In April I was asked by Penguin Canada to be a part of the book blog tour for what they hope to be the breakout beach novel of 2014. As the weather that week in was cloudy with a chance of snow squalls, I quickly volunteered to be apart of the tour. Any book that could get me ready for the beach was a book that I wanted to read. Then and Always by Dani Atkins is about a young woman named Rachel whose life is tragically altered by a car accident. She had the perfect life, with a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to a top-journalism program when tragedy hit. Five years later, back at home for a friend’s wedding, Rachel is faced with the grief and memories of that horrible day. On top of it all she falls, hits her head, and ends up in the hospital. She wakens to a life that is not the life she remembers. Rachel has to piece together her past in order to understand her present — with the help of a few faces she never thought she’d ever see again.
I got through this novel so fast that I don’t think I gave myself time to digest it. Then and Always is an addicting novel with a twisted plot and wonderful characters. I must admit that sometimes I felt as though it was a book I read before and then something else would be thrown my way and I’d be on the edge of my seat. I didn’t weep but my heart raced, my mind turned, and sadness overcame my entire being as I read the last sentence. I know that beach reads are seemingly light and airy but this novel really got to me — the ending is something I’m still a little sore about. I liked it so much that my mom is taking it on vacation with her this month. I have a feeling she’ll like it as much as I do, she may even shed a tear!