“There are so many times I think about a decision I’ve made and wonder, ‘What if I had done it differently?’ Who would I be? What would my life be like? What if…?”
This is a story of friendship, love, and self-discovery woven together in an intricate tale that’ll keep you guessing as you read. I don’t want to to tell you much about it though because I feel that the excitement of reading this book comes from discovering the story as you go so I’m just going to tell you this…
This story is about Cal and the mysterious woman who changes his life. He is shocked to see Nicole, his childhood crush, one day in a coffee shop on campus. No one had seen or heard from her since graduation. But, he’d recognize her eyes anywhere. He’s sure of it. After all, he did spent years seeing them every day as they grew up together. But this girl shows no sign of recognizing him at all. She says her name is Nyelle and even he has to admit that even though she looks the same as Nicole, she’s a completely different person — polar opposite in personality. So he can’t help but wonder…. who is she?
I loved trying to piece the story together as I read. I pretty much came up with a different theory on every page. The more I read, the more it changed. Every time I thought I was sure about what was happening, something would happen to shake things up and keep me guessing.
I mean, this girl looked exactly the same as the one he knew but acted like a completely different person. Were they the same person? Were they different? Was he crazy? Was she crazy? What happened that night so long ago when he’d last seen the girl he’d been friends with? What if he’d not walked away? Was I completely and totally off base in all my guesses? Was it something else entirely?
Cal had his theories about her but more importantly, he wanted to get to know the girl who was in front of him. He liked her for who she was, not for who she reminded him of. He didn’t know the truth behind her story but he didn’t care. He was perfectly willing to accept her as she was. Just her. Whoever she was.
“Hey.” I roll to my side an redirect her attention with a finger under her chin, so she’s looking at me. “You can always show me exactly who you are. No matter what.”
This multi-layered story is told from different POVs, each one bringing to light a new side and sharing a different perspective. It’s told in a mixture of both past and present storylines. In the end, you’ll see that everything happens for a reason. The things that seemed random, weren’t. The things that made no sense, do. It all falls into place as the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together.
While the storyline and writing drew me in, I did have a few issues here and there. It bothered me a little to see how passive Cal’s character was. I guess it was just his personality type but, especially from a male lead character, it took me a little while to adjust to it. I also wish that there had been a more intense romantic connection between the lead couple too. There was a point where I even felt like the emotions were describing a love triangle of sorts in a way that made me question the motivations for their actions. But I just tried to accept these people as they were, for who they were, and not judge. And quite honestly, I was so intrigued by the storyline that I could not put the book down and read it in one sitting.
Rebecca Donovan is an incredible gifted author whose writing keeps you absorbed in her words. As you read, you can’t help but as yourself what if? — Who knows how different our lives would be, or if we’d even be the same people we are today if only we’d made different choices.
This is a unique story about finding the courage to be who you want to be, about living the life you want to live, about being true to your friends, about asking What If? and then following your heart.
Rating: 4 stars. Standalone.