Series: Remember Trilogy #1
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: January 1, 2013
Format: eBook, 262 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Ever wonder how often Brad Pitt’s high school girlfriend must ponder jumping off a bridge? Ever think about the girl that had her hooks in George Clooney before he took off for TV stardom? How about Leonardo DiCaprio’s ex, or Johnny Depp’s first groupie, or any number of young women who got left behind when their boyfriends set off for greener pastures and eventually achieved unfathomable Hollywood fame?
My name is Layla Warren and I don’t need to wonder about any of those things. I already know. Because years before Trip Wiley could be seen on movie screens all over the world, he could be seen sitting in the desk behind me in my high school English class.
This was back in 1990, and I cite the year only to avoid dumbfounding you when references to big hair or stretch pants are mentioned. Although, come to think of it, I am from New Jersey, which may serve as explanation enough. We were teenagers then, way back in a time before anyone could even dream he’d turn into the Hollywood commodity that he is today.
In case you live under a rock and don't know who Trip Wiley is, just know that these days, he’s the actor found at the top of every casting director’s wish list. He’s incredibly talented and insanely gorgeous, the combination of which has made him very rich, very famous and very desirable.
And not just to casting directors, either.
I can’t confirm any of the gossip from his early years out in Tinseltown, but based on what I knew of his life before he was famous, I can tell you that the idea of Girls-Throwing-Themselves-At-Trip is not a new concept.
I should know. I was one of them.
And my life hasn’t been the same since.
**Remember When is the first book in an NA romantic comedy trilogy, but there is NO CLIFFHANGER. It is intended for mature teen readers and immature adult ones due to some high school sex scenes, underage drinking, questionable language and 1980s flashbacks.**
“Be happy. Wherever you wind up. And know that I’ll be thinking of you, wherever I am.”
I’m not going to gush. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m totally going to gush. I’ll try to reign myself in. But when a book is this good, I don’t know what else to do. To say I loved this book just might be the understatement of the year.
I truthfully have no idea how to put my feelings about this book into words. I’ll start with the words the words that come immediately to mind when I think back on it: heartwarming, beautiful, engrossing, nostalgic, unputdownable, realistic. I could keep going with synonyms for amazing and great all night long. I’ll spare you. It’s hard to pinpoint what I like best about this book – the writing, the characters or the plot. Each are amazing in their own way and each only added to my love of this book.
First, the characters. Layla could have been me. She could have been my best friend. She could have been you. She was so easy to identify with. She had her faults, sure. We all do. You could absolutely feel how conflicted she was about Trip and her feelings for him. It’s not easy when you think you’re falling in love with your best friend. Is it worth it sometimes? Absolutely. But it’s scary as hell to think about taking that big of a risk with someone so important to you. Oh, Trip. What can you say about Trip? He had the looks, he had the charisma and the charm. He’s the guy from high school that, all these years later, you still can’t let go. You know which guy I’m talking about. Even if he wasn’t a movie star and even if nothing ever happened between you, you know that guy. We all do. There was one in every school. The chemistry between these two was incredible.
Is there anything better than reading about first love – requited or otherwise? It’s gut-wrenching, it’s sweet, it’s hopeful, it’s (mostly) innocent. You can’t read about first love without thinking back to your own first love. One of my favorite things about the book was Trip’s “Mind Ramble” from English class. You really have to read the whole thing to understand, and I would never tell you that for fear of spoiling the book, but I’ll tease you with this squee-worthy quote:
“Okay so I just caught the look you shot me over your shoulder and you need to know that I can’t even breathe right now.”
This book made me so very nostalgic in so many ways. It was so easy to slip back in time and relate to the loves and the friendship and just the 90s in general. Remember When is full of 90s references, but not in the distracting way that some books struggle with. This book doesn’t try too hard. It all works so well. Whether it was New Kids on the Block or spandex or banana clips, I couldn’t help but smile thinking back on those days.
I tried and tried to think of one thing about this book and I came up totally blank. I have nothing. I want everyone to read this book and love it as much as I did. Do. I laughed. I cried. I reminisced.
While, in theory, there’s no “cliffhanger,” once you take a minute to read the teaser for the second book, you might think differently. I loved the teaser. I literally counted the days until the next book was released.
Remember When is a book I will continue to re-read for years to come. It’s definitely earned a spot on my favorites shelf. Quite literally. I may have read it on my Nook app, but I promptly purchased a paperback copy.