Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review. The One That Got Away is available on February 2, 2023.
* second chance romance
* dual POV
⚠️ check trigger warnings!
The book has a dual POV narration that alters between present day and the past. The two main characters, Clara and Benjamin, meet and fell in love at university. Both characters are flawed in different ways which makes them each feel like they don't fit in their university community. Despite both feeling displaced, the characters came from very different backgrounds which causes issues in their relationship. Clara grew up wealthy and privileged. On the other hand, Benjamin has to work hard to create opportunities for himself-all while he faces pressure from his father to make something of himself.
The main characters were real and complex. However, I still found myself irritated with the characters-mostly during the narrations from university. Clara is deeply insecure and privileged. There were several times I cringed at the pointless arguments she started. Benjamin is painfully shy and lacks self confidence. Both characters struggled with communication which was super frustrating at times. Due to the characters' insecurities, pointless arguments, and miscommunication trope, I found it hard to really really want these characters to end up together.
However, I still really wanted to see what happened to these characters. The beauty of this story was it was hard to put it down! Despite my feelings about the characters' relationship, I needed to know if they would be okay. The writing was very well done which helped build suspense and successfully tie in heavy topics. While this book can feel dark at times, and I wasn't super invested to the characters as a couple, I would still recommend this book. After finishing the book last night, I could not stop talking to my partner about it. This is definitely a book I will think about in the future!

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Benjamin's world is turned upside down the day he meets Clara. Instinctively, he knows that she is his person and he is hers, but the events of one of their last nights at university will take their lives in very different directions.
20 years later, an explosion is reported in the city where Clara and Ben met, and she is pulled back to a place she tries not to remember and the first love she could never forget. Searching for Ben, Clara prays that twenty years of silence is about to end.
But is it too late to put right what went wrong?
Really enjoyable read totally recommend
Thank You NetGalley and Aria & Aries
I just reviewed The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon. #TheOneThatGotAway #NetGalley

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Thank you netgalley for allowing me to read an arc of this book.
The author called it a mid-life crisis book, and i see what she means but i enjoyed reading this
Some parts of it were a bit dark but the overall experience was nice.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.

I really like the premise of a dual pov romance, set over years such as this one. But the execution.... no.
The only reason I kept reading this book, is because I wanted to know what happened to Benjamin and Aiden. I wanted to see it through to understand the beginning of the story and the "mystery" of why Benjamin was in prison.

I don't think I've ever disliked a character as much as I dislike Clara. She is rude, selfish, bratty, etc. In all the worst ways. Every single issue she had with Benjamin was her own creation. Even with her somewhat happy ending, I just didn't even feel for her at all.

Also, this book throws around A LOT of heavy things throughout the book with no trigger warnings ???

2 stars kinda feels generous. Idk.

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[arc review]
Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.
The One That Got Away releases February 2023

The One That Got Away is a dual pov, and multiple timeline second chance story, set in the UK, and split into six parts.
Part one alternates between the years 2000 and 2022. Part two covers the years 2012/2013. Part three is the years 2017/2018. Part four is 2002. Part five is 2022. Part six is 2023.

CW:
Cheating (physically and emotionally), miscommunication, self harm + cutting, multiple characters with cancer, parent death, suicide bomber, anxiety, panic attacks, mental health, alcoholism, child r*pe, IVF, endometriosis, vaginismus, chronic pain, manslaughter.

Before I even get into the contents of this story, I think it was very bold to blurb this for fans of Colleen Hoover because it just sets the bar so high.
Secondly, wording in synopsis’ is very crucial. An explosion gives the impression of something that could be more on the side of accidental, like a gas leak for example — when in actuality, the plot involved a targeted suicide bombing, which is way more extreme and sensitive of a topic.
Also, the “twenty years of silence” — it was never completely cut off silence for 20 straight years, so that’s misleading.

From the beginning, I found the relationship between Clara and Benjamin to be very awkward, and was never able to feel any real soulmate chemistry between them.
This story includes tropes early on that I do not enjoy and behaviour that I do not condone, which made it very hard to empathize with the fmc, who was insufferably unlikable.
I just can’t understand how or why you could be married to someone for 10 years, yet google search another man weekly, and think of this other man every single day. That is 100% emotionally cheating and I hate it.
Or, how you could constantly blame someone else for your infidelity or say that they deserved it. No. Those were your conscious actions, don’t try to spin it into something else so that you come out as the victim.
The mmc explicitly said that he was going home, didn’t know for how long, and that he’d call when he got back. So to freak out when *shocker* he did exactly as he said? It made no sense. And keep in mind this is 2000, so an era unlike 2022 where texting and social media is highly popular.

With all of the timelines, and development of other side characters and relationships within this story, it really felt choppy and often times the fluidity of the story was interrupted.
There was more focus on a past university character and a child, rather than the reconciliation that I'd hoped to eventually read about with Clara and Benjamin.
Not enough time was spent in the present timeline (2022), which had the ending ultimately feel rushed and unfinished.
I’m not necessarily unsatisfied with the ending, because I still don’t think these two main characters were mature enough to be in a healthy relationship even in their 40’s — however, for a romance, there are certain expectations you hope to be lead to by the end, so like I said, it did feel unfinished in a way.

In short, my main issues with this book laid with the cheating, miscommunication, suicide bombing, and throwing in the heavy sub-topics of child abuse + r*pe and drinking culture.
There were also characters that on multiple occasions, casually threw around the word psycho with the underlying recognition that the person in context was not fully mentally well, and that "clearly money can't buy you mental stability". I don’t think that’s a healthy depiction of how you should treat people suffering from trauma and mental health.
You literally never know what someone may be going through. This also ties back into the miscommunication, which is my among my least favourite tropes.

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