Before We Were Strangers – Review


FINALLY! FINALLY – I understand the hype surrounding this book and I’m here to tell you it is warranted. I’ve had Before We Were Strangers on my TBR and Kindle for years but never made the time to read it. I’m kicking myself for my poor time management because I could have reread it by now and enjoyed it more than once. This book was EVERYTHING. I wish it didn’t have to end.


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?

Before We Were Strangers is exactly what I’m looking for when I pick up Contemporary Romance. I want to feel like I’m living the lives of the characters, I want the mushy-gushy feelings of new love, and I want to be absorbed by the story heart and soul. Renee Carlino managed all of that and more with this book, making it obvious why so many readers consider it one of their all-time favorites.

There was an incredible nostalgic feel, with the book beginning in the present with Matt, then venturing back to the past to tell his and Grace’s story during their college years. It somehow made this story more heart-achingly beautiful. With such an intense romance, it was inconceivable to imagine what could possibly come between these two in the future. Matt and Grace were so compatible, so perfect for each other, I’m sure my face was flushed through most of the story just imagining them together.

This book reminded me of a Tiffanie DeBartolo book with the hip characters and setting and the many music references, including Jeff Buckley who Tiffanie mentions as well. Both authors have a way of making the music in their books come alive, almost forming a soundtrack that plays in the background of your thoughts as you read. I eat that up!

I can’t say much more than I LOVED IT and wish all Contemporaries could be this great. I will not soon forget this story! If you’re one of the few that still has this on your TBR, don’t wait as long as I did to read it!

Rating: 5 stars aren’t enough.

Purchase on Amazon.


Social Media:
Facebook | Twitter | InstagramBlogLovin’ |Goodreads

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Fabulous review. 🙂 Based on your recommendation, I’ll definitely add it to my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I definitely think it’s worth reading. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Always on the look out for a high quality contemporary, thanks for the informative review. Also love that tag- ‘beat the backlist’ can relate. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading my review!
      Yes! I’m doing NovelKnight’s Beat the Backlist Challenge this year – attempting to make progress on my lengthy TBR.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol says:

    I love how much you love this! 👍😍

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One of my absolute favorite books! Awesome review 😊


  5. That sounds like such a lovely book! Will definitely add it to my TBR! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Carol Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s