Oh my darling Clementine.
Having read the authors previous book, The Dead Romantics, and loving what a heartwarming, romantic story it was, I was very eager to get my hands on this book when I heard about it.
It lived up to my hopes for it and proved itself to be a fluffy, unputdownable read and left me eagerly anticipating more books from this other. My favourite part of the books of hers I have read so far is by far the little supernatural twists she adds to her otherwise contemporary stories, and this one was even more appealing to me as it involved time travelling of sorts, which is something I typically quite enjoy.
Although for the most part this is a very light, typical contemporary read, boy did it ever manage to hit me in the feels as well. Rather unexpectedly at that. The story follows Clementine, living my dream working in publishing – I was already deeply invested with the story dealing in the publishing world as much as it did – and details her workaholic tendencies and fear of commitment. As is referenced many times throughout the book, her aunt only had two rules, to take your shoes off at the door, and to never fall in love. Clementine has taken the second rule especially to heart, and guards herself very closely from any kind of deeply romantic feelings for anyone as she lives in her aunts old apartment following her death. The death is recent enough that Clementine is also still dealing with the grief of losing one of the dearest people in her life, which is where things get emotional at times. The journey for Clementine to learn to battle her demons involving her aunts death, and the actual story behind her aunts death had me blindsided with emotion and it really made this book a standout for me.
Clementine meets Iwan, a happy-go-lucky young man full of dreams of being a successful chef. What she doesn’t realize at first is that she’s meeting him 7 years in the past when he stays at her aunts apartment until he gets on his feet, as it turns out the stories her aunt had told her about the magical properties of the apartment were true all along. Despite herself she starts to fall for this young man, and despite the barrier of seven years that stands between them and no clue as to where he might be in her present.
My favourite part was probably the contrasting versions of Iwan we get to see, from the seven years in the past, to Clementine’s present when she meets him again. It’s so real because she finds a much different man than the younger version she initially met who was still fresh to the world and had this idealized image of life and his dreams, to Iwan seven years down the road who had years more worth of experiences under his belt that had fashioned the man he became. It was so real because who can say they are the same person today as they were seven years ago? And this is something Clementine had to make her peace with to learn to care about Iwan in the present the same way she unintentionally falls for him in the past, as she expects to find the same man she left behind in her aunts past apartment, and doesn’t understand how he could be so different. It was very real and I loved that it was something Clementine had to come to an understanding on gradually in order to see Iwan for who he was in the present, rather than hanging onto the Iwan of the past who it was impossible to keep ahold of after so many years.
I will say there was a lot of predictability for me in the storyline, as I wasn’t surprised by any of the twists, but for a book like this that really didn’t bother me because I think it’s to be expected to some degree in contemporary, light reads. I still enjoyed every minute of it. I also cannot wait for the next book by Ashley Poston as I’ve really grown to enjoy them.