The One That Got Away
by Charlotte Rixon
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Pub Date 02 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 02 Feb 2023
Aria & Aries, Aria
A gripping and powerful story about first love defying all odds, for fans of One Day and The Paper Palace.
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.
20 years later, a bombing 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 regret is about to end.
But is it too late to put right what went wrong?
This is not a love story, but it is a story of first love, of the mistakes people make, and the lengths they'll go to put things right.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 255 members
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.
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
Thank you, Netgalley, and the publisher for the eARC!
This book was about college lovers and their story during and after college. The story jumped back and forth between present day and the past which made the plot choppy at times. There was a twist at the end but then the story ended- it would’ve been nice to read more about the characters during present day and even in the future. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book- it held my interest throughout the entire story.
A must read book! This is the first book I've read by Charlotte Rixon and I just simply fell in love with the writing style.
The One That Got Away was a fabulous book with incredibly smart and witty writing.
Characterization was excellent.
Brilliant in every way; making me laugh and cry while filling me with nostalgia and longing.
“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
Aria & Aries,
Thank you for your generosity and gifting a copy of this approved eARC!
I enjoyed this book immensely, although I believe it is geared more towards Women's Fiction than Romance.
This book deals with heavy topics, so it may be a good idea to research the content before reading.
What happens if it's the right people, but the wrong time? What if one decision can completely change the path of a couple's lives?
These are questions asked in THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY..
Ben and Clara met in college. We see Clara in present time at her journalism job when the soccer stadium in her city is blown up, literally. She remembers her old love, Ben, was a huge soccer fan and she is sure he was there at the time of the explosion. She leaves her husband in the evening to find Ben.
We get flashbacks of her and Ben's time together in college. We also get their time together after something tore them apart. We see they are both absolutely failing without the other.
They are both terribly flawed and tend to stay in their ruts.
This story could be viewed as a midlife crisis, and I suppose it is. However, I think all of us have at one point or another in our lives, wondered "what if" this happened instead of that?
This is not a cheerful second-chance rom-com, but it does give us a look into the lives of two characters who are ordinary. And that's a good thing seeing as how most of us are normal, ordinary, relatable human beings ourselves.
Thank you NetGalley and Aria & Aries for an e-book copy of THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Charlotte Rixon to review.
I rate THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY five out of five stars.
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!
Written in changing points of view, Clara and Ben’s story told over a 20 year period had me hooked and I finished it within 24hrs. Fans of David Nicholls’ One Day and Sally Rooney’s Normal People will I think enjoy this.
Much of the story takes place during their university years in the early 2000s and I couldn’t help but feel reflective and reminiscent about my own time at University, albeit at the opposite end of the country.
Charlotte Rixon has a very gentle touch to her writing and the story just flows off the page. The book does deal with some dark issues, a bombing and sexual assault to name two, as such it might not sit in everyone’s comfort zone. But ultimately this is a tale of love and loss, how do we live our lives when we believe someone is missing from it.
This was more emotional than I expected it to be. I liked reading this though. Clara was not a very likable character in my opinion. The story was relatable and I think it’s important to talk about heavy topics. I thought this was very well written and overall enjoyed this book!
Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for this arc!
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Aria and Aries for an advanced read in exchange for this review.
This book is about the story of Benjamin and Clara. They fell in love at University, were somehow torn apart, and now a big event many years later has Clara looking for Benjamin.
I am surprised by the other reviews of this book. I loved it! It's told in alternating views of Benjamin and Clara over the years of their relationship. It's not perfect. They certainly are flawed in their own ways. The description says that it is not a love story, and I was so surprised by how realistic it felt. They each made their own mistakes together and separately. That's real life. There's no perfect love story in real life, so I appreciated how honest and real this story was. The book starts with a bang (literally) and then Clara is set on finding Benjamin as we learn about how they were each other's first loves.
I LOVED this book so much! It was witty, romantic, and captivating and it kept me hooked the entire time!
Overall the book was nice. It is a book to read only in the right mental state. Deals with heavy topics and trigger warnings should be reviewed.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC. All opinions expressed are my own
I really enjoyed this book and don’t understand why there are so many negative reviews, it’s not a light and fluffy read, but real life isn’t like Bridget Jones. My main bugbear is that Newcastle football ground is called St James’ Park (it’s my home town so get it right please!)
Charlotte Rixon's The One That Got Away is a beautiful narrative between Benjamin and Clara. With every passing page, Charlotte's narrative style grows on you, her well-chosen words driving an intriguing and complex plot. A big win for me is how realistic and flawed both characters are. They come from different sides of their tracks, and each has trauma that they need to reconcile. Having a soft corner for History, I loved the timeline under every chapter, a gentle nudge to the reader to keep track of past and present events. Benjamin is such a lovable yet complex character, for his silence is endearing and deceptive. Clara is a perfectionist, hungry for more from life and can make words painful in a confrontation, indicating that she needs to heal from her past. I appreciate how this book challenges acceptable notions of team initiations and drug and alcohol usage and encourages readers to reflect upon this. The ending was a blanket of hope, and one thing I would have liked it if the final realisation was spread across the book, given that this book is a 20-year timeline between the protagonists. My heart was heavy and yet complete with this read. Five stars all the way, and I recommend this one!
A thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for giving me an ARC. This honest review is left voluntarily.
I devoured this book! This story follows Clara and Benjamin for over 20 years, and the way the story flits between timelines leaves you hooked and wanting more.
There are a lot of serious topics covered in this book, and it goes to show how every small action has a reaction.
Through all the suspense, twists and turns, you could help but go feel all the emotions the characters were feeling too.
A fantastic read and one that will stick with me long after I’ve finished reading.
Thank you NetGalley and Aria&Aries for the ARC.
I went into this book with no information and it turned out that, although it is not my usual genre (Women’s fiction), I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Two powerful messages explored through this book were the importance of your first love and that people can enjoy life despite how messy it is, and maybe even because of it. I would have appreciated a little more connection between the timelines (the book straddled the main characters’ lives as teenagers and many years later) but other than that I have no criticisms for this book. I recommend this book to anyone looking for realistic fiction and who loves the idea of examining life through reading. I look forward to reading other books by this author in the future.
Thank you to Aria and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book has some major trigger warnings so definitely research before reading! However, this was a great story of lost love. The dual timeline was a bit confusing at times but came together in the end. This is not a light romance, but I would definitely recommend.
