Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.
After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?
In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.
This book was beautiful. I cried so much. It was amazing to see these two people fall in love… twice.
Often times, I get really annoyed by dual-perspective books, or even single-perspective with a jumping timeline. I forget what’s happened at each point, or I wish I can stay from one perspective when it jumps to the next. But Cotugno balanced things perfectly.
Reena as a character was frustrating at times, because she was so closed off and afraid. But she was so authentic. It was interesting to see her make the same mistakes over and over again, or at least, mistakes in the same vein. I felt for her. To think she had done everything right, been so good, only to have it all turn against her. Her story was a warning of what could happen after making one or two bad decisions. Reena’s life hasn’t been easy, and her family’s reaction to her pregnancy must have been hard. I felt sympathetic for the girl.
Sawyer had his problems, for sure. The pills were scary, and at times, I had no idea why Reena put up with him (especially “before”). That relationship wasn’t healthy, and it was important for Sawyer to shape up before they got together. I’m glad he was able to confront and confess to Reena, gaining closure on something that had such a presence in their relationship beforehand. I’m glad Cotugno gave him some redeeming qualities though, like the way he handled Hannah. It was cute and 100% relieving.
The ending had me grinning like crazy. Their love is adorable, and I’m so glad Reena was able to take the leap of faith. Even I could feel the hope springing from the page.
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