By Andrea J. Stein
Publication Date: September 13, 2022
Callie and Ethan were an item through all four years of college. The summer after she graduated, just weeks before they were supposed to move to the West Coast, Callie broke up with him. Ten years later, Callie has her dream job as a preschool teacher but in other ways, she’s stuck. Or at least her sister and best friend think she’s stuck. She’s still living in the house she grew up in (rent free) and hasn’t had a serious boyfriend since Ethan. Callie sees nothing wrong with her living situation and even though it would be nice to be part of a couple, who says she has to rush into marriage?
Then Callie finds out about a new movie about to be released. It’s about a man who takes a road trip to the West Coast after his college girlfriend inexplicably dumps him, and Ethan wrote it. Callie begins to question if her sister is right. Is she stuck? Did she make a mistake breaking up with Ethan? While she’d rather avoid the subject altogether, Callie knows that if she doesn’t figure it out, she might miss out on her future.
This was a cute book and I couldn’t even imagine being in that predicament. Having an ex-boyfriend make a movie out of your break-up? No, thank you. That being said, that’s exactly where this MC found herself and had to answer some big questions to come to terms with the past.
While the book was cute, I found myself having a hard time relating to the characters. Honestly, I was a little jealous of her rent-free living conditions. Hard to feel bad for her about that. But having her sister’s family camp out for months brought out my sympathy for Callie. However, dealing with a snippy sister, lack of privacy, and angst over the movie were about the worst problems that Callie faced. Thus, the tension remained fairly low. The story line flipped back and forth between college and Callie’s current life. Both moved at a relatively slow pace so it was definitely a quiet story. Not a lot of angst, just a lot of pondering and questions with most of the people in her life trying to convince Callie that she needed a man to be complete. I’m not sure if that’s what the author intended but that’s what I picked up: that a woman isn’t quite complete if she’s not married or on her way to being married.
What really threw me off, and kept me from connecting with Callie the most, was the structure of her voice. The college chapters were written in first person and the current chapters were written in third person. I have no idea why they switched but every time they did, I had to remind myself that there weren’t two different characters sharing the POV spotlight. And I couldn’t figure out why the “now” timeline wasn’t the one in first person. That would have made a lot more sense to me.
I liked the story but it’s probably not going to be one of my most memorable reads this year.
3.25/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐+
Thank you to NetGalley and Girl Friday Productions for providing the ARC. I’ve left my review honestly and voluntarily.
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