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Publisher's Summary

The heart may hide, but it never forgets. The first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and number one international best-selling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You/Hating You).

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos - the first and only love of her life - the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world - growing from her gangly teen friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother...only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between then and now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more - spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco reading books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

©2018 Christina Lauren (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cyndi
  • Beautiful Michigan
  • 04-13-18

✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫ Great Narration

While I really enjoyed most of this book, I have to say this could have been a 5 star book except I felt like there were a few different things with these characters that were either passed by like it was inconsequential or that were just so out of character for them both. I love a friends to loves story and I love a second chance romance so this book started out perfect for me. I really enjoyed the past/present story line and I enjoyed how different Elliot and Macy were from the time they met and how it just worked for them both. Elliot was very quirky as a teen and Macy embraced his "strange" which was probably my favorite thing about this book. I was on board until almost the end. Up until then I felt like the only thing really missing was a little more connection between them as adults, 10 years is a long time to not need any time to get back where you were. Then finally we get the explanation as to why it had been 10 years and that really didn't work for me. It was a little unbelievable the explanation about New Years Eve and then Macy having to tell him about the following day was a little unbelievable too. I say this because after all the years and the connections, for him to go on clueless just didn't seem like him at all. With that being said, I think those are just issues for me and I think most people won't have the same issues. I would for definitely recommend this book but I would be sure that you didn't grab this looking for a "beautiful bastard" type of story. These authors have changed (not a bad thing, just different) since the beginning, their stories are a lot deeper now so expect that when you read this book.

TEN STAR NARRATION
The narration for the audiobook was AMAZING!!! Erin Mallon is an incredible narrator and I have to say I was kind of excited to see she actually narrated this one alone. I say this not because I don't love dual narration because I do but because Erin doesn't need a co-narrator. She has an awesome male voice and she switches so seamlessly between the roles that you forget it's only one person. She was a GREAT casting choice for this book. She was able to narrate a teenage boy, teenage girl, 29 year old man & 29 year old women and it worked perfectly. At no point did she sound too young or too old for the characters and to me that is a great skills that most narrators do not have. I think she portrays the emotions of the characters so well that she has you convinced the situations are actually happening to her and she isn't reading someone else's words.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What's your favorite word

Amazing! This was a really good friends to lover and second chance story. Macy and Elliot were quirky kids that started as friends and over their high school years fell in love until something happened and 11 years later they come across each other and old feelings that actually never left are right there again. I liked the way the past/present day of their story was told and as much as I loved this story I do think it should have been a little bit more at the end, but books I really enjoy always leaving me wanting more and I wanted just a little more of their story. I loved that even though there were years of separation and words unsaid that because they were friends first they were able to essentially pick their friendship up where they left off. As for narrator Erin Mallon there are not enough words to say what a spectacular job she did with this book. There aren't many narrators that transition from female to male as flawlessly as she does. I will always pick books narrated by her because you can always expect the best from her. If I could I'd give more that 5 stars.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I want my Credit back

I am over halfway through this book and I had to stop and read the reviews and some spoilers on Amazon. Normally, I would read ahead with a physical book. The characters are boring, I hate the past/present alternating chapters and the author is dragging out the reveal Elliott and Macy stopped communicating for 10-11 years. I don't even care anymore. I felt like I was in adolescent hell. And there is no way Elliott would not know about how Macy's father died. I don't even want to read any other books by this author. So disappointing

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Yvonne
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 07-14-18

Dizzy and Oh So Boring

The first few chapters intested me but very soon I was bored and lost total interest.
The back and forth from present day to 15-13 years ealier were not purposful but demonstated a lack of developement.
This is not well written or developed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

oh my heart

In their first venture into Women's Fiction, CLo just go for it. I could read 100 more books like this one.

