Blog · Book Review

Review: Before We Were Strangers – Renee Carlino


Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino
Pages: 320 Pages
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Atria (Simon & Schuster), August 2015


Buy it here:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Overall Rating: 4.5/5


From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?


I loved Carnilo’s writing style. It was just so fluent and beautifully phrased. I just felt like the way she told the story gave it more meaning and made it much more enjoyable. I also loved the format of the book (now, then, and now). I felt like this made the story interesting, with its time skips and such. Despite the time jumps, I still felt like the story was told fully to me. I felt like I wasn’t missing out on any important parts — or felt a need for more details about what happened. It just left me feeling very satisfied with how the story was told and how it wrapped up.
Overall, the plot of this story is what made me purchase this book. Just the idea of meeting “the one who got away” again after losing touch with them for so many years was just so enticing. I felt like it did not disappoint. I loved how the story played out.

I don’t think there’s any singular thing I could point out that I didn’t like about this book.

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing Style: 4.5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

Final Thoughts
I honestly really loved this book. I read this on a train ride to SF there and back and it kept me so engaged throughout. I just loved the story. I loved how the characters weren’t perfect, it made it seem more realistic. The most enjoyable part however, was the writing style. I just loved Carnilo’s writing style. I know that I’ve been seriously loving New Adult books lately, but this one just exceeded my expectations. I hope you give this a try as well because I think you won’t be disappointed!

Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads


2 thoughts on “Review: Before We Were Strangers – Renee Carlino

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s