The two main characters Clara and Ben were college lovers until a devastating event just before graduation tears them apart. Twenty years later, another event draws these two dysfunctional characters back together again.
Be aware that some sensitive issues are covered -addiction, a terrorist attack and sexual assault to name just a few.
Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for the opportunity to read this emotional ARC.
This is not your typical second chance romance type of book, it's heavy and full of hard topics (cheating, child sexual assault, abuse/assault, alcoholism, death of a parent, suicide/bombing) So if you're looking for a light second chance romance this is not it. However, I enjoyed the book, it's a duel POV that alternates between the present day and the past. The relationship first starts while they are in college and covers the twenty years that follow. I enjoyed the English slang, and for the most part, enjoyed the story. I think if it wasn't for the need to know what actually happened with the bomb and why Ben & Cara broke up I wouldn't have finished but I just really needed to know.
It's a decent book and I would recommend you at least give it a shot,
Great book, very enjoyable thorough out. I have to admit, Clara got on my nerves several times in this book, but it was her young jealous herself. It was fitting for her character but didn't stop me feeling like she needed a good shake. I think characters were written brilliantly and very realistic. Highly recommend
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book after reading so many mixed reviews for it. However, I really enjoyed it. I loved the characters, the plot and how engaging I found it.
Charlotte Duckworth is one of my favourite authors so it makes sense that Charlotte Rixon is her pen name for this book.
I’d really recommend this book and would urge you not to be put off by some of the negative ones you read.
📚 The One That Got Away
✍ Charlotte Rixon
📖 Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Feb. 2nd 2023
Thank you to @netgalley and @ariafiction for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Normal People meets Love and Other Words in this fabulous contemporary romance set in England. Told in alternating POVs and timelines between 2000 and 2022, the story of Benjamin and Clara's relationship is raw, passionate and heartbreaking and I can't wait for readers to get their hands on it in early 2023.
Clara and Benjamin come from very different worlds. She, from a posh family in London where she often feels ignored by parents consumed with appearances and him, from a small town in northern England where his mother is battling a terrible illness and his father is struggling to make ends meet. Despite the polarity of their upbringings, they both feel an immeasurable spark immediately after meeting in a bar while at college. For the next two years, they are inseparable- experiencing the highest of highs and lowest of lows together until one tragic night severs their ties.
Twenty years later, they've built separate lives, careers and families but haver never stopped thinking about the one that got away. When one harrowing event leads their paths to cross once again, will they re-unite or will it be too late?
What I liked: The writing in this book was so beautiful. The dual POVs and alternating timelines kept me up all night reading because I needed to know what the other character was experiencing after getting half of the story. I genuinely cared about who Clara and Benjamin became and what happened after their paths diverged. Bookended by tragedy, the way the story builds to both the events of 2002 and 2022 left me emotionally damaged- but in the best way.
What I didn't: For as well as the characters were developed in this book, I wanted closure and the epilogue didn't leave me feeling satiated. But, it felt real and true Clara and Benjamin- flawed people with immense regrets who have taken their time to move past and to the moments that have shaped them as a couple.
Read if you love:
*lovers to strangers, reconnected
*deeply flawed characters trying to get better
See also: Normal People (very Sally Rooney-esque); Love and Other Words; Truly, Madly, Amy
#netgalley #netgalleyarc #theonethatgotaway #charlotterixon #contemporary romance #romancereads #bookstagram #bookreviews #booktok #bookstagrammer
Wow! What an amazing book!!
Would love to read more from the author.
Thankyou netgalley for the Arc!
A beautiful, poignant, heartbreaking love story that leaves you feeling hopeful instead of wondering “what if.” At times this was lovely and at times it was truly difficult to read but it was gut wrenchingly honest.
My first by this author and finished it over two nights. I have not read a book like this in a while,
Of the two central characters, I warmed to Benjamin. The story has a few triggers which some may be uncomfortable with. The story moves back and forth which at first was a little tricky but I soon came to grips with it.
I enjoyed the storyline and I liked how the ending panned out.
I received an ARC through NetGalley of this book and I really loved it. I’m not sure I’ve read a book like this before, where it’s both a romance and a tragedy that ends with hope but not a truly happy ending. It felt more real than most books I’ve read and I really enjoyed the style and time jumping. I really don’t have anything negative to say about it, I kept wanting more and had a hard time putting it down. I wish I could see in the future of these characters to see what would come next.
I enjoyed this book very much. Second chance romances are always one of my favorites. I liked the dual POV’s, the suspense of wondering if the 2 main characters would end up together, and the writing. This was the first time I’ve read a book by this author. I found it to be entertaining although there are some heavy topics in the book. This didn’t feel like a romcom to me, it was more women’s fiction. I definitely recommend this to other readers.
Thank you for the ARC!
Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy for an honest review.
This wasa a cute book, a story about how the life happens and you even didn't notice.
For me, it was like realize that I have to act if I want something because there will be a day and I would look back and I can regret what I did or let happen.
The characters that the author describe can be your friend, a family member or even yourself. You can identify with her or with him.
Sometimes I felt that I was going too fast because of how things went by, but maybe the writer wanted us to feel how quickly time passes.
I recommend this book, you can read it in a day.
The one that got away by Charlotte Rixon. Thank you Netgalley and Head of Zeus for allowing me to prerelease read this book. What a rollercoster story with so many emotional trigger life changing episodes: anxiety from nearly loosing a sibling/ being forgotten by parents so absorbed by the sick child. Love at first sight. Fate meeting. Self doubt in relationships. Peir pressure to fit in. Lack of communication leading to misunderstandings. Obsessions. Class. Drinking culture and what it can lead to. What love is. What love is not. Abuse. The law. Family in all its forms.
A simple life with people I love. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. Isn't that we all ever want?
A good recommended read, be prepared to be frustrated with the skipping back and forth and being annoyed with the characters, it all will be worth it in the end👍
I received an ARC from Negalley in exchange for my honest review.
I rate this book a 3.5 out of 5. Don't get me wrong I overall enjoyed the book but I felt it had to many jumps around time from past and present moments. Also the changing of 1st person to 3rd person made for some confusing moments for me. It started off very slow rolling but it picks up and the story comes together nicely. I just had higher expectations for it because the synopsis seemed like an amazing story. I would recommend this to anyone that feels they're first love got away.
