Right Where You Left Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Sep 2017

Member Reviews

Because I now live in San Francisco, what initially caught my attention about this book was the stunning cover with the Golden Gate Bridge. And, while reading, one of my favorite things about it was the familiar details of the city. But in fact, the setting makes only one layer of the novel's  atmospheric richness. Reading through Charlotte's lens, I enjoyed both her observations of the world  and her inner reflections, which sometimes melded together. I particularly appreciated her portrait of her mother, the nostalgia she evoked in describing her mother's baking, the infusion of Russian folklore, and how she used that fiction to make sense of her life. 

Despite how charmed I was by the writing, I never got as invested in the story or characters as I wanted to be. This book tends to be more on the reflective side as Charlotte goes through the hardship of her journalist father being held captive by a Ukrainian rebel group after a natural disaster. However, while Charlotte's grief is the focus of much of this book, I don't know that it was ever as moving as the more nostalgic moments were. Charlotte's hardship is also spliced with her school life and her worries about transitioning to college. This meshing of two realms, and especially the very out-of-place romance, interrupted the more contemplative tone rather than balancing it. Perhaps it was the awkwardness of this that made a sub-300-page book seem to stretch a bit too long. That, added to a rather convenient ending, made me not connect with the book as much as I wanted to.

Overall, while I think this book is heartfelt, I feel as though all the different aspects of this story never came together smoothly. And while some instances of beautiful writing stood out, the plot did not not equally hold my attention.

An ARC of this title was provided by NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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I really enjoyed reading this book! I read this book in one sitting because I could not put the book down, I highly recommend reading this book!
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