Monday, March 31, 2014

REVIEW: Back to You by Priscilla Glenn

When Lauren Monroe first laid eyes on Michael Delaney back in high school, she had every reason to stay away from him; within minutes of their first encounter, his volatile actions confirmed his notorious reputation. But Lauren saw something in him that caused her to question his bad-boy persona, and against her better judgment, she took a chance. She had no way of knowing that the unlikely friendship they formed would become so important to her.

Or that it would end so painfully.

Eight years later, when Lauren begins her new job at Learn and Grow Day Care, Michael is the last person she expects to see. Refusing to revisit the hurt and confusion of their past, Lauren vows to keep her distance from him. But staying away from Michael proves to be more difficult than she thought, despite her lingering grief and her instincts for self-preservation.

As Lauren and Michael recall the friendship that changed them forever and the events that tore them apart, will they finally be able to heal? Or will the ghosts of Michael’s past prove to be too much to overcome

This is more than a 5 star read for me. This is a stay-with-me-forever read. A few stars could never express how much I loved it!

This is a beautiful story about reunited love, redemption, and forgiveness. It's about loving someone unconditionally despite their flaws. More importantly, it's about moving forward.

This is why I read. This is it. I just melt into a puddle on the floor for a good second chance romance story. I'm still on the floor. OH. MY. STARS! I didn't want it to end. I want to rewind and read it again.

Priscilla Glenn's writing is music to my book reader mind. She manages to capture the littlest moments and gestures in her writing. She doesn't go over the top with her storyline, and that's what I love the most about her writing. You read about real experiences and real feelings. The emotions these characters were feeling jumped off the page. It's the little things that mean the most and that definitely rings true in her writing.
"You get selective amnesia when it comes to Del."

I knew I'd love the book when I read that quote. To me, that said unconditional love. Lauren was full of unconditional love for this guy. He was the bad boy....go figure...
"And she couldn't help but smile at the irony of the fact that the baddest boy in school could somehow always make her feel like the world was good."

In Back to You we meet Lauren and Michael. They were best friends in high school and now eight years later (after what I guess you could call a "falling out") they meet again. There's a lot of tension between the two at first, but it's obvious they both have lingering feelings for each other. Lauren is single and pursuing her masters degree. Michael is single dad who is working full time and furthering his education. Their paths cross at Lauren's new job which happens to be Michael's daughter's new daycare. Lauren and Michael's history is revealed through flashbacks. I really loved the way the flashbacks were thrown in. They were always woven into the story at the perfect time.

Michael had a troubled childhood. He didn't have a dad around, his brother died, and his mom treats him like trash. He has emotional issues that he struggles with as a teenager as a result of some of his traumatic experiences. Lauren is the only person that ever reached out to free of judgment. She quickly becomes the most important person to him in his life. It's a relationship he really doesn't want to screw up, but he feels like that's all he ever does. Lauren has it bad for Michael. It's obvious. She doesn't think he feels the same, but eventually the lines become blurred for both of them.

"But Lauren had been crossing lines with Michael for as long as she could remember. And she knew from experience that once she did, it was virtually impossible to go back."

For most of the story, you are seeing Michael and Lauren struggle to rebuild their past friendship. It's tough for them because they are both avoiding the real issue that tore them apart so many years ago.

I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that these two had my heart in a twist for the whole story. Lauren's heartbreak nearly tore me in half. I definitely shed a few tears for the girl. One of the things that really caught me about the book was Michael's comment "You're speaking in hindsight." Wouldn't we all love to write a letter to our 18 year old self and fill ourselves in on all the things that we shoulda/coulda done differently? That's just not how it works in real life and that's something that both characters have to come to terms with in this book. Hindsight's 20/20. Also, I really enjoyed reading about Michaels daughter Erin. She was precious. One of the sweetest moments in the whole book is at the end with Erin. Crazy sweet moment. *sigh* I loved it!
5 Stars

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