This book goes through many cycles of the strength and weakness of Clara and Benjamin. Yes, their young love was passionate and ferocious but it was also their first true love of which many, myself included, feel the same type of way. Once they left university and were befell by tragedy, what was hard is how each retreated into themselves. Clara was constantly affiliated with the word shy which was a departure from her younger self. Benjamin felt he never amounted to anything where his sons character was attributable to him raising Aiden. It was only at the end where they both realized they needed to live again. As stated, the world is yours for the taking.
Boy meets girl, they fall in love.. the end?
Not in this book. This is a dual POV story, which is something I have always been fond of, and Rixon made both characters feel extremely raw and gripping.
The book follows 2 main characters, Benjamin and Clara. Personally, I was not a fan of Clara’s character, she felt possessive and somewhat irritating, yet there were aspects of her story that made me want to like her. Benjamin on the other hand is a seemingly simple character, until you delve into his story and see there is much more to him than what’s in the surface.
Whilst this is a boy meets girl book, it’s far more than that, covering some really heavy topics albeit in a way that’s easy to swallow as a reader. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I certainly want to read some of charlottes other suspense books now, I may be hooked.
*Thanks to Aria & Aries / Net Galley for this ARC*
This book is a little gem! Such a great story and i devoured this is no time. Highly recommend. Run out and read this book.
Poignant and real, this is a story you’ll carry with you for long after you finish!
The One That Got Away will resonate with anyone who remembers the rush of first love and the heartbreak that follows. I couldn’t put it down. Packed full of depth, character and realism.
Loved this book from the very first chapter. The way it goes back and forth, explaining the story made this book hard to put down.
I loved Clara straight away, .her personality jumps from the page and you want to help her, guide her and most importantly, be her friend. And Benjamin, you want to hug him and help him to be himself. His troubled mind, her bubbly persona make them the perfect couple and for them to struggle to find their way together, makes the book even more enjoyable in a strange way
The major twist to the story, the thing that breaks them but ultimately makes them, was brilliantly written. I really liked this book right til the very last word
I loved The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon. Clara just jumped off the page with her grace and vibrance and Benjamin seemed like a teddy bear of a guy who needed someone to bring him out of his shell. Clara did that and they planned a future together after university but circumstances didn't allow that to happen. Twenty years later, after a bombing, Clara sees him on TV and goes looking for him, changing both of their lives.
Thank you to the author, Aria & Aries, and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
This was so much darker than I expected it to be, even knowing from the description that it involved some heavy stuff. But it also dragged me into their world in a way that was unexpectedly thorough, and definitely made it different than just a love story.
When Benjamin and Clara first meet, they both feel it. They are meant for each other, meant to be together - even if the start of their relationship is awkward, even if they fight and behave irrationally and lose themselves in each other.
But fate has different plans for them, and after a traumatic and life-altering incident at the end of their time at university, the two are torn apart.
Two decades later, Clara is at work when she hears of a bombing at a football game in the town where they fell in love. Dropping everything, Clara gets on a train and lets the magnet draw her back in.
Alternating between Clara’s journey to return to Benjamin, and the history of how they came to be, this story is about love - but not in any of the ways you may think.
"a simple life with people i love" that's what Benjamin wants. It feels as if that is what he has with his first love Clara. Meeting whilst at university. The roller-coaster of heightened first love. Underlying current of family situations. Then it all changes.
Neither of them can forget about the other and keep checking on them via social media twenty years later. Can they reconnect? Should they try to reconnect?
The story of Clara and Benjamin is romantics, tragic, and beautiful. You can’t help but feel the emotions of the characters so deeply and growing up in young love. Life threw battles they had to overcome to get to a steady place. I do think there should be a TW for sexual assault at the beginning of the book for future readers
Read and reviewed in exchange for a free copy from NetGalley. I was expecting a fairly light-hearted romance going into this book, yet it dealt with a number of complicated themes. The character portrayal and development was excellent, with three dimensional, flawed, while I wasn't sure about the characters as students, I became increasingly invested in them and was engaged in their story. Although elements of the ending I found implausible, I felt Rixon wrote well and sensitively about complex issues.
I feel quite protective of this book with some of the reviews I've read. Does it cover some dark, triggering topics, yes. But the underlying story is that of love and soulmates. It wasn't as light as I thought it would be, but it was a really pleasant surprise for me to have some real depth to the characters lives beyond falling in love, having an argument and sleeping together. It's beautifully written, emotional and has some shocking twists and turns. A wonderful book, which I feel is being negatively interpreted just because of the Netgalley category it's been put in.
Romantic love, I’ve found, takes different shapes, and presents itself in unique ways over the course of your lifetime. For some your first love is forever and those people know no one else. For others first love is fleeting, for some haunting, and for most unforgettable regardless.
Two years together, twenty years apart, but Benjamin is still Clara’s first thought when she hears about the suicide bombing at his favorite football stadium. Leaving behind her husband and job Clara races to the city under attack in hopes to find news that Benjamin wasn’t hurt in the bombing. The story is about their love, past and what remains in the future. Lots of trigger warnings in this one- suicide bombing, rape, death, child abuse, cancer.
Their connection from so long ago, so strong that Clara can’t help but to constantly wonder (and social media stalk) what Benjamin is up to even though she’s married to another man. Their brief sporadic emails always returned by the other speak that the feelings are still there on both sides.
What happens next? There’s a lot more to it than I initially expected while reading. This book isn’t a light and fluffy women’s rom-com or fiction, there’s some weight to it.
Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aria for the opportunity to read early. There will definitely be buzz around this one when it’s released in 2023!
Don't judge a book by its cover-- or title!
This novel is being done a great disservice by its soft, generic romance cover and title, as it's setting up false expectations. 'Charlotte Rixon' is not a debut author taking a stab at her first novel, as I'd first thought, but rather she's the creation of Charlotte Duckworth, a bestselling author with several books under her belt, albeit in another genre. In other words, the woman knows how to write.
This is not a sweet, lighthearted book about star-crossed lovers, with frivolous characters. Instead, these characters are grounded in reality, flawed and frustratingly 'real'. Clara isn't the 'cool girl' who can just brush off Benjamin's drunken boys' nights and obsession with football. She's needy and petty and, while not exactly admirable, relatable nonetheless. Benjamin isn't willing to just lay down and kowtow to Clara, but neither is he willing (or able) to see where he has ownership in their issues. If you're looking for simple, jovial escapism, this book may disappoint you, as it's far more literary than the advertising is making it seem. But taken for what it is-- a well-crafted character study-- it's beautiful and worthy of praise.
