I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Back to You by Priscilla Glenn
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on 2012-10-20
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, New Adult, Romance
Source: the Publisher
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When Lauren Monroe first laid eyes on Michael Delaney back in high school, she had every reason to stay away from him; within minutes of their first encounter, his volatile actions confirmed his notorious reputation. But Lauren saw something in him that caused her to question his bad-boy persona, and against her better judgment, she took a chance. She had no way of knowing that the unlikely friendship they formed would become so important to her.
Or that it would end so painfully.
Eight years later, when Lauren begins her new job at Learn and Grow Day Care, Michael is the last person she expects to see. Refusing to revisit the hurt and confusion of their past, Lauren vows to keep her distance from him. But staying away from Michael proves to be more difficult than she thought, despite her lingering grief and her instincts for self-preservation.
As Lauren and Michael recall the friendship that changed them forever and the events that tore them apart, will they finally be able to heal? Or will the ghosts of Michael’s past prove to be too much to overcome?
This book was awesome! I truly loved this book and am so excited to share it with you all today. It was a perfect combination of Adult and Young Adult. We get both perspectives in this book because when we meet Lauren she is an adult but we learn about her and Michael through her memories of their relationship in high school. It was done so well, with little bits of their history being revealed at the right time and the surprising moments coming right when they needed to. Lauren and Michael’s story is both heartbreaking and full of hope. I stayed up very late reading this one!!
When Back to You starts we meet Lauren, a young woman who has left her full-time teaching job to work at a daycare center during the day and return to school for her masters in the evening. She is basically hired on the spot for her experience and is happy to be working with kids again. Imagine her surprise when she sees Michael, her high-school boyfriend who left her with painful memories, though we won’t know what happened or why until later in the book. Lauren works hard to keep her distance from Michael by keeping their interactions strictly professional. But she still has a pull to him, an easy way with him. But she will keep working against those instincts because their past is still very painful for her. As we watch her struggle with these reminders and see Michael as an adult with responsibilities Lauren never thought he would have, we are also learning about the two of them through their high school memories. And it’s not only their past together that is painful. Michael’s life was not smooth or easy and he must still fight the demons from his past if he’ll be able to continue moving forward.
My Likes: I really, really liked this book. Besides liking both Lauren and Michael separately, I really liked them together. Seeing their relationship develop through their memories was one of my favorite parts of this book. They complimented each other very well, they seemed better when they were with each other, and I actually wanted to see them end up together. And that’s really want you want from a romance novel, right? But there’s actually a lot more to this book that just the romance. There are also quite a few emotions doled out and some lessons to be learned in this one.
Michael: As a leading male character in a romance, he was pretty good. I enjoyed seeing him as both a teenager and an adult. It’s a rare perspective to be given in a Young Adult/Adult novel. You almost never get anything more than a brief glimpse into the past or future. This book gave us so much more. And I loved that. Learning about Michael’s past was heartbreaking. Reading about his childhood was emotional. The ability of children to continually hope and dream and forgive just to be crushed again and again breaks my heart. And the people who let their children feel like that enrage me.
Lauren: Again, I was really happy to be able to see Lauren as both a teenage girl and a young woman. We all know how past relationships can affect future relationships and to be given the chance to see Lauren in more than one relationship, one as a teenager and one as an adult, was an awesome opportunity. And Glenn did a great job linking Lauren’s past and current relationships and her issues with men together. I really enjoyed seeing the progression of both relationships and seeing Lauren work through her issues with them.
My Dislikes: To be honest, I have one minor issue that kind of bugged me while I was reading. It was the violence. There just a tiny bit but there is one scene in particular that bothered me. I can’t give anything away and I don’t want to spoil any of the scenes, but I just don’t like it when girls so easily forgive guys when they have bad tempers. In this book, again I don’t want to give anything away but I feel like I need to make this clear, Michael isn’t violent towards Lauren. Like the summary says, he has a “notorious reputation” and even when she sees his volatile side in person, she’s still able to forgive his actions and go home with him. This is just a personal issue of mine, but it was also something that stood out to me while I was reading so I needed to mention it. But again, he’s not violent towards her at all.
Final Thoughts: With all of that said, I want you all to know that I really did like this book. Besides being a completely adorable romance, we are given the opportunity to see the main characters through many life changes and given the chance to feel so many different emotions. One moment I was heartbroken and the next I was hopeful. I haven’t felt so many emotions so deeply while reading a book in a really long time. I highly recommend Back to You if you are looking for or are a fan of contemporary romances. It’s a great story about self-worth, redemption, forgiveness, and love.