Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on 27 February 2017
Genres: New Adult
Format: ARC eBook
Source: Given for Review
Looking Back on Forever is a combined duet. Two books in one.
Part 1:Claire is the outcast of her school; shunned by her peers for her bigger than life dreams. The isolation doesn’t bother her, though, not when she knows she is working toward a bigger goal than her small-town existence.
Noah is the quintessential hot new kid, choosing to live with his aunt and uncle while his parents traverse the world. He thinks himself a simple boy, wanting nothing more than to play his guitar and live a modest life. The girls all want him, the boys are all envious of him, but Noah has eyes only for Claire.
Moving from Breckenridge, Colorado to New York City is Claire’s dream come true. She is one step closer to reaching her goal. However, it is Noah’s living nightmare. The home he wanted to come back to for so long is turning out to be his downfall.
Someone is betrayed. Someone is abandoned. Both move on the best they can. One’s dreams are crushed. One gets the offer of a lifetime. Both are rocked by the truths left behind.
Life never turns out the way you want.
This is a contemporary romance story about first love and heartbreak, about shattered dreams, life’s surprises, and fate’s plans. This is a story about love and forgiveness.
*** This book is intended for a mature audience. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18. Contains strong language, violence, and sexual situations. All parties portrayed in sexual situations are over the age of 18. ***
Word count: roughly 146,000
Today’s review is on a New Adult book that I’d definitely recommend for more mature audiences. I was given a free eBook copy of this novel by the author, Kat Alexander, in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion or thoughts and all opinions and thoughts are my own.
Hope you enjoy!
Genre: New Adult
Publisher: Createspace Independant Publishing
Price: $14.99 (paperback); $4.99 (eBook)
Place: Amazon, B & N, Book Depository, GoodReads, IndieBound
Synopsis from GoodReads:
There are moments in time that stand out more than others: your first kiss, a special birthday party, seeing your baby for the first time, an intimate conversation, a first date, even something as little as sitting around a dining room table with friends. This is the story of the moments that stood out after I first laid eyes on Noah Gish. ~ Claire Sawyer
The city, it used to be a place I loved and missed with an ache in my gut. It was home. The place where I grew up, where I had fun, where I had my friends, where life was as good as I knew it to be. Then I was shipped off to a place that begins the story of how I fell in love, just to screw everything up. ~ Noah Gish
So this will be a lengthy review only because it was a lengthly novel and has so much potential and such great themes and characters that stay with you!
This book has lots of potential. It explores a lot of the things teenagers experience during this period of their lives: first love, sex, friendships, relationships, planning for life after high school and self discovery. The novel also takes a step forward by delving into some heavier topics like abusive relationships & dealing with the pressures of high standards set by parents. By the time the book ends, topics of maturity, forgiveness, and trust also present themselves in the novel. I enjoyed seeing how the author weaved in these topics into the storyline.
As for the main characters, the author certainly has gotten into their minds. For the first part of the story I felt like the characters were lacking some depth and I had trouble connecting with them. I found Noah a bit jarring and confusing in his personality. He seemed very flippant in the beginning and then changed the instant he saw Claire, so it just threw me a bit. Once time had past and the characters grew, I was able to connect with Claire more, but still had some annoyances with Noah. Although after reading this book these characters really do stay with you. I think it has a lot to do with how long you spend reading about them and how well the author has gotten into their minds. Also, while I know some people don’t mind it, I’m really not into insta-love. Still, I was rooting for the couple throughout the novel. I also appreciated that in the beginning Claire notes that she hadn’t felt the feelings of attraction before she saw Noah. As someone who wasn’t attracted to a lot of people in high school (aka not really boy crazy as some of my friends) I really related to this.
I do also want to point out that I wasn’t always a fan of the way Noah described Claire–as someone/thing he wanted to keep innocent. He seemed to describe her as this small innocent thing with big doe eyes and I wasn’t really keen on that imagery since she came off as a stronger female character during her narration as well as durning most of the scenes when she was doing something (like calming down Troy). I’m glad he stopped doing that by the second half of the novel, especially since Claire became an even stronger character.
The secondary characters seemed pretty two dimensional to me and seemed more like plot movers than anything else. Although, I did like the support Claire got from them as well as the glimpses of their life in the second half of the book. The secondary characters definitely got better in the second half of the novel.
I loved that Claire and her Dad had a mostly great relationship and that her Dad seemed to stand up for her and seems involved in her life. I also liked how he interacted with Noah. The parents in this novel were pretty varied, but I enjoyed how they were all mostly supportive and involved with their kids.
The length is long, but the second half is so worth reading through it!
I think the biggest hindrance of this novel was the length. I really did end up enjoying the book once I finished. It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster so definitely be prepared for that. To be honest, this story read almost like two books. I totally believe with some editing to beef up the first half (cutting out some of the slower parts and building Noah and Claire up some more ), this book could be released as a duology: the first book about their High School relationship (with the Noah cliffhanger) and then the second book about their relationship after. I really loved the second half a lot more. I loved seeing their relationship grow and them grow as characters. I loved watching the themes of trust, forgiveness and love unfold in the second half of the story more so then seeing their relationship at the beginning. The second half was definitely more powerful and worth reading the whole book for!
While the length of this book and the first half might turn some people away, I urge you to continue on to the second half! The characters get under your skin and stay there until you’re thinking about them days later. I really ended up loving Claire and Noah once they grew as characters. Claire became such a strong female main character and I enjoyed seeing her grow into that role. Overall, the author did a good job of capturing the emotional rollercoaster life can take you on as well showcasing love, trust & forgiveness within a relationship. Looking Back on Forever ended up being a satisfying read!
Have you read Looking Back on Forever? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you thought about Noah and Claire!
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