The One That Got Away utterly blew me away. It was the kind of book that makes me want to stand on a rooftop and shout how amazing it is to the whole world! I laughed a lot- I cried a lot. It was emotional and intense, it moved me. It was as close to perfection as you can get and a story I will never ever forget.
Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Benjamin and Clara start dating in university and fall in love. They are made for each other. Until one night and one horrible mistake ruins everything. 20 years later a bombing in their university town will send Clara back to a town she hasn’t been to in 20 years to look for the man she once loved.
This book was not quite what I thought it was going to be but it was better. Clara is a flawed character and she is allowed to be flawed and work through her flaws, as is Benjamin. It’s not often authors let their characters be less then perfect. Dealing with a lot of hard truths and a lot of complicated issues that are handled as such. The characters and situations in this book sit in a grey area, there are no easy black and white parts. I enjoyed this book a lot. I like books that don’t have simple problems and solutions.
Thank you to Net Gallery and Charlotte Rixon for providing me a copy of this book for review.
Family and friends...love and romance. I liked this book. It is a cannot put down story that is fiction...reads like nonfiction. The characters come alive on the pages...the one thing that was distracting...the years...the different times...I prefer linear timelines...and maybe going back to one time...but this book has so many different years that it was difficult to keep up. That being said, I really liked this book. This is a unique story in that everything that should happen does not happen...there are sad instances along with the happy ones. This book was sent to me by Netgalley for review. Thanks to the publisher for the electronic copy. I look forward to more books by this author. There are some frightening acts in this book.
This wasn't the light hearted read that I had anticipated. But I struggled to put it down none the less.
Ben and Clara have an unsettled relationship from the get go and very early on Clara seems clingy and disapproves of Ben wanting part of his life to be separate from her.
An incident changes the path in which they were both heading and I feel that this should have been the jolt that they needed to get their lives on track but this doesn't happen.
They dip in and out of each others life's via email and reunite in person later on unfortunately because of a bomb explosion.
The ending leaves the reader wanting to know if they do rekindle their relationship but unfortunately is not given.
A good plot, and I personally love the going forth between past and present. It's an underrated writing tool I think. An enjoyable read and good characters who feel realistic and true to life.
The One That Got Away was just great! I love the present and past timelines and the anticipation of what happened to pull apart the main characters while trying to reunite them in present time.
There were many times I wanted shake Benjamin & Clara, but then I had to remember they were college age and young. And we all do and say, silly things when we’re younger. It overall I loved reading about their story and the many tragedies that made them into the adults they were.
Overall I really liked this book. I’m always a sucker for relationships that don’t initially work out and have a second go of it.
I really don't know what to truly say about this novel. This review will be a little light because, you'll want to go into it with little to no information. I went into this book thinking it was going to be this one thing, and it turned out to be the complete opposite.
When it comes to the plot there is almost nothing I can say about it. I hope everyone will do the same to keep things from getting spoiled. The story is an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. But really, give this book a chance. I thought it was excellent.
ARC kindly provided by Aria & Aries via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Loved this book so much. Thrillers tend to be my usual read, so this was a departure from my usual genre, but so worth it! I fell completely in love with Benjamin and Clara and was absolutely desperate for them to get back together by the end of the story. The book is so evocative and beautifully written. Poignant and moving, I defy anyone who has experienced the heartbreak of first love not to cry when they read it. Definite 5 star read.
Clara and Benjamin meet while both are at university. Their backgrounds are completely different, but they fall in love. One night, Clara makes a decision that will have lasting repercussions and follow both of them for years. Twenty years later, there’s a bombing, bringing Clara to look for Benjamin, worried that he was affected. Can they forgive or has too much time passed?
I loved this story. It kept me guessing, which I always love. Watching the relationship between Clara and Benjamin unfold and deepen, reminded me of being young and in love and how ridiculous we really can be! Watching both of them weather the consequences of that fateful night, over the years, was sad. One decision can change everything. Definitely recommend!
An interesting read about first love.
This book addresses many hard topics so isn't the light and fluffy romance you might expect.
An engaging read with a multilayered plot.
'The One That Got Away' is a beautifully crafted love story which I devoured in just a couple of sittings. Rixon has created two complex and luminous protagonists in Clara and Benjamin who totally captured my heart, not because they are perfect, attractive or romanticised but because they are raw, real and flawed. The author skilfully shows how two young people, although deeply in love, can flounder in a relationship through lack of self esteem, fear, or bad communication. This book tears the readers heart apart, then gently patches it back together. With some unexpected twists and turns, I absolutely loved this book.
Initially I thought this was going to be a bit of a light hearted, predictable romance and it was far from that. It was well thought out and delivered and a thought provoking and enjoyable read. At one point in the novel I really wanted to plead with the author not to make my worst fears come true for one of the more likeable characters. One of the things I enjoyed about this was the fact there were twists and turns that weren’t overplayed for dramatic effect but kept you guessing. One of my big bug-bearers, however, is when there are these huge hints that something has happened but you’re not going to be given the details until later. It’s like having a conversation with a friend who assumes you know everything about their life before you met them and you feel awkward to ask. I hate it when novels say things like “and of course, nothing was ever the same since that great big thing happened and changed everything”, and then blithely skip on. I’m sure there is a better way! So the drip feeding of information kind of bugged me. I also found the two lead characters not exactly likeable and couldn’t quite understand their all consuming, time eclipsing love, however, who does understand other people’s romantic affairs? And the author sort of touched on this at a writers group which made me think this was conscious. The only other thing was the strange inclusion of Newcastle City which had me perplexed for a short time, but I’m assuming it was to avoid confusion with any elements being factual.
These are only minor things in an otherwise captivating and original story.
"The one that got away" was not quite what I expected, which is not at all a bad thing. There were a lot of serious and tough topics in the story that I enjoyed reading about, although I first thought this would be a lighter novel. The way in which the author dealt with taboo subjects was really nice and thoughtful. Although I thought the end was a bit rushed. There could have been at least three more chapters, wrapping things up.
Thank you so much Aria & Aries and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of The One That Got Away.
This isn't the type of book I normally gravitate towards, but I wanted to shake up my routine a little bit. So I was delighted to get stuck into this book. Much like the title suggests it's about a couple who didn't end up together and realising that their life would have been so much better if they had stuck it out.
We follow them through college in this dual timeline which also sees them 20 years on in their very different but similarly unhappy lives.
I really enjoyed the book and it was beautifully written. But I do wish it came with some trigger warnings personally.
