Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Book Review: Before We Were Strangers

Title Before We Were Strangers

Author Renée Carlino

Release Date August 18, 2015

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?


This is my first book by Renée Carlino. If her other books are half as good as Before We Were Strangers, it certainly won't be my last.

Before We Were Strangers is a wonderful, lovely, heartbreaking, satisfying, emotional, perfect second chance romance. I couldn't have asked for a better book. The writing style was perfection, the characters were real and loveable, and the story was interesting and unique.

I fell in love with both Matt and Grace. These two characters were absolutely wonderful. They felt like real people with depth. I felt like I was reading about two people I intimately knew. It was easy to slip into Matt or Grace's character and truly feel and understand them. That's exactly what I look for when reading a book like this.

As for the actual story line, it was fantastic. It was an emotional roller coaster full of highs and lows and I felt each one deeply. Those highs were so sweet and perfect while those lows made my heart ache. It all felt very authentic, though.

I almost feel like I should have something more negative to say about this book (all I've done is rave!), but the truth is I just don't. Before We Were Strangers was such a good book and deserves all the praise it gets.


5 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

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