Monday, February 6, 2017

Book Review: Before We Were Strangers by: Renee Carlino

Release Date: August 18, 2015
from Atria Books
Goodreads | Amazon
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
"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?"

My Thoughts:

I’ve been putting this one off for a while and I really shouldn’t have. It was a really good romance and the second chance aspect was a nice touch. This isn’t your typical second chance romance and I really liked that about it.

Grace and Matt met in college and it’s clear they were meant for one another. But it's college and they had so much life in front of them and well that life got in the way. They haven’t seen each other in fifteen years and both of them have moved on, as they should, nobody should wallow for fifteen years. But a chance encounter and a craigslist ad later and things change. And this is when we flashback to their time in college. For me, this was my favorite part of the book. I loved watching them meet and fall in love and all their crazy antics. But at the same time it hurt so damn much because you know it’s not going anywhere happy. You know the doom is coming and it just hurts to read. You see every single mistake both Matt and Grace made and you yell at them to fix it but they don’t fix it and then you throw your kindle at things.

I have to say I absolutely adored Matt. I fell hard for him. He is just a good guy. Nothing flashy or crazy or alpha caveman, just good and we need more guys like him in our books. Grace on the other hand was a struggle for me at times. I can’t say exactly why for spoilers, but there was one thing that made me crazy. And I hate being this person because I always want to support and understand our heroines because I think they get a bunch of flack, but I struggled with Grace at times.

So anyway. Once we get through the heartache we are back in the present with more heartache to be found. Yay. This is where I was frustrated with the book. See there is a twist and I didn’t love the twist. First, I saw it coming a mile away and second I just didn’t like it at all. I can’t say more because it goes into spoiler land but just ughhhhhhh.

Other than the twist though, I really did like the book so please don’t let that deter you. I loved their romance and I loved watching them come together again. I’m a sucker for second chance romances so I really did love that. It is a great romance and I swooned and sighed so many times.

All in all, Before We Were Strangers is a really good story that gives you a second chance romance in a very different way. Even with my frustration I loved experiencing Grace and Matt’s story.


  1. Your review has really peaked my interest in this book, and it's my first time hearing about it! Glad you liked this one :) Great review!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

  2. I'm so, so happy you read this book and that we got to discuss it! I wholeheartedly agree with you about Matt -- and we DO need more guys like him in our books! I also loved their college days best, and I understand your frustration with certain things. I'm so happy you ended up liking this and that you loved this sweet romance. Awesome review! <3

  3. Don't you just hate it when you've had a fabulous book just languishing on the shelf? Happens to me ALL.THE.TIME! ;) I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Teresa, but of course I'm not surprised since it's Renee Carlino. ;) I actually have this one (I went about collecting her books after your review of Sweet Thing) so I'm guessing I should unearth it so I can meet Matt and Grace, yeah?

    1. You will love Matt! Sweet Thing will forever be my favorite, but this is a good read too!


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