‘And you still love him?’
‘Every second of every minute of every hour of every day…’
While on holiday in Dorset one summer, Alice meets Joe, a guy working at the local pub. She’s eighteen and on the brink of starting university, while Joe’s life is seemingly going nowhere. But despite their differences, the pair fall hopelessly and desperately in love. And then summer comes to an end and they are dramatically torn apart.
Alice heads off to university in Cambridge where she gets a part-time job punting on the River Cam and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart. One day Lukas – a gorgeous golden boy from Cambridge University – spies her and it’s not long before Alice falls for his charms.
Months turns into years, but then Joe comes back into Alice’s life again in a way that she could never have imagined. While Alice lives her ordinary life with Lukas, she has to watch from the sidelines as Joe’s life becomes evermore extraordinary. She never stopped loving him, but he’s out of her reach now, surely? And what about Lukas?
I have to begin with how much I love Paige Toon. It’s a given, but this book, although I enjoyed it, irritated me.
18 year old Alice spends the summer in Dorset with her mother before heading off to university after the holidays. There she meets Joe, a guy who lives and works in the local pub and they seem to just click. Joe’s life is seemingly going nowhere, his parents are completely horrible and his family has a secret.
They spend all summer together, and fall in love, but when summer comes to an end, they are dramatically torn apart and Joe leaves, not telling Alice where and leaves her broken-hearted.
Mourning for Joe, Alice heads to Cambridge for university where she gets a part-time job punting on the River Cam and she tries to mend her broken heart, with spending time on the river, going to university and making new friends.
One day, she meets Lukas, who is studying at Cambridge University and it’s not long before they start spending time together and Alice falls for his charms and with months turning to years and as much as Alice tries to forget Joe, she can’t. He was her first love, but she tries to for Lukas’ sake as she wants to make it work.
But suddenly, Joe is thrust back into Alice’s life in a way that she can never escape now and seeing him, watching from the sidelines, it just confirms how much she still loves him but he’s so far out of her reach she tries to leave it alone. But something extraordinary happens, thanks to Alice’s best friend and her life is seemingly going to change fast.
Alice and Joe’s teenager love affair was believable and real. It was a real love at first sight and first love between them, both spending their summer together and sneaking out at night to see each other. It broke my head when everything went wrong and a blast from Joe’s past came back and threatened both of them. Forget the heartbreak from Alice, I wanted their love to last more than the summer, but alas it couldn’t as Joe ran off without telling anyone where he went. Like his parents would care anyway.
When Alice met Lukas, I still wasn’t over Joe and so I really didn’t get into his character. He was rich, his parents weren’t completely fond of Alice when he took her home to Germany, he was possessive, jealous and didn’t like her friends – which would be a big no-no for me if my boyfriend hated my friends, he’d be gone because my friends are everything to me.
The book irritated me because although Alice goes to find Joe when she returns from Dorset with no luck, she is pinning over him throughout the book, and although she gets with Lukas, she can’t love him because her heart belongs with Joe. When she finds out what Joe has been doing for years and he is now a heartthrob, she begins to obsess over him, but there is no way she can reach him.
But she can get in touch with him. Thanks best friend.
The epilogue. THAT annoyed me. Paige Toon does it with some of her books, where you have no idea who the main character ends up with. Lukas or Joe? I’m rooting for Joe, but I suppose I’ll have to read One Perfect Christmas, which is the sequel to tie up any loose ends over this book and as I’ve just downloaded it, expect a book review very shortly.