Rating: 3 1/2 ♥’s
Published: September 13, 2022
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Pages: 400

 Description: Callie Dressler thought she’d put her past where it belonged—behind her. But when her ex-boyfriend brings their breakup to the big screen, she can no longer deny that their history has been looming over her all along.
At thirty-one, Callie Dressler is finally comfortable in her own skin. She loves her job as a preschool teacher, and although living in her vacant childhood home isn’t necessarily what dreams are made of, the space is something she never could have afforded if she’d stayed in New York City. She knows her well-ordered life will be upended when her type A, pregnant sister, Nina; adorable four-year-old niece; and workaholic brother-in-law move in, but how could she say no when they needed a place to crash during their remodel? As Nina pointed out, it’s still their parents’ house, even if their mom and dad have relocated.
As if adjusting to this new living situation isn’t enough, the universe sends Callie another wrinkle: her college boyfriend—who Callie dumped ten years earlier for reasons known only to her—has a film coming out, and the screenplay is based on their real-life breakup. While the movie consumes her thoughts, Callie can’t help wondering if Nina and her friends are right that she hasn’t moved on. When a complication with Nina’s pregnancy brings Callie in close contact with Nina’s smart and funny architect, Callie realizes she’d better figure out whether she wants to open the door to the past—or risk missing out on her future. 

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a little out of my typical genre, I don’t usually read a lot of women’s fiction. I thought overall this was a good book and enjoyed reading it. It still isn’t my favorite genre of books, but I want to keep expanding and reading more of it. I thought when I read the synopsis that it sounded like a good one to read and wanted to see what would happen.

The book was a dual timeline, Before and After. I liked how mainly you are getting the current story of Callie’s life, but then you see some glimpses of her past relationship with her ex and how that is shaping how her life is now. Even with the look into the past the story still flowed well and I think it was a good edition. The story is more about Callie figuring out what she wants next in life and not so much about Romance, even if she finds some on the way it isn’t the main focal point of the story. Instead, it to me seems more than Callie is finally looking at her life and how she doesn’t want what happened in the past to keep controlling how her life is now. I think a lot of people can relate to that in real life, even if in different circumstances than what Callie was in.

The characters were pretty well written. I like Callie, although sometimes I wanted to be like stop doing what you are doing and get with it. However, I also felt her who wouldn’t get annoyed with a date that constantly was leg jiggling the entire time?! Her sister made me sometimes want to be like stop being so harsh and putting your sister down, but in the end, I think the experience was good for both of them and they grew closer. I thought it was cool that there is even the supporting character of a child’s parent from her class and how she is helping that family out during a tough time. Of course, I liked Ben right away and was definitely rooting for them.

I think overall this was a fun read and I am glad that I got the opportunity to read it before it was released. Definitely check it out when you are able to buy it.

Book Challenges:

  • Around the Year in 52 Books #22 – With a Jewish character or author
  • 52 Books in 52 Weeks #48 – Redo one of this years prompts, but with a different genre
  • Booklist Queen #45 – A book about life
  • O.W.L.s #25 – Dual timeline
  • Linz Bookworm #28 – That you recently acquired
  • A to Z Title – T
  • Wizarding World Tour #29 – Set in the Northeast United States
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