Published by Atria Books on August 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
You know when you’re looking at someone and you can’t help but smile at how oblivious they are to their own charm? That’s what was happening to me, and it was making me feel…happy. Euphoric. Something indescribable. It was like we already knew each other, like we had met in a previous life. Memories that didn’t exist began exploding in my mind like fireworks.
Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, searching for a spark to jump-start her life and give her a sense of purpose. She’s had as many jobs as she’s had bad relationships, and now she’s feeling especially lost in her less-than-glamorous gig at a pie-and-fry joint in Los Angeles, where the uniforms are bad and the tips are even worse.
Then she collides—literally—with Adam, an intriguing, handsome, and mysterious painter. Their serendipitous meeting on the street turns into a whirlwind one-night stand that has Charlotte feeling enchanted by Adam’s spontaneity and joy for life. There’s promise in both his words and actions, but in the harsh light of morning, Adam’s tune changes, leaving Charlotte to wonder if her notorious bad luck with men is really just her own bad judgment.
Months later, a new relationship with Seth, a charming baseball player, is turning into something more meaningful, but Charlotte’s still having trouble moving past her one enthralling night with Adam. Why? When she searches for answers, she finds the situation with Adam is far more complicated than she ever imagined. Faced with the decision to write a new story with Seth or finish the one started with Adam, Charlotte embarks on a life-altering journey, one that takes her across the world and back again, bringing a lifetime’s worth of pain, joy, and wisdom.
I love it when I come across a book that pulls on my heartstrings in the best possible way. I know when I pick up a Renée Carlino book that it will have the perfect blend of inspiration and suffering, as well as a fluid writing style. Wish You Were Here is no exception.
I easily related to Charlotte and her uninspired, directionless life. She has changed college majors and career goals several times. Even her love life is stagnant since. Her lack of confidence causes her to sabotage relationships, although she freely admits she has crap taste in men.
Adam is instantly likable, and I can see why Charlotte would be drawn to him despite his confusing behavior. He’s spontaneous and always joyful. He recognizes the goodness that she can’t see in herself. Despite the fact that they’re strangers, their connection is inexplicably familiar and it moves their affair along at warp speed.
There is a love triangle, and I have to say that Seth, the baseball player, is one hell of a catch. The patience and love he lavishes on Charlotte makes her one lucky lady. Adam is equally devoted. My only issue is the way in which Charlotte handles the conflicts resulting from her relationships with both men.
At one point, I felt the story was heading into tearjerker territory. While it is emotional, I think it would have been more impactful for me if the pace slowed a bit so I could more fully appreciate the experience. The last quarter of the book, in particular, seems rushed.
Charlotte’s evolution is still fascinating, though, and I cheered her on every step of her journey. Wish You Were Here is a beautiful story that encourages you to prioritize your life and live without fear of others’ approval.
Recommended for fans of:
**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.**