DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Lucy and Gabe met in college and a deep relationship formed shortly thereafter. Love ensued and so did a lifetime of memories, dreams, hopes, and plans for the future. Unfortunately, life circumstances doesn't permit this and they are forced to split apart. After a few years, they rekindle their relationship, and love ignites itself through the course of their lives. Young twenty year old love is love like no other. As life is going perfectly for them both, things happen which cause them to separate. During this separation, they each move on, but moving on doesn't mean forgetting, does it?
I attended a local meeting a few months back with Penguin - Random House that showcased upcoming books they were forecasting would be bestsellers. This was on the list. More than that, the speaker went out of her way to say that this book was highly regarded in their office and couldn't recommend it highly enough. So like any book blogger, I knew I had to read it.
When I got the review request acceptance e-mail, I downloaded the book and it sat on my Kindle for a few weeks while I finished up other projects. Finally, Monday morning before I walked into work, I thought, "Let me read a page or two before my week begins." And I was hooked.
Santopolo narrates this story as Lucy talking to Gabe but the readers isn't really sure when, where, or why she's talking to him. That's what made the story so intriguing. I knew something was going to happen but I wasn't sure exactly what. She slowly builds a smooth pacing and would drop in one sentence clues towards the end of chapters that would foreshadow things to come. Brilliant. If any author wants to know what beautiful, mastered writing looks like, this is the how-to guide.
But this book did more than serve as a good story for me. It wrapped its roots in my spirit and wouldn't let go. Santopolo amazingly forms a deep connection between the characters and the readers, showing their high moments as well as their lows. The book illustrates that everyone makes mistakes and has flaws, but in these flaws, the author constructs real, palpable feelings, and believable characters.
Like I stated in my review of The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel, I can usually pick a Book of the Year candidate just after a few pages in and this will be one of them. I can see many great things happening for this book as well as Santopolo. When this book becomes published, run to you bookstore, crack open your Kindle bookstore, get it and begin tasting its beautiful innocence. This really is a no-frills book. Santopolo doesn't throw in any crazy twists and turns. She simply captivates the reader by using the story itself. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.