Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

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?

M

“Before We Were Strangers is as steamy as it is sweet. With two characters who are meant to be but just can’t get the timing right, Renée Carlino has mastered the missed connection. I found myself rooting for Matt and Grace at every turn and aching to crawl into the book to go back to the ’90s to join them. Evocative, tender, and satisfying, Carlino has outdone herself.” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever Interrupted )

“Powerful and poignant, Before We Were Strangers captures the magic and heartache of first love. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.” (Tracey Garvis-Graves, New York Times bestselling author of On the Island and Covet )

“I loved every single thing about this book! Nostalgia, first love, the echo of heartbreak, the rocky road to where you were always meant to be—this book has everything and then some. You can’t help but be transported.” (Jay Crownover, New York Times bestselling author of Better When He’s Bad )

“Sometimes we need a reminder that love is worth fighting for. Before We Were Strangers is a beautiful, real, heartfelt reminder.” (Kim Holden, author of Gus and Bright Side )

“I felt like I found a piece of my soul in this book. I’ve highlighted so many lines to use as a reference for daily inspiration. I was that moved.” (Kim Jones, author of Red )

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino has a very unique perspective on the second chance at love storyline. Matt and Grace were college sweethearts who simply seemed to have lost touch until they caught a glimpse of one another on a NYC subway platform. So, of course the logical thing is for Matt to write a letter and post in on Craigslist. And, what happens next definitely took me into their love story.

I felt it for Grace before I even had a name for it. I might have said the word a million times, but it sounded different now that I meant it. When I thought about what we had, it didn’t matter that it was just friendship. I loved her.

I felt as if I went back in time when reading this book. Matt and Grace’s story could very well be that of anyone that has had a “great” love but the timing just wasn’t quite right. The book alternates between their college years and present day as they find their way back to one another. Their college romance brought up memories when life was carefree and love was not complicated. Carlino’s writing is beautiful and the story flows perfectly. I have said it before and I will say again, I will read whatever Renee Carlino writes!!!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of Before We Were Strangers in exchange for an honest review.


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