You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.
I know that I’ve been reading a lot of CoHo’s books lately, even finished one last night, but I cannot seem to stop cruising through her novels. Even though I have only read 5 of her books and still have a lot to go, I can confidently say that this story will be in my top three of hers once I’m done reading.
Now, I know what someone who has read this story might say to me if they read my other review; “you said you don’t like fast paced stories and yet you loved this one? They only spent 28 hours together over the course of four years, what’s up with that?” Well, here’s the biggest difference for me: they acknowledge that fact within the story.
Ben is a writer and meets Fallon at a restaurant where she’s having lunch with her father. During this day, during this horrible anniversary, they come up with an idea: meet every year at the same place on November 9th. No contact between that time, no looking each other up, nothing. They plan a time and hope that the other sticks to their promise of showing up.
And this becomes the premise of Ben’s novel.
Granted, the idea was mostly Fallon’s; after all, she’s moving to New York, to the other side of the country, and as her mom said, you’re not fully done developing, don’t know who you are, until you’re 23 years of age. So, until they reach 23 years old, they only plan to meet one another on that day. They both need to live their lives, discover who they are, fall in love with themselves before they can with one another.
As much as I cannot stand fast paced novels, I couldn’t help but love this one, especially when Fallon said the exact same thing; she hates, what she refers to, as “insta-love”.
“So, just to be safe, if kissing scenes are something you like most about books, what’s your least favorite thing? I need to know so I don’t screw up our story.”
“Cliff-hangers,” I say immediately. “And insta-love.”
He makes a face. “Insta-love?”
I nod. “When two characters meet and supposedly have this great connection right off the bat.”
He raises an eyebrow. “Fallon, I think we might already be in trouble if that’s one of your least favorite things.”
I think about his statement for a moment. He might be right. It’s been a pretty unbelievable day with him. If he put today in writing, I’d probably roll my eyes and say it was too cheesy and unrealistic. “Just don’t purpose to me before my flight and I think we’ll be fine.”
I think the reason I fell in love with this story as much as I did was due to the fact that it felt like I was reading the story that Ben was telling instead of CoHo. I am a sucker for a book when someone within that book is writing a story. It’s the irony of it all; it’s just the fact of an author writing a story about an author writing a story that makes me chuckle.
“Why didn’t you tell me that the foundation you taught me to stand on is made from quicksand?”
So… okay, here’s the thing: I loved this story. And even though the ending had me in tears, especially while reading Ben’s manuscript, a small part of me was upset just how connected Ben & Fallon actually were before ever meeting. While it fits the story and made everything snap into place perfectly, as CoHo is so amazing with doing, and it was the only way they would’ve come together in the end, something about it upset me.
I’ve always been a sucker for a book wrapping up nicely, for a happy ending and to get that closure, but there’s a small part of me that feels maybe that’s not my scene anymore. I absolutely love CoHo and I will recommend this book to anyone who is asking for a book recommendation. However, if you’re not a fan of everything coming together so neatly, then I probably wouldn’t.
That being said, I did tear up at the ending. Like I said earlier, especially at his manuscript. Ben had been through so much and following Fallon as she read it had my heart aching for the both of them. I love the fact that they only came together once a year on November 9th. I love the fact that he wrote about their time together. I love the fact that he was so close to his family and love how close all the characters were. I love the fact that CoHo always adds a realistic and relatable aspect to this story.
Everyone always thinks that you need to find yourself before you can love someone else. That you cannot not love another until you love yourself. But CoHo brings light to the fact that, in reality, it’s okay to allow someone help you do just that: love yourself. That there’s a difference between putting yourself into someone else for the sole of reason of feeling loved, and allowing that love to ignite something within yourself that you never realized was there in the first place.
That is what Ben does for Fallon; he helps her discover the self-love, the truth, that fire, that she once had within her and helps her find it again. In reality, she didn’t completely forget who she was, she just got a little lost along the way.