Before We Were Strangers - Renee Carlino

I’ve heard Renee Carlino’s name around for a while now, but never got around to any of her books. I went in with only a vaguely fuzzy idea of what the book was about, mostly because I was bored one day, and it was there.

It’s the story of first love, loss and the unexpected turns life takes. We meet Matt when he’s in his 30s, divorced and working as a photographer at the same magazine as his ex-wife and her new husband (the one she left him for). He’s been working for the same magazine for most of his adult life, and while he has won awards for his work in the past, his present is somewhat stagnant.

Until one day he sees someone he thought he’d never lay eyes on again. But she’s on a train that’s moving out of the station, and he’s standing on the platform. He doesn’t have any idea how to find her again, but he can’t stop thinking about how much he’d like to.

This chance encounter is the present day to a story that goes right back to his college days, back before his successful career, before his divorce and before he somehow got lost in his own life. A large part of the book takes place in this flashback, where we get to know the young Matt and the cellist next door who he can’t help but fall in love with.

This story is one best discovered blind, so you’ll have to find out the rest for yourself. But if you’re a fan of romantic, character-driven stories with plenty of twists and turns, this is definitely the book for you.

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

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?

Book Title: Before We  Were Strangers
Author: Renee Carlino
Series: No
Edition: Paperback
Published By: Atria Books
Released: August 18, 2015
Genre: Fiction, Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Date Read: October 20-22, 2015
Rating: 7/10

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