.
If you can skip all of the hang-ups, then you will love this story unequivocally. The emotions will definitely overflow while devouring this book. It is not one you will want to put down once you start. While it was one that kept me glued to my reader, I know my reaction to the revelations will probably not be the ‘norm’. Regardless, it was still a compelling novel that is definitely swimming with emotion. If you are looking for a novel that will leave you thinking and is not the ‘same old’ romance novel, then this is the story for you.