The story jumped back and forth between present day and the past which confused me at times, then there was a twist at the end but then the story ended, I would have liked to read more about the characters during present day and even in the future as it left me in limbo. Loved the story though, enjoyable, totally recommend
“[Y]ou can survive anything life throws at you if you have a passion to pull you through.”
Twenty years apart: an act of “mindless violence” separated them and then another one will potentially bring them back together. In The One that Got Away by Charlotte Rixon, the inescapable bond of your first true love and how that can tie you together for life – especially when you thought you would be together forever until one unfortunate night occurs – is detailed and examined by the instincts to act.
Benjamin and Clara are two very different people, but they fall for each other hard at university. When an unthinkable event happens that separates them, their lives lead different paths for 20 years . . . while they each still think of each other and what could have been. But when an explosion happens at the stadium, without thinking Clara immediately gets on a train to find Benjamin to make sure he is alright – and to see if this is the future she was meant to have.
This is a story about true love and second chances told from two different narrators who have seemingly moved on with their lives, while missing the past.
From what I read in the description for this novel – this was not what I was expecting. There were a lot of heavy topics and I think some trigger warnings should have been given or for the book not to sound fully like a romance lovey-type novel. This was more women’s fiction and I think some false expectations could be perceived for readers in the future.
The characters are flawed filled with a lot of vulnerabilities. It was emotional and raw and while maybe not what I thought I was getting into, I did enjoy this book. Love is a really broad subject to be taken different ways and mean different things to different people. While I found some of the miscommunications frustrating, I still understood why Rixon chose to write this how she did.
My biggest critic is that I wish there was an epilogue, or one additional chapter to flush out the ending a little more. The reader is hit with a lot at the end – and then we are left to fully imagine the outcome (even though we are led to a somewhat conclusion).
I rate this 3.7 stars (rounded up here) and read it pretty fast, notwithstanding my critiques. I think if you have ever been in a relationship where you loved the person, or ended in a strange fashion, the book – at least on the “one that got away” part – will be relatable.
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC; all opinions are my own!
“The ones you can go years without speaking to, and then when you do, it’s like no time has passed. . . . these are the people who truly shape our lives. Who leave their marks on our soul.”
“A simple life with people I love. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.” – Benjamin.
It really reminds me a bit on „One Day“, although it‘s probably a misleading opinion.
An entertaining story, well written. We see two time zones - when both C & B met in college and then, 20y later.
Overall it‘s done well. A solid book in my view. 3.5, rounded up to 4
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this copy!
Highly recommend this one! This was my first book to read by this author but definitely won't be my last. The characters will stay with you long after you finish the book and you will find yourself wishing the story would never end.
I'm not sure the description will sell this story the way it should. This is not a story about first love, or enduring love, or not going back to the place where one met their first love. This story deals with mistakes, bad communication, addiction and what it does to relationships, dashed dreams, hope, abuse, familial love, doing the right thing, etc.. I kept pulling this one up on the app on my phone, even though we're traveling and I'm quite exhausted, until I was done. I loved it.
I'm in my 40s and in the middle of a very big change in my life and my family's life. Perhaps this novel is for people who are at a point in life when they're reviewing their choices and making new ones.
I received a free ARC from Netgalley. With thanks to the author, Charlotte Rixon, the publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this novel.
Harking back to her first love, from two decades previous, Clara is seeking something but it is not clear what that is. Rushing to find a man she has not seen for 20 years when she hears of an explosion at a stadium she believes he would be in attendance at.
There are lots of questions raised about the stability of both characters adult relationships, about what it was that went so wrong and split them apart at the end of Uni.
The book covers a number of very triggering issues but does so sensitively and discreetly, blending them well into the story line and characters back stories, enabling the author to tackle issues that might otherwise be too "in your face".
This book was the perfect mix of interesting, nostalgic, and romantic. The modern-day plot line kept the book moving forward while the 2000 plot line helped you understand the characters better. The incident that broke the couple up in 2002 was signalled enough that you knew what had happened before you got to that point in the book but that didn't take away from the reading experience as it didn't need to be a bombshell moment.
It's hard to give an in depth review of the book without spoiling the twists and turns so I'll just say, give it a read, it's good.
Thank you NetGalley and Aria & Aries for approving me to read and review THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Charlotte Rixon.
I truly enjoyed this book, although I believe “Romance “is not an accurate genre.
This book addresses some intense and difficult topics, so it may be a good idea to explore the content before beginning reading. I was faced with the unexpected many times in this story, which is good, but I wish I had been prepared in advance for some of the topics.
The book follows the timeline of Ben and Clara- their time in college, the one night that changed their lives for the next twenty years, and how first love is poignant and never really releases them. Both Clara and Ben’s lives are incomplete without one another. Clara’s impromptu decision to go to the site of a bombing where she thinks Ben may have been again causes a major shift in both their lives.
These characters are so relatable. There is no fanfare with them - what you see in them is what you truly get as the storyline builds, in its ebb and flow manner.
I am very much looking forward to reading more of this author’s work in the near future.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing this copy of The One that Got Away in exchange for an honest review.
Clara and Benjamin come from very different worlds, yet find themselves enmeshed in a tragic love story spanning 20+ years.
There are many heavy topics and triggers throughout the course of the book that are meant to serve as a strengthener to their love but also a major conflict to their relationship.
Ultimately this is a very solid story about the lasting bonds of true love in spite of everything meant to destroy it.
A beautiful, gut-wrenching portrayal of lost opportunities, second chances and how our own experiences, traumas, challenges shape the decisions we make. A novel for the vast majority of us who will find themselves at least once reaching cross roads in our lives. This wasn't a traditional rom com, It had much more depth and rawness, but I adored it. Huge congrats!
I received this ebook via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review and I would start by thanking everyone involved in allowing me early access.
This was so good I don’t even know where to start! It’s romance but somethings are somehow far from my comfort zone reading wise, but it was such a good reading experience.
For starters, I would like to thank the publisher for the kind e-mail. When we are accepted for a NetGalley book, we received an e-mail saying the book is available on the platform and, in this case, this e-mail said which are the trigger warnings for this book. I found this information fundamental and it improved my reading experience. I tend to prefer cute stories without major TWs, but I can also appreciate a heavier narrative if I’m aware of where I’m getting myself into. This e-mail allowed me to pick up this book at a time when I was mentally available for this narrative and for this I want to give major applause to the publisher. The cover is the cutest thing and maybe, without this e-mail, I would not be in the right mindset to fully appreciate this narrative.
TW: mental health issues, particularly self harm, sexual trauma, suicide bombing.
