Author: Priscilla Glenn
Published: October 20th 2012
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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.I find most the books I read via Goodreads so when all of my friends there suddenly started reading this one, I felt intrigued. I wasn’t immediately captured by the plot, because there are lots of similar books out there, but everyone seemed to love it. However, since none of them had written a review, I wasn't so sure. Then Jenni @ Alluring Reads mentioned it in one of her hauls. I tweeted her asking if I should read it and she said yes. Well.. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jenni, for the recommendation! It was fantastic!
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?
“See, Red? When life hands you lemons, you know what you gotta do now.”
“Wow,” Lauren said. “Yes, Mr. Cliché, I know what I have to do. I make lemonade.”
“No,” he said. “You scream, ‘Fuck you, lemons!’”
Lauren whipped her head toward Michael, her eyes wide, and she quickly scanned the park, forgetting for the moment that it was the dead of winter and no one else was there.
“God,” she said with a horrified laugh.
“And then you throw those goddamn lemons into oncoming traffic, and you go do what you want to do.”
Back to You was somewhat a new experience for me, because it alternated between two POVs – Michael’s as well as Lauren’s – but also between different events in the past and present, so I basically read something for adults, young adults and middle grade. It was weird, but oooh, so exciting! The story starts in the year 2011 when Lauren starts a new job at a day care and learning center. She got me hooked right away with her charismatic personality, enjoyable remarks and friendly, positive attitude.
As the story progresses, we see Michael, her best friend and crush from high school. Michael has had a tough life and he’s been told that he destroys everything he touches, so why not be that destructive person and give hell to everyone who dares to look or talk to him? He acts like a really tough guy, which he is, but at the same time he has that hidden vulnerability to him. Once Lauren sees that, she cannot help but to not put up with his BS and offer him the one thing he needs the most – love.
It’s easy to tell that, whether it’s in the past or present, they both love each other in their own ways, but you can also see that they’ve both been hurt unbelievably much. How can one come back from that? How can one forgive and move on when they don’t even know the whole story? As the truth unrolls, emotions boil up to the highest point possible. Once it all explodes, there’s no telling how it’ll all end. In addition, it’s not only their lives they’re talking about, they have to take someone else into account and that may or may not be the only thing that saves them, their friendship, their love. Can time heal all wounds? That's what Michael and Lauren are about to find out.
Sidenotes: I have to mention that even though I'm completely, 110% team Michael, I fell in love with Adam as well. I hope he'll have his own story one day. He was the sweetest thing and if Michael wasn't Michael, I would have been proudly a team Adam supporter. Another thing I'd like to say is that as soon as there was that Coldplay (one of my favorite bands!!) song mentioned, I knew exactly what song it was and it couldn't have been more perfect
“What’s muscle memory?” Erin asked before Lauren could react to his comment.
He pursed his lips, thinking of a way to explain it. “Well, sometimes if something is really important to you, it gets stuck in your body,” he said, poking her ribs and making her laugh. “So even if your mind thinks that it’s gone, it’s still in there, kind of hiding inside of you, just waiting for you to remember. It never goes away.”
I’m surprised that it was Priscilla’s first published novel, because it was so freaking amazing!! It gave me butterflies, made me cry like a baby, laugh like a lunatic and gave me lots to think about. My only question right now is: Where can I get some more? This was absolutely incredible and I cannot possibly tell you how much I’m looking forward to reading something else by Ms. Glenn. Stunningly exquisite!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars