Andrea Michael comes to the blog with a story of friendships, forgiveness and discovery in
The Book of Us
A character-driven story, we start with the story of Lauren (Loll) and Cassidy: best friends at one point, then life interfered. Now Cassidy is facing death and wants to reconnect with her former best friend, but there’s much to get through in the intervening years, some just time-related, others more betrayal-like and serious.
Lauren was the more focused and driven of the two: her dreams of becoming a human-rights lawyer never came to pass, and she’s the friend we’ve all had who has a million reasons why something didn’t work out – unfortunately, she’s never quite figured her own behavior into the event. Cassidy was more the boho-bold one, a bit reckless, even thoughtless, relying on her charm and her quick wit to get her through sticky situations. But wit won’t battle cancer, and while the reuniting over a grave illness trope and trying to find the reason for the friendship in the first place isn’t new – it’s a trope that we all can relate to on one level or another.
Key to these stories working is the secrets that are uncovered, how the characters relate to one another after, and just how compelling the characters are to the reader. While the basics of the story are intriguing, I didn’t even like Lauren much – her lack of self-awareness, her indistinct personality, pessimistic outlook and her tendency to be blind to her own faults were wearing, particularly when she didn’t find any insight into her own self even as it was smattered across the pages. Contrast her with Cassidy who displays her faults in an entirely different way: sometimes feeling very selfish and trying to ‘catch up’ with her need for baring it all before the end. There was a callousness in her revelations, some tied to Lauren’s ex and the relationships that BOTH had with him, others seemed to be fueled by anger (which is more than understandable in the circumstance) when perhaps reuniting and reconnecting would have been the smarter option? I’m not really sure which way I’m leaning on the ‘what was the right approach” angle, but I do know that as a ‘how not to do it” tome, this was a helpful, if not entirely engaging read because of those disconnects with the characters.
Title: The Book of Us
Author: Andrea Michael
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Friendship, Grief, Humor elements
Published by: Harper Impulse, One More Chapter
Published on: 6 March, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google ♦Direct from Publisher
She had to be able to look back at this as a time that was sacred, magical. There would be pain enough later.
Cass and Loll used to be inseparable. They met at university and they made sense, like two halves of a whole. They had planned their lives around each other, writing down their dreams in The Big Book of Our Life – the things they wanted to achieve, the places they’d go after they finished university. But then one night changed everything.
Seven years later, Loll receives a letter from her old friend. The coming year will be the year they both turn 30, but Loll might be making it to 30 alone. Cass has cancer. She wants to know if Loll still has The Big Book as her dying wish is to do everything they had planned. Little does Loll know that there is one big difference: Veronica, Cass’s six-year-old daughter, will be coming with them.
Time is ticking for Cass, who is desperate to make lasting memories for her young daughter and ensure that she’s leaving her in good hands. But how do you say goodbye to those you love most in the world?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.