“The one that got away” as the title indicates, tells us the story of a girl and a boy who were in love but drifted apart. Benjamin was, for Clara, the one that got away.
We get a dual point of view, which I’m a major fan, and a multiple timeline. Both these aspects work wonders and are extremely well made, keeping the reader interesting until the end. The chapters are short, which also adds to this interest as readers, as we are frequently changing and getting to know the characters.
The story is extremely slow paced as far as romance is concern, which is something I don’t tend to appreciate but I really did appreciate here. I can’t exactly pin point what worked wonders for me, but something did. We get to know the characters individually and see how they change due to the relationship. The story is much more character driven rather than action driven and it made perfect sense. There’s a lot of character development and I was living for it! They only get together closer to the end but by then we are so connected with each one of the MCs individually that we can’t put the book down. Maybe this is the magic of the book, we see them as individual people rather than part of a couple and we root for the happiness of both of them, either with each other or with other people.
The last pages, my god! The developments were unexpected, which I also appreciate. I don’t really like predictable endings. I was so invested in this story, I was literally reading and brushing my teeth to go to work. I totally recommend this book, it’s so good I feel I don’t have enough words to express how it caught me from the start till the end, how invested I was with these characters!
This review will also be available on my Goodreads profile and, later on, on y instagram account - @cat.literary.world
I loved this book, I often think that writing in two different timelines in the same book must be difficult but this book does it fantastically well, it is so well written and I didn't want to stop reading because I wanted to know what happened! A book I will definitely be recommending, it is brilliant.
What a compelling book!
I loved the dual timeline and also the dual narrative. It really played into those misunderstandings and miscommunications of first love. The needy feelings and anxious worry of wondering if the other person feels the same way. Embarrassingly hard relate to that!
A rich, dark exploration into first and enduring love and the consequences of the choices we make.
A cracking page turner too!
Thank you to NetGalley, Aria and to Charlotte Rixon for the opportunity to read this advanced copy.
Clara and Benjamin come from very different worlds,yet find themselves enmeshed in a tragic love story. We follow them through college in this dual timeline which also sees them 20 years on in their very different but similarly unhappy lives. Thought-provoking and with heavy topics weaved throughout, I found this an intense but enjoyable read.
Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for providing an arc. The One That Got Away is available on February 2, 2023.
This book was everything I wanted it to be. It had me turned pages without even realizing. It was so good!
What a beautiful book! The story was so well written and the characters seem so real! It was so exciting and I was desperate to read more at the end of every page. I really enjoyed the different POVs and timelines and how they added so well to this amazing book! I was so intrigued for the plot twist and it was absolutely incredible! Can’t recommend this book enough! I loved every second of it!
This was a really good book. My thoughts are included in the attached link to my goodreads. Dual timelines can be hit or miss, and this was a hit. it worked so well
This book has moving timelines and jumps back and forth. This added to the suspense and made me want to keep reading as I needed to know what happened. I really enjoyed this book.
In the present day, Clara, a journalist hears about a bombing at a Newcastle football stadium, this takes her back to 20 years ago when she met Benjamin at university in the city. The novel moves backwards and forwards between the two time periods and the intervening years and we discover how they met and ultimately what separated them 20 years ago.
The One That Got Away is beautifully written, it's an emotional and compelling read which covers serious issues which I felt the author approached with sensitivity, and it never felt that these issues were being forced into the plot.
The author has a real skill of empathically showing how we come to relationships in our teens and 20s with many of our own issues, traumas, hopes and fears. I felt that I could relate to the anxieties of both the younger Clara and Benjamin, and this helped me to have compassion for my younger self.
This is not a traditional rom com, it's an emotional read but ultimately hopeful and uplifting.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this digital ARC.
When Clara and Ben met during their first year at university, they both became quickly enamored with each other, convinced that they were each other's person. The problem is, they both had a lot of growing up to do, especially Clara, who let her fears and insecurities put unreasonable demands on Ben's time and attention.
Perhaps if they had met five or ten years later, things would have gone better for them. But as it is, Clara's need to control everything and to be the center of Ben's world leads to a tragic situation that tears them apart.
Twenty years later, another tragic situation leads them to cross paths with each other again. The question is, can they overcome all the pain of their past or will they say goodbye to each other forever?
I found it hard to put this book down! I kept coming back to it at random times of the day, just to get a few more pages in. I did find it a bit challenging at times to keep up with all the jumping around in time, but overall, the story was very effective, and despite Clara's need to grow up, I found myself rooting for them as a couple, hoping for a happily ever after for them. Who among us doesn't have regrets about the past? The things we did when we were still too young to really know any better? A story like this gives hope for second chances.
Thank you to Charlotte Rixon, Aria and Aries, and NetGalley for an advance review copy.
This was a beautifully written story about a second chance at connection and the impacts of missed opportunities, Do we ever truly move on from the one that got away?
Trigger warnings include concepts such as acts of terrorism, sexual abuse and infertility.
All the characters were quite relatable, making it easy to understand their POVs and feel for them through out the many highs and lows they each faced through out the story. I do feel there were certain parts which could have been elaborated on a little further to add even more depth and dimension to an otherwise engaging and heartwarming tale of a what might have been romance.
I will also add that this story is more of a drama and I found it could have done with little more intrigue and suspense in parts, I did however also throughly enjoy the jumps between timelines and how it all came together in the end in a way reflective of real life!
Overall it was a sweet story which I rated a 3.5 stars , rounded up to 4 as it was well written enough with likeable characters and me engaged until the end,
Thanks NetGalley & Bloomsbury Publishing for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
A poignant read.
This story follows the love story of Clara and Benjamin who after many tragedies find each other again. Clara and Benjamin are complete opposites and come from completely opposite backgrounds however this does nothing to stop them coming back together.
This was a very long book which I ordinary would have given up on but just couldn’t put down. The characters feel real and are relatable. The story lines are ones that course through all of our lives.
A worthwhile wonderful read.
Please make sure to read trigger warnings before reading this.
I usually pick books from covers and if I had this one I would have just assumed was a romance.
It is so much more than that. It talks about real issues and hard issues.
This is a second chance romance, told in a dual POV through multiple time lines.
It is so wonderfully written that I couldn't put it down. It broke my heart, it made me happy, it made me sad and it made me utterly disturbed.
Clara and Benjamin have the most toxic relationship but I feel is not unrealistic for some in young love.
