This is the story of Lauren and Michael- 2 adults who were once best friends in high school. The story takes place in the present but it flashes back to their time in high school. Lauren was a good girl in school while Michael was a troubled kid. He had family issues that led to him being angry, sad and hurt. He got in a lot of fights, got suspended from school multiple times and the other kids were scared of him. Lauren didn’t know much about Michael except what she had heard about him. They wound up having a class together and an incident happened in class with Michael. Lauren felt bad for him, looked past all she had heard about him and befriended him. They become the best of friends for over 2 years. Michael showed Lauren a side of himself he did not show anyone else and Lauren saw the real Michael and for that he was forever grateful. She wound up falling in love with him but always felt the love was never returned. One day, it all fell apart and Lauren was left completely devastated.
Fast forward 8 years to the present- Lauren works in a day care center and Michael walks in with his 3 year old daughter, Erin. The feelings she has harbored for 8 years come back to Lauren- of friendship and love but also anger, hurt and resentment. Michael has feelings for Lauren too but he also feels a lot of guilt for the way he handled things years ago. How they handle their feelings and move on in their relationship is a big part of the story.
I loved a number of things about this book- I loved the way it jumps back and forth between the past and the present. I always feel that makes a great read, fun read. I also loved the characters. Lauren was a great girl- she overlooked everything she heard about Michael and gave him a chance and a great friendship and love came from it. I felt so bad for Michael- he was just a little boy and the family issues he had were not his fault at all but he was made to feel that they were. He really was not a bad kid, he just needed love, guidance and someone to believe in him. When he met Lauren she provided all these things for him but he felt he would never be good enough for her. It’s sad because what happened to him affected his whole life- school, friendships and his relationships with girls. My heart was breaking for him.
An important lesson learned in this book is forgiveness- even though we may not forget, we can learn to forgive someone and give them a second chance. It also makes clear how things are not always what they seem- if you give someone a chance and get to know them, you might be pleasantly surprised in what you find.
This was a great read- Priscilla did a fabulous job on her debut novel and I can’t wait to read more from her!!! A must read!!!!!
-Virginia Tesi Carey