Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review: Then and Always

Then and Always
Then and Always by Dani Atkins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

The story revolves around a woman named Rachel Wiltshire who was unfortunately scarred in a freak accident that also left a very good friend dead. She was among her high school friends having their last dinner together before they all start to go to college and travel their separate roads in life.

Rachel is about to start learning journalism in college and has a very attractive boyfriend. But as fate had something more in store for Rachel and her group of friends, a speeding car crashed through the restaurant. Rachel's best friend tries to save her and does so but is killed in the process. After the accident, Rachel's life changed drastically.

She does not go to journalism school, moves away and never got the scar on her face removed. She somehow blames herself for her best friend's death and is not able to move on after the accident. But she receives a wedding invitation in the mail and needs to be by her friend's side on her friend's wedding day so Rachel is forced to go back to her old hometown and face the demons of the past.

Then and Now is a rather sad story. The ending is somewhat bittersweet. As much as I enjoyed reading the book, I do have a problem with certain elements. I am afraid that I did not like Rachel's way of dealing with what happened. She seems to be supremely unable to move on and stubbornly hangs on to everything that will anchor her to the accident.

I also do not understand the actions of her father. My Dad would have gone so far as hit me on the head with a rolling pin to knock some sense into me but her Dad seems to be reluctantly content to let Rachel be so obsessed by what happened.

As much as I can understand that she feels guilty that she lived and the guy who saved her died, I have trouble comprehending why she is so reluctant to let go. But then maybe I would be acting just like her if it happened to me -- who knows. 

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