You know the best thing about not knowing anything about a book before you actually start reading it? The utter joy when it’s not what you thought it would be because it’s so much better.
When Kevin and Nina first meet, I was reminded of when Allie and Noah first met in The Notebook. I know it’s a pretty bold statement, but it’s the way it came across to me. It might have been Nina’s original nonchalant demeanor, or Kevin’s eager text message, but something about these two characters together had me holding out hope for a great love story.
Fast-forward a couple of chapters, and I was knocked down a few pegs because as their circumstances unfold, I realized that this book had serious potential to bruise my HEA-seeking heart.
What made this book really (REALLY!) good for me was the sheer desperation of Nina and Kevin wanting to be together. Their reality was the constant obstacle, but the intensity of what they felt for each other never seemed to waver. Even in those moments where I thought ‘this is it – they’re done’, I could literally feel their heartbreak as they tried to put some distance between themselves.
I think that some readers might initially be skittish about this type of ‘forbidden’ romance and the subsequent age gap. But I found that Nina was written more like an ‘old soul’, so any grimacing moments I thought I might have never materialized. Had she been nonsensical and flippant, I would have despised this story.
Though I love a happily-ever-after like it’s no one’s business, I don’t like it when it comes on a silver platter. Having had the ending draw out the way it did just solidified to me that what Kevin and Nina had was not a ‘you want it because you can’t have it’ type of affair. It was grounded in something deeper that, even with a valiant effort on both parts, neither could live without.