Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Review: Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

Before We Were Strangers
Author:  Renee Carlino
Publisher:  Atria Books, 320 pages
Publication Date:  August 18, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
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?


There's something so heartwarming and heartbreaking about second chance romances.  I love that they get a second chance but at the same time it's so sad that they missed out on so much.  Because of that, my emotions were all over the place with this book.  I smiled, I teared up.  Definitely an emotional read for me.

My favorite part of the book was reading about Grace and Matt falling in love.  The author captures their relationship in such a wonderful and realistic way.  I felt like I knew each of them so well and I loved both of them.  They were so perfect for each other and, even knowing that it doesn't work out between them, I was still rooting for them.  And the way it doesn't work out just killed me.  The missed connections, the misunderstandings.  Ugh!  I wanted to bang my head against a wall. 

Such a touching read…I LOVED IT.  This is one that I'll be thinking about for a long time.

Posted by:  Pam 


  1. I heard this was an amazing read. I hope I get to read it. I love the idea that the romance is so well done!

  2. I do love the sound of this and the fact that you loved it I just don't know if it's the type of book I'm looking to read right now. Maybe some day though...

    (And National Geographic = DREAM JOB)