Book Reviews · Chick-lit · Contemporary Fiction · Fiction · Romance

Always Review

30205340Hi guys! Quick review here. Too many books in my TBR and I’m getting book anxiety. Does anyone else get this or do I just look for new things to stress about?

This is the first novel I’ve read by Sarah Jio, even though Blackberry Winter has been on my TBR for years. Literally. I’m going to jump right in because I finished the book yesterday and have to turn it back into the library ASAP.

Immediately after finishing the book, my first impression was that I loved it. Like, if I’d gone onto GoodReads immediately, I would have given it 5 stars..and then 3 days later I would have amended that review to 3.5 stars. I got to thinking about it and realized there’s quite a few massive plot holes.

The premise of the book was a good one, BUT it felt very similar to One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (which I liked better because…well, TJR is bae) (also see Kaylie’s review here) except the past lover is now homeless. The main character is living a perfect life with the perfect job and perfect fiance. One night as she is leaving a restaurant with perfect fiancé Ryan, she gives her leftovers to a homeless man, only to realize it is her ex-boyfriend, Cade. He disappeared 12 years ago and no one has heard from him since.

From this point, the book hops between 1996 and 2008. We follow 1996 Kailey through a seemingly perfect (obviously the theme here is perfect) first love with Cade, a confident swooner who co-owns a music production company. After a rough patch, Kailey walks away from Cade and no one ever sees him again. 2008 grown-up and mature reporter Kailey struggles with her never-quite-got-over-you feelings for Cade (who-PLOT TWIST-doesn’t know who she is, who he is or where he’s at) while still being engaged to the patient and understanding Ryan. Because who wouldn’t let their fiancé drop everything to ensure her ex-lover gets off the streets and into a group home and figure out what’s been up for 12 years?! Tough spot, Ryan. I felt for ya, buddy.

“I was drawn to Ryan, too, of course, from the very beginning – but in a different way. Ours is a quieter attraction a gentler pull. I love him intensely but our waves have always been softer. With Cade? The tidal wave conditions would close down the beach.”

This book really grabs you from the get-go. It gives an interesting insight to the homeless community and how they are viewed, compared to what their story actually is. HOWEVER, huge plot holes and pretty predictable with a big fat unsolved mystery. (I’ll discuss below) Quick read, just don’t ask too many questions in the end.

“Maybe that’s the whole concept of beautiful things. We can only have them for a moment. I think of the flowers that bloom and wilt in the summer. Leaves that turn brilliant shades of gold in autumn before shriveling and falling from their branches. Parents who die. Love that is lost, in the world and my life. Gold does not stay.”



Ok, first of all. I can’t sugar coat this, I want to read my next book so I have to get this part out of the way finished. WAY too many convenient things popping up in this book.

  • Homeless man sitting outside date night restaurant (MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING TO PERFECT MAN) is in fact, ex-boyfriend that you haven’t seen for 12 years, even though you’ve spent most of this time in the same city. It’s a book, I get it. It’s not all supposed to be realistic..I’ll give you that one.
  • Ex-lover has brain injury and doesn’t speak/remember you. Conveniently gets into TBI program through neuro department at the hospital. That had no openings yesterday. Hmm..
  • Ex-lover is also John Doe who presented to ER 12 years ago. Was in a coma, came out of coma and was checked out of hospital by friend who denied further medical treatment. (Never find out who friend was)
  • Ex-lover’s ex-best friend denied knowing anything about his disappearance. Conveniently absorbed all of missing friends assets and turned company into multi-million dollar empire. THEN decides that he is so grief-stricken he can’t go on with the life he is living EVEN THOUGH HIS WIFE WAS IN LOVE WITH HIS BEST FRIEND and confesses to beating him up and leaving him on a boat dock!!!!!! He’s just going to give all the money back and probably lose his company?! Come on. The bad guy never does this.
  • Perfect fiancé Ryan let’s Kailey go and go and go to Cade and gives her space, all while standing by her like a good little puppy and finally says, “hey, I love you enough to let you go because I know you want to be with Cade.” LOL ok.
  • Kailey and Cade get married and MOVE TO NORMANDY?! WHO DOES THIS.
  • What happened to Eddie, the dog?!?!?!?!?
  • Poor, poor, poor Ryan. I felt so bad for him. I need a sequel where he finds love (preferably in a more realistic way).

Someone please talk to me about this book. Tell me I’m not alone!


Next up, I’m going to read The Light We Lost because it’s all over #bookstagram and I think I’m the only one who hasn’t read it yet. Read with me!


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