Posted 20 hours ago

Before We Were Strangers: A Love Story

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There was so much potential here for a great read! A childhood mystery, so called "friends", and questions surrounding a father...

I ignored her. “Hey, Liz,” Scott said and then stared at her ass as she walked away. He turned to me. “Is it weird to work with her and Brad?” I loved it, and some scenes were very emotional for me, but I guess my expectations were little bit too high. I had fallen in love with him at the beginning only for everything to go completely downhill after 25%.

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Matt & Grace aren't officially together for the first several months into their friendship, however, to me they were basically together. They spent all of their time together and they were completely inseparable. At one point in the book some people mention to Grace how the dark room where Matt goes to print is film is known for having raging parties and people hooking up. She considers how this might be true because every Friday when Matt would come home from the dark room he would be a bit tipsy. They weren't officially together and hadn't even kissed yet but it was easy to understand how she might assume it could be true. Just a little side-note too, I thought the cover and title of this book were gorgeous but after reading it realize just how amazing they really are.

I was all over the place while reading this book. The highs were utterly fantastic and the lows, well those stole my breath and left a trail of tears in their wake. This was my first read from Renee Carlino although she’s a name that has been on my list to read for some time. If this is the style of writing and storytelling I have to look forward to, I know it won’t be my last.Matt cannot stop thinking about her and puts a post on 'Missed Connections' in an attempt to reach her.She sees the post and they meet up again. This book deserves all the stars and more, it lit me up inside immeasurably. If Before We Were Strangers hadn’t serendipitously entered my life, in a turn and rush of otherworldly, warming magic, it would’ve been its own tragically missed connection. Matt and Grace meet in college and have an instantaneous, but beautifully built connection and layered sense of personhood, filled with taking photos together and of Grace, who becomes a delicately enrapturing muse of her own, since Matt is an aspiring photographer, eating breakfast for dinner in their pajamas, the rich scent of pancakes on the griddle wafting through their best kept memories, slow dancing together to U2’s “With or Without You” like it’s the most natural thing they’ve done, like it’s the thing they’re meant to do in smooth, rapturous poetry that takes on a life of its own as does their intimate moments, and Matt listening to Grace, a budding musician, harmoniously play the cello through the dorm wall they share together and for him. This is Renée Carlino’s BEST. WORK. YET. This book broke my heart and built it up all over again and is complete and utter perfection. Just read it…. My words won’t do it justice. This is most definitely one of my favorites of 2015 and a book that I will never ever forget <3. Shh Moms Reading

Fifteen years have passed and Matt still remembers Grace and how good they were together. He never forget her smile or how talented she was with her cello, he never found a way to let her go. He recently divorced, so he’s not looking for a relationship. But when he spots Grace from across the subway and she seems to recognize him, he knows he has to find her. He posts a missed connection add on Craigslist and hopes that somehow Grace for a second time will find her way to him. The first part was a bit slow but since I don't mind slow, it wasn't an issue for me. The only issue for me was the plot device used to break them up. I truly loathe the big misunderstanding/miscommunication plot device simply because it brings too much unnecessary drama and assumption that usually don't end well for the characters and me as the reader. But like I said, despite that I felt for both Grace and Matt. They suffered the consequence of their actions. I didn't mind the other plot device since I felt it was handled well. But again, the involvement of another character which I felt added to the length of their separation was grating. Ugh. Also, Matt was a wet noodle for not trying hard enough. I'm pretty sure we already have Internet in the late '90s but he didn't really try very hard to find Grace. Which was disappointing. When the heroine is offered a wonderful opportunity to travel for a year in her professors orchestra, she says no. Of course, it’s because she loves the hero so much. The topic of what's going to happen between them comes up but not once during the conversations does he ever consider or bring up not going or what will happen between them. It’s like they’re in a completely one sided relationship.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…" The only thing I feel like was missing is I would like to know more about Gracie's family in the present day. How was her relationship with her sisters, are they well or are they still strugling?

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