Review: Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

September 6, 2015 Reviews 1 ★★★★½

Review: Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

Before We Were Strangers

Renee Carlino

Published on August 2015

Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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?

New Adult Addiction New Adult Addiction

This book has gotten a lot of attention. And it deserves it. I was lucky enough to win a copy of this story, and what a gift it was.

First, Renee’s writing is magical…it’s almost lyrical, and from the minute I began reading, I was transported to New York City and was whisked into an amazing journey. I felt it. I cried it. My heart burst into tiny little pieces and then slowly got put back together. And when it got put back together, a piece of my heart will always belong to Matt and Grace.

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Second, I love second chance romances. If you know me, you know I love playing the “What if” game. I daydream about all sorts of things, have conversations with my distant friends, fantasize about what I’d do when Chris Hemsworth asks me to dance with him, and think about stories I wish I could write, if I was a writer. This book has my favorite “What if” thought… what if I saw my college boyfriend years later…

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While the ending seemed a bit rushed, I loved and devoured every word in this book. It took me back to my own college days, reminiscing about dorm life, groups of friends, and the guy that I still think about once and awhile. Told in dual POVs and switching back and forth from present and past times,  the book captured my heart, thoughts, and emotions. It gave me all the feels.

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Graphics are by Michelle New, you can connect with her on Facebook or Goodreads. Check out her review of Before We Were Strangers here.


About Renee Carlino

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Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of romantic women’s novels. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.


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