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Then and Always by Dani Atkins

Then and Always

by Dani Atkins

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I got this book from the Goodreads giveaway. I didn't know much about the book or story when I started so I was a bit surprised when Rachel wakes up in the hospital about a third of the way through and it seems that she has led two parallel and different lives. This isn't my favourite type of story but I can appreciate the parallel lives schtick when it's well done. The most recent example that actually blew me away was Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. Unfortunately, this book fell a bit flat for me. I didn't have much sympathy for Rachel in either of her lives and the rest of the characters were fairly unidimensional. The best part for me ended up being the end when we find out the explanation for the parallel lives. It was both clever and sad. ( )
  Eesil | Sep 21, 2014 |
This book really had it all. It was emotional, romantic, and suspenseful in surprising ways. The characters were well developed and interesting. I am almost afraid to write too much in case that I in some way ruin the story and the reading experience. I finished this book in one day and was absorbed the entire time. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  LissaJ | May 22, 2014 |
I am not a big reader of women's fiction or the so called chick lit. Not that there is anything wrong with the genre, I just tend to favor historical novels or those of the legal/suspense, mystery genre. Very hard for me to give four stars to this kind of novel. So why than did this book have me sniffling at the end?

Well...... this book had some really great characters, some not so great ones as well, but it made the good ones come off even better. The big hook though is that once you are invested in the characters, there is another layer or big hook, shall we say. One keeps reading because it is imperative that one knows what is going on, an element of suspense injected that keeps the reader guessing, emotionally invested in the outcome. So I was, invested and kept reading, going over theories in my mind, all of which proved false. See, we all like the occasional happy ending, but was this a happy ending? If so why was I teary eyed at the end? Well, you will just have to read this yourself to find out the answer.

From me, a big well done to Dania Atkins.

ARC from Net Galley. ( )
  Beamis12 | May 22, 2014 |
A Myrt's Review

Caught Between Two Realities

This book took me by surprise. I didn't expect to find myself so drawn into Rachel's story or how invested I would become in how it would turn out.

Fairly quickly, Rachel finds herself between two realities. One is lonely, depressing and stems from the toll of the tragic death of Rachel's best friend, Jimmy, five years ago. While in the other reality, Rachel is engaged to her handsome boyfriend and has a solid career going. When Rachel suffers a type of seizure in the grim reality, she wakes up in the happy reality where she has been knocked unconscious after being mugged. The problem is that Rachel has no memory of the events that have happened to her in the past five years in this reality. All of her memories are from the sad life where she never got over Jimmy's death which leaves Rachel completely at a loss when in this other life she sees Jimmy alive and well at her bedside.

As overjoyed as Rachel is to see her closest friend alive and well she struggles to feel some connection to the life everyone tells her she has been living for the past five years. Her memories of the melancholy and solitary life are the ones that feel real to her but everyone and everything only reinforces the reality she doesn't remember as the 'real' one.

It is in this new life that Rachel and Jimmy's long time friendship begins to turn to romance as they try to untangle Rachel's different realities and why this is happening. The suspense builds along with the paradoxes in Rachel's realities.

Ultimately, the ending is a choice. It is a matter of whether you're reading it with logic or emotion. Your head or your heart. I found it to be an unexpectedly moving story that took me out of my own reality as I read it. The book stole my heart.

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. ( )
  Myrt | May 16, 2014 |

What a roller coaster ride that one just put me through. From the very first chapter you are like “what happens, what happens what happens?”

This one I thought I had nailed the plot in the end but BAM! It changed and I was left in a heap of tears and OMGs.

My Review

Rachel is an eighteen year old with a bright future ahead of her. She has an awesome boyfriend, Matt and is about to graduate high school and move out to college to be a journalist. Her friends gather one last time at their local hangout. Until a tragic accident leaves Jimmy dead and Rachel in the hospital with a concussion and a horrific facial scar.

Fast forward five years. Rachel is coming back to her hometown for her friend’s wedding. She meets her friends again to celebrate. Matt and her broke up years before and she is suffering debilitated headaches that she tries to hide from everyone. She soon finds herself depressed and at the grave of her beloved childhood friend Jimmy. She passes out only to wake up in the hospital. Nothing is the same, everyone is changed. Matt is now her fiance and Jimmy is still alive. She has her dream job and her face is scar free.

She tries to make sense of what is real and what is not. She and Jimmy go on a truth mission in London where she is left with the feeling she is more alone and lost than she thought.

Her relationship with Matt is strained and her relationship with Jimmy is getting stronger. Who will she choose or will she wake up one day and it all be back the way it was?

The ending will surprise you. YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! Like nothing you have ever read.

This book was given to me for a fair and honest review.
Read more on my blog Home Is Where the Wine Is Book Blog or Facebook Home Is Where the Wine Is Facebook page

( )
  amydnoland | May 5, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804178526, Paperback)

For fans of One Day, What Alice Forgot, and the hit film Sliding Doors, comes an absorbing and surprising debut novel about a young woman who, after an accident, gets a second chance at life . . . just not in one she remembers.
Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart.
Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now she has her dream job as a writer and a stylish apartment, but the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 22 Jan 2014 12:51:02 -0500)

"Rachel's life is perfect. A handsome boyfriend, great friends and the prospect of starting at university in a few weeks means she's never been happier. But in a single heartbeat, a single event tears her world apart. Five years later, Rachel is still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy that changed everything. Returning to her hometown for the first time in years for her best friend's wedding, she finds herself consumed by the thoughts of the life that could have been. But when a sudden fall lands her in hospital, Rachel awakes to discover that nothing is the way she thought it was. Unable to trust her own memories, Rachel is drawn into this new world where the man she lost is alive and well but where she is engaged to be married to someone else"--… (more)

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