I told him about Will. By the time I got to the part where Will had kissed me and then left for New York the next day, Skinny Jeans was shaking his head.
“Tell me you didn’t. Tell me you didn’t pull a full-on Felicity and come to school in New York to follow this Will guy.”
“Felicity’s my jam! Whatever, don’t judge me.”
And like Felicity, Leo’s journey is one of recognizing that love isn’t like a movie. That reality may not always work out the way you think. That the path may be difficult but it’s worth it.
I knew Milton was joking about me acting like I was in a rom-com, running to confess my love before the plane could take off or whatever. But it hit a little too close to Will’s comments about me being a romantic for comfort. My only relationship experience was from books, movies, and TV, so of course I had absorbed that stuff. And maybe when I’d first gotten here my hopes for me and Will had kind of skewed in that direction. But I was pretty sure that recently I’d—what? Grown out of it? Or, just seen that there were a lot of ways for relationships to go. A lot of ways that romance could look different.
And this one is no doubt different. This is not your typical romance. Not your typical swoonfest with exclamations of love and candlelit dinners. But this felt real to me. And there are conversations throughout this book…whether they are with Layne, or Milton, Daniel or Rex that are such a captivating exploration into relationship dynamics and understanding people that it made some of what happened with this couple work.
Like all of Roan’s books, her characters are so well developed and complex. Nothing is ever what it really appears on the surface and diving further into understanding what makes a relationship between two people work is always an intriguing journey. This book especially. And while this has some heartbreaking scenes, seeing both characters grow and evolve with the other just worked for me.
One afternoon when the subway got delayed on my way up to Will’s apartment it hit me with a startling clarity. This was the problem with scripting romances in your head. When someone doesn’t hit the beats, you expect of them you have no idea what their actual behavior means. Will had tried to tell me. So had Gretchen. Even Layne, in her way, had told me. That this was what being a romantic looked like: paying more attention to your own expectations than to the very real person in front of you.
Now is this book for everyone? Maybe not. But I have to say. I have never felt a book needed a narration like I feel this one does. Will and Leo both are very different and I am sure many want to smack Will around and beat his head in…but I never got there with him. He was never a character that I felt wasn’t blunt about where things stood. Will needed a voice. He needs to be heard to be understood. And Spencer Goss’ narration does that. Spencer brings these characters to life. Makes them real. And for some reason with this book, it is needed more than ever. Will’s heart is missing from this book, I think, if you only read the words presented on paper and Spencer gives it to you.
As I stated above, this is not your typical romance but it is a love that I am certain will last. Is it tied up with your typical HEA bow?? No, because that is not this couple. But do I think they have the HEA? I do. I really do.
I am so glad I took a chance on this book. While I had not read the blurb or any reviews, I have heard rumblings of dis-satisfaction. What a shame. I’m in awe again over the characters, the writing and the relationships that Roan brings forth on the page. I eagerly await more...*cough cough Milton* and hopefully another narration with Spencer. This pairing knows how to tell a story.