Member Reviews

This book has heavy topics so I would suggest looking at trigger warnings. Its a good story but has some down moments. I would still recommend this book and will real be reading more of her books.

Thanks NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this ARC early.

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Thank you to the author, Aria and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to like this, the cover and the blurb sounded good - but I had a hard time with it once I started reading. It's not a romance by any stretch of the imagination, rather it's the story of a toxic relationship in university days that was torn apart by a tragic event which is frustratingly teased throughout until the last quarter of the book. The story is told in alternating POVs of the two main characters, and jumps around on the timeline, which did not always make it easy to follow. It also needs trigger warnings for a massive amount of heavy topics such as suicide bombing, alcoholism, self-harm, child abandonment, sexual trauma, infertility, child abuse, grooming, manslaughter... I could go on.
I found both main characters extremely unlikeable - which does not necessarily make a book bad. The two of them together were a toxic mess at university and their much-vaunted connection did not come across for me at all - not in their youth and not twenty years on.

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Not for me unfortunately. A bit too triggering with the bomb part to finish it at this time in my life unfortunately

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This book captured me from the beginning and went differently than I had expected, which was really refreshing for me. I’m new to this author too so I’m eager to see what else she publishes soon!

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Clara and Benjamin’s story captivated me from the first page. I devoured their story in under 24 hours. Charlotte Rixton’s The One That Got Away was filled with so much emotion.

Clara and Benjamin met at university. Their young love was flawed and emotional. I was cheering for them to work through their issues and fall apart at the very same time. Multiple timelines flip between their time at university, post university and twenty years later, after a suicide bomber attacks a football arena.

The One That Got Away deals with difficult subject matter such as abuse, alcoholism, rape and infertility to name a few. This story reminded me of Tell me Lies by Carola Lovering.

If you’re looking for an emotional story full of emotion and tense subject matter The One That Got Away will captivate you.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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This was such a great gripping book….it tells the story of 2 people who meet at uni alongside the story of their lives now….the 2 obviously collide! Such a great story and I loved the characters and couldn’t wait to see where it went!!

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Thanks to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The book can be classified less as a romance novel, and more as a contemporary character-driven novel. The plot is essentially surrounding the journey of the main characters, Benjamin and Clara, who meet when they’re both in university in Northern England and fall head over heels in love with each other. Unfortunately, towards the end of their time at university , and it turns out the end of their relationship, a devastating incident pulls them apart. The story is told from alternating POVs with the Parts of the book that focus on specific years of their lives and, at times, their relationship and since they've had to be apart, including events in the present surrounding a bombing in the city where they both went to university.

I enjoyed the book and feel like it was an easy read but with heavy themes. However, I did not really understand the characters' draw to each other and felt like they weren't really suited together. This could simply be their character flaws or the fact that we don't really get to see the "happier" parts of their relationship to get the full picture.

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PLOT - Benjamin and Clara are instantly attracted to each other when they meet at a bar..they both feel they are the one for each other inspite of their differences.
A devastating event on the last day of their university takes their lives in very different directions.
20yrs later now, a bombing is reported in the city where they met forcing Clara to go in search of Ben. But has it become too late??

This isn't a typical 2nd chance romance! Infact right from page 1 there is nothing typical about this book making it a unique and a different read...for eg..the book starts with a bombing scene definitely leaving the readers intrigued about the person and motive which is only revealed in the end.
Both Ben and Clara are emotionally vulnerable going through typical teenage issues resulting in lot of miscommunication between them.
I enjoyed Ben's character growth in the second half ..Clara not as much.
There is enough suspense in the book to keep one hooked throughout.
Do check the trigger warnings as there are quite a few in this.
Thank you publishers and netgalley for this arc in exchange of my honest review.

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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 devastating events of one of their last nights at university will take their lives in very different directions.

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I think this was a case of this just wasn’t for me.
It had the makings of a great book, but I never connected with it, the characters and i kept getting lost in the multiple timelines.

Sadly this just wasn’t for me.

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I love a book that is told from two points of view and is telling the story over a period of years.

Clara and Benjamin meet and fall in love while they are both at uni. Clara comes from a privileged background in London and Benjamin has never left the north. They both feel as though they don't really fit in at the university and houses that there living in.

There are traits of both characters that I can recognise in myself when I was their age and it's both embarrassing and amusing in equal measures.

I found the lack of communication between both Cara and Benjamin at times was hard to believe but other than that, I enjoyed the book.
All of the characters were very believable and I felt invested in their lives and wanted to know how they were going to end up.