Although this was more of a depressing book, I appreciated the honesty in it and the way Rixon addressed issues and I actually enjoyed it quite a lot.
Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for the ARC eBook in exchange for my honest review.
I received this advanced copy.....and right from the start it had me hooked. It goes from multiple time frames giving a history to shape the present of the main characters.
Very heavy topics throughout the book.
I loved this story! This is the first time read anything from this author. 👌
I loved this book! From the initial trope, obvious from the moment you pick up the book and read the title, to the complexity of the relationships and characters throughout. At times, I found it hard to sympathise, understand, and connect with Clara, laced with what seemed like a slight arrogance, I feel like Clara’s character would have benefitted from more development, but I suppose she fits into the idea that no one is perfect and a person’s flaws do not define them.
I throughly enjoyed this novel. In fact, it’s one of the few lately that has held my attention throughout the entire story. While I could see a few things coming, I never felt like rushing though it. I would definitely recommend it to friends.
such an eye opening book. I couldn't put it down from the day I started it and read it almost in one sitting.
I love everything that Charlotte writes under the name of Charlotte Duckworth so I had high hopes for this. It was everything that I wanted, a great holiday read with some big questions in it.
Clara and Ben meet at university, and although their worlds couldn't be further apart, they fall for one another hard (in some fabulously written scenes that completely capture the intensity of teenage love!)
We know that something has happened to break them up but neither has been able to stop thinking about the other. Years later, Clara hears that there's been a bomb explosion at the football ground that Ben attended religiously and she finds herself compelled to go straight away and see if he's survived. The story jumps back and forward from their university days to now, both of them are in unhappy places in the present day and we slowly unravel what it was that has led to this point. There are some heavy moments in it - I have seen other reviews that felt that they should have been highlighted more in the blurb, so its not a fluffy meet-cute romcom, but I liked it more for that.
I sped through it all in one reading, it is a very readable book and made you think about those sliding doors moments of what might have been if you'd taken another path. A solid 4 stars from me- thanks to Netgalley and Aria fiction for the chance to read the ARC.
What a powerful and emotional book. This book left me breathless and speechless by this story of first love and redemption. It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone who reads this book will find it absolutely stunning and unforgettable! Charlotte Rixen is a new author to me, but I now will read everything she writes, and I will continue to do so. Forever. I think everyone would this well-plotted love story that is not a love story, but something so much more. Wonderful, captivating writing gives this novel the depth and ability to pull in any reader. Vivid, descriptive story-telling, with interesting characters that have depth to them, and are skillfully rendered. At the end of the book, I actually put it down to sort out my thoughts, then picked it back up and reread it. It was that good. Charlotte Rixen is now an auto-buy author for me, and I can't wait to own this novel in print. Do yourself a favor and get this book - you won't be sorry. This is probably one of my best reads of 2022!
I gobbled it up despite there being triggering topics. I felt invested in the lives of Clara and Benjamin in a way I haven’t with a story for a good while. Whilst there are lots of sensitive subjects, the author deals with it in a manner that doesn’t put you off ultimately what the story is about. I thought it was superb storytelling and I’m glad I requested to read it.
Clara, a well-to-do girl from London, meets Benjamin, a working class boy from Newcastle in their first year at university. They quickly develop a profound, if not quirky, love, doomed to fail. Fast forward 20 years and Clara is a reporter in a newsroom, she hears of a bomb explosion at the Newcastle Football Stadium, and knowing that Benjamin would never miss a match, feels compelled to travel there to find him. Told from alternating time periods and alternating viewpoints, this novel does a nice job going back and forth between the present and the past. Clara and Benjamin’s love is tangible and seems so solid, we are left wondering throughout what could have happened to their love. I found this book very compelling and hard to put down. Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the advanced copy, which comes out next year. For romance fans, I would say this is a compelling read.
Wow, I loved this book and honestly raced through it in 48 hours.
Firstly, this book isn't a romance. It's about missed chances, what if's, and how our lives can change in a single moment.
Ben and Clara fell in love at university, but despite the fact they both felt the other was "the one" a freak accident kept them apart for 20 years.
Told in multiple timelines, we learn about events that have shaped each of their lives. Ben, a single father, and Clara in an unhappy marriage.
This book does contain some subjects that may be triggering; suicide bombing, sexual abuse, manslaughter. However for me, it's an absolute triumph with a hopeful ending that left me in floods of tears.
The gentle pastel colours of the cover of “The One that Got Away”, and probably the novel’s title, leads you to believe you’ll be delving into a classic romance story, but this has a lot more grit than you might expect.
Read it if: you fancy reliving some of your most awful teenage decisions.
Don’t read it if: you want to avoid stories with triggers of sexual abuse and suicide bombing.
I finished this book in around a day an a half, and in a classic Charlotte Rixon style, the prose is unfussy, to-the-point and fast-paced. We follow the lives of two teenage lovers through three points in time, listening to how they individually experience the ups and downs of university life, through to adulthood.
Many have complained that one of the main characters, Clara, is deeply unlikeable, but I found her manic and unreasonable reactions very evocative of my teenage experiences with relationships! Some of the ways in which she allows people to treat her really hit home.
There are several disturbing twists in this book, and your sympathies jump around too. I still don’t quite know how I feel about it all, but I’m desperate for a sequel, please Charlotte?
With thanks for Netgalley and Aria & Aries for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Amazing book everything you want in a book is here thanks for the publisher and NetGalley for the arc of this book and wishing the author all the best with this book
This book followed the storyline of Clara and Benjamin. It jumps around timelines, where it starts when they meet while they are at university, the present day, and then somewhere in the middle. You get a full view of their lives and their relationship, although there certainly are some holes and questions regarding their lack of communication at many points.
I think the one thing that really bothered me was the dangling the whole reason why they broke up. It was literally at the 88 percent mark that it was finally revealed. It wasn't necessary to keep this hanging - the book already starts with a "cliffhanger" where there is someone who bombs a soccer stadium and we don't know who it is (we do find out by the end).
Overall, I liked the story of Clara and Benjamin, even if I did not like the character of Clara at all. She made some questionable decisions and was hard to like throughout her chapters.
The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon
(book review - 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)
Women's Fiction - Available on February 2nd.
This very powerful novel by Charlotte Rixon will stay with me for a long time. The emotion of it touched me deeply. Rixon deals with very sensitive topics and some people may not find it suitable. Be sure to read the trigger warnings before proceeding. The One That Got Away will be added to my book collection in hardback. That's right, it's that amazing!
