Either you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time or you’re in the right place at the right time…but, have you ever been at the right place at the wrong time?
Laurie was having a typical day as she was riding the bus home from work on a snowy December day in London when her eyes locked eyes with a man who quite literally took her breath away. As she silently willed him to get on at this stop, the bus pulled away and crushed her heart with each passing block. She would spend the next year searching London with her best friend, Sarah, for her “bus boy.” Just when she thinks she will never find him, she sees him at a Christmas party a year later; except, he is being introduced as Sarah’s new boyfriend, Jack. Distraught, Laurie tries to navigate her complex predicament of being in love with her best friend’s boyfriend, and it doesn’t make their situation any easier that Jack drops hints that he might feel the same way. Vowing to not act on their feelings, they decide it is best to move on in life as friends. Through future relationships with other people, they remain a constant in each other’s lives. Over the next ten years they are left questioning whether they made the right decision to chalk up their love at first sight moment on the bus as a purely coincidental moment in time where their paths just happened to cross. One thing is for sure; they are forever tied to each other, and the ending of their love story is theirs to either write or theirs to dismiss.
If I’m being honest, this is not my favorite genre. I usually find the writing lazy, the inner and external dialogue cheesy, and the romantic scenes cringy. With that being said, this book was a pleasant surprise!
I loved the characters and found the back and forth perspectives of Laurie and Jack clear and entertaining. Sometimes when authors do the dual perspectives, elements of the story get lost (or you get the cheesy internal dialogue at which I previously hinted). I found the characters believable and relatable (sometimes authors can go to extremes in character personalities). Laurie was just sweet enough, but also imperfect in the most endearing ways. Sarah was written as the quirky, extroverted, best friend, but she wasn’t so over the top that it was unbelievable. Jack was perfect, but also perfectly flawed, and the reader was torn between really rooting for him and also secretly planning his demise. Then there was Oscar. I wanted to hate him because I was Team Jack from the beginning, but the way he was written left me feeling conflicted. I wanted Laurie to end up with Jack, but I could also have seen a future with her and Oscar. Indeed, they would have both been settling, but their life was a fairly happy one and even though neither one was 100% happy, they could have powered through on the unstable foundation that they had built in their marriage. I was invested in the story from the very beginning and was constantly wondering what kind of ending the book would have (if it would have a “Sleepless in Seattle” ending or a “The Break Up” ending).