I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Remember #1
Published by Smith Publicity on December 29, 2012
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
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.**
I was looking for something a bit different to break a recent reading slump when I saw “Remember When” on Netgalley. Now, it’s not a flashy cover or an eye catching title – but the synopsis sounded cute and I decided to give it a try! I mean really, who wouldn’t get a kick out of their high school sweetheart becoming famous? (My closest brush with fame is the fact that my childhood neighbors ex boyfriend plays Baseball for the Detroit Lions. Not that I actually knew him, since they are quite a bit younger than me!)
So we start with a brief introduction and then immediately get thrown back to 1990 in New Jersey. We get to meet Trip, who is the hot new guy. And Layla who is the super insecure, yet popular girl. (Layla is our narrator for this story, so get used to her. Both her insecurities and her desire to remind you that she’s popular. Something that I found annoying for awhile, until I remembered she’s in high school – you’re supposed to be both narcissistic and insecure at that point, so it was totally forgivable!)
While I loved Remember When? There were a few things that didn’t work for me and kept it from being a 4+ star book. (I promise, I will rave about what I loved! I will, but let me rant for a moment!) I know that this is book 1 in a trilogy, but it really bothered me that it made all these references in the first few pages to Trip being this fantastically famous guy and then left us hanging at the end. Not really a cliffhanger, but no flash forward to present day. In my thoughts, if you start in the present day? You need to go back and wrap up there too. But they stayed happily (or melancholicly – I don’t care if it’s not actually a word… it is now! LOL!) in 1990. I suppose that was really my one complaint. I do plan on reading book two, but I would have liked to have a brief tie up in the present day for the ending.
Let’s talk about what I loved about Remember When! T.Torrest has a strong story, with incredibly realistic high school characters! I loved that her writing took me right back to high school! (Although I wished desperately for more pop-culture references to 1990!! There were a few, but I’d have loved some musical references, given that Layla and her brother are both named after musical references!) Layla and her best friend Lisa are adorable, but what I really loved was their banter with the guys they are friends with! (Especially the banter between Layla and Trip! Their relationship was just so sweet and works so well!) I loved that Layla was your typical teenage girl. All the right confidences, all the right insecurities.
Remember When is a fantastic journey back to high school, one I’m not sure would have resonated as strongly had I read it back in the day! A great start to what I hope to be a wonderful series by T. Torrest!