All in all, a very enjoyable read.

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I loved this book. Clara and Benjamin came to life on the page with their flaws, strengths, hopes and dreams. I greedily raced through the book, wanting to find out how their story unfolded, and which sequence of events led them to the same city on one fateful day. Dark themes were expertly explored and the present-day events were teased out in such a tantalising way that piqued my interest. Clara and Benjamin's contrasting backgrounds and characters worked together really well and the sense of conflict between them built brilliantly to the event that tore them apart. Rixon perfectly captured the intoxicating intensity of first love and how its ripple effects can be felt throughout our lives.

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Thank you so much to Aria & Aries and @netgalley for this review copy!

This was such a page-turner - I read the whole book in a day! It follows two characters, Clara and Benjamin, who were together for two years before going their separate ways. Twenty years later, they both have their own lives, until a bombing is reported in the city where they first met, causing Clara to go across the country to find Benjamin and confront the events that tore them apart.

It’s a book that makes you really feel for two flawed main characters and one that sends you on an emotional journey across the years. I loved how the past slowly unfolded and you got to piece together what had happened, with the scenes from the present showing how much both of their lives had changed and how the past had affected them.

Despite the cute illustrated characters on the cover, this definitely isn’t a cosy romance. So many difficult topics were tackled, including emotional abuse, grief, mental health and alcoholism, which made this such a hard-hitting book. It’s not an idealised love story, but a book that shows the intensity and struggles of first love and the impact this can have on your future.

Such a powerful book and definitely one I’d recommend picking up!

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i feel like the couple didn’t rly make sense together so i’m glad they end up as friends only. it was pretty insta-lovey which is not my thing

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Ben and Clara tell their story over alternating time periods from when they met at university to the present. These two couldn't make it work as young people-too much about themselves- and parted. And now, Clara married and settled, is upended when there's an explosion at a soccer stadium where she's convinced Ben might be. It's not really a second chance romance but it's got good vibes and you'll root for them. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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I thought this book was a romance. It wasn't. There's so many trigger warnings in this book. And also wasn't aware that this is a multiple timeline kind of book. This is a realistic kind of read. And a dark one. I think the book should be upfront about this. It's quite good in my opinion. Been putting off reading this. But finally I had the time. It's riveting. I'll give this one a 4 star

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I had trouble with this one as there were so many time lines and I couldnt connect with the main characters, I didn't feel they had the connection that was described.

Not for me sorry.

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This is an emotional multiple point of view story between two people, over the course of the present and the past. When you meet someone at Uni and fall in love and all that and then something happens and life moves on and you have different lives.

Finally they find their way back to each other. It was a little long at times I just wanted it to hurry up and stop stalling for time.

The main characters where real with their true feelings. Clara can be an annoying character who was far too needy and toxic at times to becoming a lady with very low self-esteem who relied on her past and did not seem to see past it and for marrying a guy just because he showed up. Not for the fact of his actual qualities.

As for Benjamin, he is far too guy, lacks in all sorts of communication, acts like a d*ck in Uni instead of just being honest.

Yet I somehow kept wanting to know what happens, how will they get together and can it just happen already.

Overall, I did enjoy the writing style and the plot.

Thank you to the publishers for sending this to me in exchange for my honest review.

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Truthfully, I was drawn to this book by the cover and the blurb. What sounds like a heartwarming, second-chance romance was actually not the case at all. This book is extremely heavy, and deals with many topics that could be triggering to some. While I don’t have any triggers per se, I still found the book to be draining and exhausting.

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It's not a love story, it's a story about first love.

I almost DNF'd this but then something hooked me and I couldn't put it down. Told in alternate timelines, the story is about Benjamin and Clara. They had an intense, passionate connection in university, but tragedy tore them apart. It also brings them together years later.

Readers who enjoyed "The Girl He Used to Know" and "Normal People" will probably connect with this book as well. It was compelling and gripping. I gasped at parts; it felt more like a thriller or mystery at times. The characters were so realistic and gritty, full of texture and growth.

I wasn't left with fuzzy feelings reading this, but its execution was masterful. What an emotional journey of heartbreak, loss, and redemption.

I will say that the title does not fit this book at all. It's so unimaginative and not even accurate to the theme of the book. There were several other phrases from the writing itself that could have been the title instead. (I mean, dozens of books with this same title exist; its a poor choice for SEO considerations alone.)

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