Book Review | Then and Always

 Then and Always by Dani AtkinsThen and Always by Dani Atkins

Paperback, 320 pages

Published May 20th 2014

3.5 stars

This book was a pleasant surprise!

The Story

(Goodreads synopsis) “Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart.

Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.”

What I liked

This book surprised me in a good way. In the beginning, the writing felt a little iffy to me and I was a slightly worried that it was not going to turn out well. I WAS WRONG and I’m very pleased that I was.

Honestly, there is nothing amazingly groundbreaking about this story. It has it’s cliché moments like many other contemporary books out there, but boy did it deliver on the feels.

The relationships were really well written and developed The friendships were decently developed to where I found myself caring at least a little bit for the secondary characters. Everyone felt like they were individuals with differing personalities and the MC Rachel was a believable and broken/flawed character. Also, the romance was beautiful and organic!

I don’t want to go too much into analyzing the actual plot because I feel like this is one of those books where the mystery and suspense of figuring out what is happening actually adds to the overall effect. Just trust me when I say this is a heart wrenching story about love, loss, friendship, grief, second chances and forgiving yourself.

What I did not like

The ending felt pretty abrupt. I did not feel overly satisfied that all of my questions and concerns had been answered. But as the hours since reading ticked by, I starting feeling better about the ending and what it symbolized and suggested.

Another thing – and this is just a tiny little nagging detail – I felt like some emotional issues were not fully allowed to be worked through and resolved in a completely natural and healthy way since the solution pretty much presented itself in a Disney movie sort of fashion (not sure if that makes any sense … maybe you will see what I mean if you read this book for yourself). My point is, there were lessons learned but the grief management message was lost and I felt like that was a missed opportunity.

In Conclusion

All in all a decent quick emotional read. Again, not an earth shattering epic read, but solid and enjoyable.

2 thoughts on “Book Review | Then and Always

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s