Reviews

Review: Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

Before We Were Strangers
Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars!!

***Warning–this review has spoilers***
This is a second chance love story between Grace and Matt. It’s a story of first love, lost love, and finding a second chance. Grace and Matt met 15 years ago during their senior year at NYU and instantly connect. They have a unique bond, become fast friends, and inevitably fall in love. Grace plays the cello and Matt loves to take pictures. After graduation, Matt leaves for a small time to do an internship with National Geographic while Grace waits for him. However, there are miscommunications that causes Grace to leave Matt.

The writing was fantastic and the story is told in dual POV, which is my favorite. I fell in love with Grace and Matt. The best part was watching them fall in love. Renee Carlino allowed their relationship to unfold flawlessly and beautifully. All the innocent and cute little things Grace and Matt did made me swoon. I think it was a good idea for the story to start out in the present and then reminisce about the past because it lessened the frustration I had with Matt and Grace. As the reader, I already know that Matt and Grace had a falling out so I’m prepared to see their relationship fall apart. As the story unfolds, the reason for their separation is absolutely frustrating but it would have been much worse if I was reading it unfold in the present. The lack of communication was frustrating. I don’t understand why Matt would call his mom and never pass on a message to Grace if he loved Grace and actually thought about her. I also found it incredible that Grace was never able to tell Matt about their daughter. I understand the letters were being withheld from him, but she clearly knew where he worked and could have shown up at this work or house since they did live in the same city for a good portion of the time they were separated. I also felt that Grace really loved her husband, which bothered me a little bit since I wanted Matt to be her one true love. While Matt is her first love and supposedly her true love, I questioned it a little bit. The story left me wondering if Grace would have left her husband for Matt if he hadn’t died. On the other hand, it seemed clear that Matt didn’t truly love his ex-wife and I wanted to feel that with Grace as well. These little details were a little frustrating, but overall the story was beautiful and most importantly, it has a happy ending.
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