Before We Were Strangers.

“We were victims of bad timing. But here we are again.”



To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

5/5 Stars!

Before We Were Strangers is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The characters, the writing, the story. I read this before I started my blog and I realized I never reviewed it, well I couldn’t let the chance slip away because I think everyone needs to read this love story.

We follow two wonderful main characters, Matt and Grace. The book starts out in the present when Matt sees a glimpse of who he thinks is Grace, so he puts an ad in the missed connection column online which is above in the blurb. I absolutely love his letter, it’s intriguing and makes you want to know more about what happened 15 years earlier. That’s when we are headed back into the past and you learn about how it all started in college, and it’s breathtaking.

“It was like the universe was teasing us; we saw each other just a second too late.”

I think second chance romance has to be one of my favorites of all time. Everything about missed connections, and falling in love all over again with that one person you could never stop thinking about. It’s beautiful and I think it will always be my favorite type of romance. Before We Were Strangers is exactly that, watching Matt and Grace first fall in love and then fall in love all over again was absolutely beautiful.

Matt loves photography and capturing every moment. He is confident, sexy, sarcastic and sweet, he’s defiantly a true leading male character. Most of all though, he is a wonderful friend and he takes the time to really listen and help whenever Grace needs it. I think I loved Matt the most because of how he was with Grace, he was so gentle with her. He never judged or questioned, he just truly wanted to be with her. His love and friendship skills were on point and I think he was the perfect male character for this story.

“You can’t re-create the first time you promise to love someone or the first time you feel loved by another. You cannot relive the sensation of fear, admiration, self-consciousness, passion, and desire all mixed into one because it never happens twice. You chase it like the first high for the rest of your life.”

Grace was sensitive and fearless, she was a music major and it suited her so well. She had that hippie vibe going for her but she was such a beautiful soul. I loved Grace and I loved her POV. She felt so much and wasn’t afraid to show it. She is a little damaged but it just makes her character all the more likable. I really felt for her in the present, and the past. She goes through so many challenges, but still comes out just as sweet and just as loving as she has always been. Grace is a character you can relate to, and you will automatically love.

Most of this book is told in the past, learning about Matt and Grace and really getting a feel for their relationship. I loved their past, I loved the realness and the carefree young attitude that they both had. The present is just as moving and just as deep though. This whole book is deep and full of all the feels you can possibly think of.

“And then his lips were on mine and we were in it, pulling away from the past and rushing fast into the future.”

Renee Carlino is one of my favorite authors, her writing is always so wonderful and her stories are so unique. She comes up with these characters that just jump out to you and immedietly go right into your heart. If you haven’t read anything by her then you need to, and Before We Were Strangers is a great place to start. It will fall right into your heart and stay there, just like it did mine.

Purchase Now!


15 thoughts on “Before We Were Strangers.

  1. I’m glad you loved this book because for me it’s also one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read! 🙂

  2. Squee I have this book, only need to find the time to read it. Great review that makes me want to start reading right away :-). It also sounds a bit like Colleen Hoover’s style (fav romance author), what with all the feels and the young love.

    1. Oh my gosh, you need to read it! It’s beautiful, she is kind of like Colleen Hoover in that aspect for sure but I think Renee’s books are a little more unique. Her love stories are just so different, I love them!

  3. I remember someone recommending this one to me a while back (it might have been you but I can’t remember) and it’s been sitting on my TBR since. I really need to pick it up sometime next year because I adore second chance romances and books that have a past/present set up. I also still need to read her other book that everyone was raving about a while back. So many books, so little time 😂🙈. Great review as always, Amanda! 😊

    1. Probably me lol! You will love this book then, it’s so amazing and has everything you like in it :). I love Renee Carlino’s books! All of them are so good, you are probably thinking of Swear On This Life. I love that one too and she has a new one coming out soon which is so exciting! Thanks so much 🙂

      1. Yep! I was definitely thinking about Swear On This Life. I remember reading your review for that one and you recommending me her other book too 😂. I’ve had Swear On The Life on my kindle for a while so hopefully I’m able to get around to it soon. Along with this one. You’re welcome!! 😊

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