Reviews: A Year to the Day + A Thousand Miles

pub 6/1/22 by HarperTeen • YA Contemporary • Received from pub for review⭐⭐⭐ 3 stars | It’s been a year since Leo’s sister Nina died and all she remembers from that night is getting into a car with Nina and Nina’s boyfriend, East, and leaving the party with them. East has been trying look out for Leo since the accident but he refuses to help her remember what happened. Instead, we, the readers, get to unravel the truth of that night as the book tells its story backwards. It starts with 365 days since Nina’s death and works its way back through time. The storytelling device was such an intriguing choice to recount what happened on that fateful night and I was all for it — at first. I could see what moment triggered the one I had just read and learn about the characters in bits and pieces. But as I reached the moment of truth, was it heartbreaking? Absolutely. But was it cathartic? I didn’t think so. Because we consistently moved backwards, we never get to see Leo or East move forward from the devastation. The readers know the truth, along with East, but we never see Leo find out and that, to me, was so unsatisfactory. But maybe that was that author’s point, that sometimes we have to live with the not knowing. Personally though, I would’ve preferred if the book had alternated between past and present because Leo’s grief and amnesia is an important side of the story and I would’ve liked to see that explored.

pub 6/21/22 by Berkley • Adult Contemporary Romance • Received from pub for review⭐⭐ 2 stars |  Best friends to lovers, second chance romance, and a road trip — this had all the makings of being my kind of book. But I’m sure you can tell what I’m going to say next and it’s this: it wasn’t a favorite by a long shot. That said, I did like the set up and premise. Dee Matthews cohosts a podcast called Did I Forget To Tell You?, where she interviews family, friends, and more, on just about everything. Only one topic is off-limits and it’s her high school best friend Ben, who she hasn’t seen or talked to in 10 years. Which is why she’s shocked to find him on her doorstep ready to fulfill the promise they made a decade ago — road trip to Ben’s grandma’s house and dig up the time capsule they buried in her backyard. Against all reason Dee says yes and it’s during this road trip (and through flashbacks) that we find out what exactly happened between these two and how much they still care for the other in spite of everything. There were a few things that didn’t work for me, namely the writing (it felt really superficial), Dee (I’m sorry but I just didn’t jive with her), and the pacing. There wasn’t enough for me to really believe in this bond that transcended 10 years of silence. They definitely had cute moments and playful banter but I needed more from the characters and their relationship for me to feel invested overall. 


with love,