Same Time Next Year
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Fallon O’Neill was a sixteen-year-old actress whose promising career came to an end after a fire at her father’s home left her scarred physically and emotionally. The book opens on the second anniversary of the fire, in a restaurant, as Fallon meets with her father, actor, Donovan O’Neil, to tell him that she is moving to New York – that evening – to pursue a career on Broadway. He thinks her chance at an acting career died with the fire. Fallon and Donovan angrily debate this at their table. As they do, a teenage boy in a neighboring booth overhears it all and comes to Fallon’s rescue. He slides into the O’Neil’s booth next to Fallon, claims to be her boyfriend, and ultimately gets Donovan to leave.
This teenage guy is Benton James Kessler. “Ben” and Fallon are immediately attracted to each other. Among other things, Ben thinks Fallon is beautiful and that her facial scars do nothing to alter the fact. The problem, of course, is that she really is leaving for New York that evening. There is also the fact that they are only 18. Fallon’s mother has always told her not to get serious with anyone until she is 23.
They spend the day together and are further attracted to each other, but she leaves for New York anyway. They agree to meet once a year on the anniversary of their meeting – which is also the anniversary of the fire – November 9.
It is a tribute to Colleen Hoover that she can write this story and have her readers believe that Ben could so smoothly come to Fallon’s aid with her father. Love at first sight between Fallon and Ben might also be questionable to some readers. And older readers might struggle with the teenage sex depicted.
But, Colleen Hoover is Colleen Hoover, so I read on. I turned page after page, wanting to meet with Fallon and Ben every year for five years. And oh yes, early in the book, Hoover hints at some secret of Ben’s. What could it be? And when would she tell us? I needed to know, so I just kept reading and reading and reading until I found out.
Translation: Colleen Hoover knows how to tell a story.
If you need further proof of this, consider this fact: As I write this review on Sunday, December 4, 2022, Colleen Hoover has four books in the USA Today top-ten best sellers list. If you look at their top-twenty list, two more of her books appear. This one, November 9, is 18th on the list.
If you like my book reviews, did you know I have four books in print? They are all available on my Etsy shop. My newest book, Love, Loss, and Moving On, is also available on Amazon. Please have a look and tell a friend!