Clara and Benjamin are meant for each other, but devastating events separate them. Several decades later, a bombing in the city where Clara met Ben and developed mutual feelings brings her back. Clara hopes to make amends for her regrets as she searches for Ben. But is it too late to fix what happened?
Thank you NetGalley and Aria & Aries for sharing this book with me. Your kindness is appreciated.
This was more emotional and dramatic than I anticipated! Would definitely not call it a romance book. Still a good read!
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on Charlotte Rixon's novel The One That Got Away and I am so glad I did! It was a delightful romantic comedy that had me laughing and smiling from start to finish. The characters were so well-developed and the story was extremely engaging. I loved the chemistry between the two main characters, and the plot was so engaging I was hooked right away.
The One That Got Away is a really powerful story, written with a strong voice. The connection between Benjamin and Clara is so strong that at times it feels like a danger to themselves and to those around them. The way Charlotte Rixon writes the chapters from the different characters points-of-view really allows the reader to explore the issues. I found all my alarm bells ringing as soon as Aidan had a sudden change of heart about playing football. It actually felt really uncomfortable knowing that his Dad, Benjamin knew something was wrong but not the severity of it. I liked the way the story ends with hope and open possibilities.
This book wasn't at all what I expected but for that I'm glad. It's a reminder of harsh times and it made me feel very raw. The first few chapters were a little hard to get into, especially with the time jumps but once I got into the story I found it easier too keep up with. It was nice to get the background knowledge of what Clara and Benjamin's relationship was first like and all throughout the book I was just hoping things would work out. I'm giving this book 4/5, its incredibly well written but I think some people might struggle with the time jumps.
This book was a delight to read. It deals with many heavy topics and touches on the complicated parts of what being in a relationship means. The story is also set between the past and the present and it is a nice contrast to have since it helps you appreciate the growth of these characters more.
I really liked this novel by Charlotte Rixon. The characters are flawed and well rounded. The story kept my attention all the way through. The interactions are so well written they feel real. Relationships have huge ups and downs and with each encounter be they romantic, friend or family, nothing was sugar-coated. I'd recommend it, just don't expect a love story!
I love reading the occasional romance/chick-lit book. This book was the perfect palette-cleanser in between my hard-hitting thrillers.
I really enjoyed this book. I liked it because it didn't feel too far fetched, like some other romance booked. It wasn't overly lovey-dovey - but it was about mistakes and how each choice you make can completely change your life and take you on a different path.
I found the characters to be really likeable, and really human. I loved them with their flaws.
The whole plot of this book is really original and I thought the present day story (including the opening chapter) was brilliantly real and hard hitting. It was perfect way to hold the story together.
I definitely recommend this book!
The One That Got Away - Charlotte Rixon
A debut for author Charlotte Rixon and one that I think has hit its mark..
I absolutely loved it...❤️
Loved Benjamin, loved Clara, loved their story...
Author Charlotte Rixon otherwise known as Charlotte Duckworth finds her niche in this genre..
Whilst I loved her books in the crime, psychological thriller genre, I do love her romantic fiction story...
I'm undecided on which is my favourite....
We meet Benjamin & Clara in this story...
A relationship so filled with mistrust and insecurities.
They wanted to love each other and they had such a connection but life simply got in the way.
I hoped they could sort things out. I crossed my fingers for them so many times.
A brilliant read, so very well worth your time....
Love, love, loved it....
A moving, heartfelt and wonderfully written story of life, love and loss. Brilliantly layered, full of intrigue and with characters that kept me gripped until the end. Fabulous.
This novel takes place in a span of decades and goes back and forth between past and present. I personally am not a fan of flashbacks but it was done well here; however it often really slowed down the plot for me and made it hard for me to keep going. It is very slow pace. Although the plot was intriguing, I found it difficult to root for the characters at times. Was their love really bone shaking? I liked Benjamin though.
Another thing to add is that their story was relatable. We all have that true love that may have gotten away. It was nostalgic. Traumatic.
I really enjoyed this, and read it in a day. I like that it doesn’t fit neatly into any genre and is unapologetic about that - it is simply a cracking story. Prepare to be transported back to the days of your first love… and to be made to think “what if…?”. I loved Benjamin and his story, was less keen on Clara but it didn’t stop me enjoying the novel.
The one that got away by Charlotte Rixon
“ A simple life, with people I love. That’s all I ever wanted!” ❤️
I just finished reading the book on my kindle.
I can say about the book that I had an idea of the possible story from the beginning, but was surprised again towards the middle of the book. The book tells a touching story about the first great love and about how difficult it can be to forget it... or not!
I found it very exciting to experience both sides of the story, because both protagonists were written from their point of view.
Already at the beginning of the book I had tears of emotion in my eyes, and the end of the book doesn't leave you cold either.
I find it admirable that particularly serious topics and violent blows of fate such as assassination attempts, death, illnesses, suffering, fraud, addictions and infertility are also addressed.
Incredibly touching story with the perfect ending for me! Only to be recommended!
This was an amazing read. I was captivated by the storyline from the very beginning, and couldn’t put the book down once started. We meet Clara and Ben at various times in their lives. Ben was Clara’s first love and one she never forgot. When Clara hears there has been a terrorist attack at a football match for a team which she knew Ben always used to watch, she literally drops everything to go and find him, even though they haven’t seen each other for years.
The story is told through different timelines, from Clara and Ben’s university days right through to present day. Whilst we are taken through different years, it’s done uncomplicatedly, and the time switches are easy to follow. I liked the two main characters, although I preferred Clara as an adult. They both had flaws, issues and problems throughout their lives, but the fault for these didn’t lie with one specific person but more as a result of what happened over their lives. What did happen is revealed slowly throughout the book, but for fear of spoilers I won’t say any more about these! There are lots of different plot lines all running alongside each other, some connect, some don’t, but the author has done a fabulous job of holding the tension and suspense high throughout. Whilst I guessed where some of the stories were heading, others came as a complete shock to me!
There are some major triggers throughout this book (abuse, death, cancer, terrorism to name a few), and this may be an issue for some. The author has written these with sensitivity, but I would advise caution for those who may be affected by these. It’s a love story of sorts, but completely different to what I expected. I was completely captivated by it and could feel the differing emotions as I read. There are lots of sad parts, but equally plenty of life-affirming and uplifting moments. My second book read of the New Year but this one will stay with me for a long time. Would definitely recommend.
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.
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.)
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY - CHARLOTTE RIXON
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??
MY THOUGHTS -
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.
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.