When We Were Young by Anna Benoit

When We Were Young

Author: Anna Benoit

Published on: 30 May 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 300

Format: Kindle Edition

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Livvy and Jack are nothing alike. Livvy is the courteous, studious daughter of two jet-setting professors; Jack is an angry transplant with a criminal record.

But Livvy’s life isn’t as easy as it seems. Unbeknownst to most, Livvy spends most of her time avoiding Luke—her overbearing, manipulative boyfriend of six years. Even though she knows she needs a change, she’s terrified to make it, so she resigns herself to a miserable senior year of high school.

Jack is new to town. Originally from Philadelphia, he is ordered to live with his biological father, David, after committing a heinous crime. Having only met David a handful of times, Jack is furious about the move… until he meets Delia, a rebellious bombshell who instantly attracts him with her risky lifestyle.

When David decides to take in Livvy after her parents surprise her with a permanent move, Jack is forced to befriend her. Quickly, the two discover they have more in common than they originally thought.

As the year erupts with heartbreak and tragedy, Livvy and Jack must find a way to keep their delicate bond from being swept away into the turmoil.

I would like to, firstly, give a huge thank you to NetGalley and the author for giving me an opportunity to read and review this novel, When We Were Young.

The primary reason behind why I decided to pick this novel up is because I thought it was going to be a normal romance contemporary novel. I’ve not been reading much contemporary lately and is, thus, craving to read some. Especially those cheesy ones as I love to fangirl over them once in a while.

Anyways, it seems like my initial thoughts were totally wrong! ‘When We Were Young’ is indeed a contemporary novel. But, it is not the typical cheesy romance novels which you might think it is going to be. Instead, this novel dwells into much deeper and darker topics. Most of which, I, personally, am unable to relate to. Since I’ve never experienced it myself.

‘When We Were Young’ is an easy novel to get into but, it is not easy to continue reading it. For the first hundred or so pages, I am frustrated at Livvy and Jack. Frustrated at the choices they decide to make in life even though they clearly know the consequences of it. Frustrated at them for potentially ruining their own lives. There are numerous occasions where I wonder when they are going to start stepping out of their own bubbles and decide to actually take the lead in going down the correct path in their lives.

Luckily, the plot took a turn for the better afterward. Otherwise, I might just decide to ‘DNF’ this novel. The storytelling is much better in the last remaining quarter of the novel. Character development is prominent and I am able to see Livvy and Jake’s efforts in stepping out of their comfort zone, to change their lives for the better. Even if it means stepping into boundaries which they were afraid to do so in the earlier parts of the novel.

My favourite character in this novel will be Jake. He is out of control and has some anger issues. Even so, deep down, he is a sweet and caring individual. The only reason why he turned out to be such a defiant and short tempered boy is because of the environment he was raised in. Besides, he is willing to go and visit a professional to be treated. In addition, he cares for a certain someone *ahem no spoilers ahem* really much too.

All in all, I enjoyed reading about the growth of our two main characters towards the last quarter of this novel.

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