Or that it would end so painfully.
Eight years later, when Lauren begins her new job at Learn and Grow Day Care, Michael is the last person she expects to see. Refusing to revisit the hurt and confusion of their past, Lauren vows to keep her distance from him. But staying away from Michael proves to be more difficult than she thought, despite her lingering grief and her instincts for self-preservation.
As Lauren and Michael recall the friendship that changed them forever and the events that tore them apart, will they finally be able to heal? Or will the ghosts of Michael’s past prove to be too much to overcome?
I’ve been really lucky lately. The last four, maybe five books I’ve picked up have been great. I can’t tell you how wonderful that is, after feeling like I’m slothing through them before. Back to You is part of this amazing bunch and one I could not put down. Honestly, I can’t even put my finger on what was so awesome about it. Just overall, it captured me, and wouldn’t let me go until the end. This is one of those stories that will stay with me for a very long time and is one I would be more than happy to revisit when I’m in a slump.
There were so many strong points to this story, starting with the character development. Lauren Monroe has started a new job at Learn & Grow Daycare, and on her first day she runs into the last person she ever expected to see there, or really, ever again. Michael Delaney is dropping his daughter off for her first day at the center, when he sees the girl from his past that he let get away in a total moment of stupidity. Immediately you’re left going “what the hell happened between them?” I knew early on it would be this push and pull of emotions and rights and wrongs and we would slowly uncover the truth from the past. What I didn’t expect was to be so blown away by it or feel so emotionally invested.
I absolutely LOVED the back and forth between past and present. This is becoming a lot more common, but it’s hard to execute. Priscilla executed his flawlessly. Every time you’d get a piece of the puzzle that is the past, it’d match up perfectly to what the characters were going through in the present. It was awesome to watch an entire 9 years of life come together so seamlessly.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Adam. I was crushing on Adam. Hard. While I wanted him and Lauren to have it all, I knew that there was a bigger and better story here, so I had to put those feelings aside. But really, Adam was amazing. And needs a story of his own. Please. Thank you. :) I think his character added so much to the story because we were able to fall for him, but also learn more of Lauren’s insecurities and issues with moving on – even after almost 9 years – because of the relationship she shared with Michael.
The relationship Lauren and Michael shared is beautiful. Both in the past, but also the present. And for completely different reasons. I spent so much time just WISHING for anything Michael would pull his head outta his you know what, but I knew that what was happening was how it was supposed. He was scared to love. Didn’t feel like he DESERVED to, especially not with someone as amazing as Lauren. His self worth was non-existent. Lauren just wanted Michael to see himself for the great guy he was. And love her back. Either way, she stood by him. As friends.
All these years later, their connection is still undeniable but getting over the past is not easy. Especially when you’ve spent so much of the last 9 years wondering where it all went wrong. And why.
This book was a definite 4.5 stars for me. It’s poignant writing, with an amazing storyline and probably one of the best “first times together” ever. Not for it’s description, nothing like that. Just straight up beautiful. The whole story screams of REALITY. The coming together, the falling apart. The coming back together. It all felt real. And possible. And made my heart happy and then sad and then happy again. It was not about shocking you, or devastating you, but rather it was the reality of life, at its best and worst moments. It was about growing up and growing apart. And then if you’re really lucky, finding a way to come back. Second chances, in a sense. If you haven’t read this, you need to. And then because you’ll hopefully love it as much as I did, you’ll share it with others.
I’d be crazy not to mention, too, that my name was brought up on MARYSE.NET in her review of this. Thanks to Mollie’s persistence about this book, I picked it up. Then thanks again to Mollie, we all shared our love of it with Maryse. And she gave a little shout out to the messages we sent her. I grinned REALLY big after seeing that. And was so happy she loved the book just like we did.