Then and Always
by Dani Atkins
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Published by: Ballantine on May 20, 2014
Genres: Mystery, amnesia, love, finding yourself
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4 Stars
NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart.
Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now she has her dream job as a writer and a stylish apartment, but the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.
Rachel wakes up in the hospital from a head trauma only to learn that her memories of the past 5 years are not the reality of the 5 years everyone else remembers. She has a different job, a fiance she didn't know she had, and the biggest change of all: Her friend that died in a tragedy 5 years ago in her reality, is very much alive in this reality. Is she dreaming? Did time split off? Is everyone else around her crazy or is Rachel losing her mind?
The author, Dani Atkins, does a great job of sucking me into the story from the very beginning. I'd quote it, but with ARCs, you aren't supposed to quote until the final product is released. The beginning alone made me want to keep reading well into the night.
While the difference in the two realities is vast, the book is never confusing. Not once did I question what was going on. The plot unfolded at a steady pace to help the reader, and Rachel, put the pieces of Rachel's fractured life together. Along the way, she has the steady help of her father and the support of her childhood friend Jimmy.
I honestly wasn't sure how the book was going to end, but when it did, instead of feeling happy or sad, I felt a great peace settle inside me. It lead me to think about my views of the universe. I won't say in what way, as that would spoil the ending.
Go pre-order this book now! You won't regret it!