Whenever I struggle with a book it's because I can't connect to the characters. But I never have that problem with CLo books. With every book you say I'm a Chloe! No, I'm a Harlow! Nope, y'all I am totally a Lorelei. Wait hold on -- Holland, definitely Holland. But along comes the story of 28 year old Macy as she struggles through reconnecting with past and how it all impacts her present -- it's all the feels.

What makes this book for me is that it's a story told from the past and the present -- and that's something I never say. If it were just a story of teenagers finding love or just a second chance romance between old friends each would be a good story but weaving the tale through the past and present makes it a great story. The different timelines add to the depth and complexities of Macy.

I saw this thing on Twitter a while ago that says "I've lost people and found them again. The second time things just made more sense. Honestly, timing has a lot to do with everything. Sometimes you aren't ready for each other yet." As soon as I finished this book this was the first thing I thought of. As much as it hurts sometimes you need that time and distance. That time that space it makes it all worth it when it finally comes together. I can't think of a better way to describe Macy's journey and her relationship with Elliot.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Truly outstanding

Such a heartwarming and well written story. The Christina Lauren novels keep improving and now they are perfect!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

juvenile

the story was predictable and the "build up" was ridiculous. there was far too much cheesy sex to add filler to an otherwise mild story. it is a teen novel.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

SUPER pissed this didn't work for me

I feel cheated.

I read the blurb and everything!

This known each other since forever and then we finally fall in lurve trope is usually a slam dunk for me. Also, my recent record with CL has been superb but this... ugh, #headdesk

It really all boils down to Macy. I hated her. I really did. I *tried* not to but was unsuccessful.

I empathize with her losses. All of them sucked and sucked balls. No one should have to go through all that.

I also realize that people handle loss in their own way and when a person loses a parent at such a young age it has a lasting impact upon them and the trajectory of their development. I hand it to CL on her characterization; it stays true tonally throughout.

The problem was... I did not like her. There are times to reign it in and bite your tongue and then there are times when you need to put your big girl socks on and USE YOUR WORDS!

She's horrifically bad at using her words for someone who's perenially talking about words and reading words and asking El what his favorite word is. All that talk escapes her in the big moments and it frustrated the bejeepers out of me.

Every time I turned around she was hiding again, ducking El, ducking her friends, putting things off for a different day. It exhausted me and nuked any shred of enjoyment I could've potentially had.

The BIG SEKRIT goes on forever and ever and when it's finally revealed... no way. No way am I buying that it happened. It felt like a contrived conflict drawn out for the purpose of stringing me, the reader, along. I don't believe that would've or could've happened and even if it did freezing someone out that's supposedly your BFF for life for ELEVEN YEARS is preposterous!

Who does that?

El is a bright spot but I didn't love him either.

Erin Mallon, I will try again. I wasn't enamored by this performance but I have a feeling that I'm transferring my dislike of Macy to her and that's not really fair, though I will say all of her male voices sounded exactly the same and I tend to like narrators with range.

Obviously, my opinions are my own and YMMV but I wouldn't recommend this; however, one bump in the road won't prevent me from reading more from these authors in the future.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

OMG. The best one yet.

I have read every one of Cristina Lauren’s books. Some I have listened to twice and I have loved every one. But the last couple have been the best ones yet. Erin Mallon read it perfectly. Thanks you for all your books. Love you both.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • K.
  • 12-04-18

Wow

I don’t think I’ve ever ugly cried so hard in all my life. 100% worth it though. Such a beautiful, inspiring story about love and loss and heartbreak and friendship and growing up and forgiveness.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Parley
  • 09-05-18

love this book so much

I couldn't stop listening to this book, I loved every part of it. a must read for romance lovers

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Morticia
  • 07-27-18

Touching

Its now 1:34 am and I'm a little numb M & E's love was so destined I struggled to think of any reason fit them to have been apart now I know and it was gut wrenching. Thank God for happy endings. CL I love you guys you never fail and never disappoint. Loved this book and the narration was superb. 5 stars all round.