Book Review: Before We Were Strangers

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

By Renee Carlino

  • Release: August 18, 2015
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Category: Romance
  • ISBN-13: 978-1501105777

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?



Guys, are you ready for an amazing, fun, romantic, emotion filled book? I hope you are because Before We Were Strangers delivers just that. This is an incredibly well written book;  Renee Carlino has gotten romance writing down to a T; the ups and downs of this story are perfect. Honestly, as soon as I finished reading this book I started doing research to see if the book was based on a true story, it was that real, it felt that real. There was no BS, fantasy, or frills; this book could be someone’s story, and it was AMAZING.

What I loved MOST about this book is that, at its core, it is really about first love and second chances. These topics hit home to anyone who is a romantic. Matt and Graces story penetrates your heart, I stayed up late and went to work tired a few days in a row just because I needed to finish this book. I was obsessed with finding out how every up and down turned out, just as much as I needed to know how it ended.

This is a beautiful and sexy story of two college kids who become “fast friends”, as Grace puts it, but it turns into more. Their story in college is one that is beautiful and amazing, as they learn about whom they are as individuals and who they are together. You get snipits of their lives in the past and present and the back and forth is perfectly put together. I especially love their second chance portion; it is my favorite part of the book. I don’t want to give anything away but it is not an easy road to get where they end up. Taking this journey with them, reading this book will stay in my heart for a long time. (SNIFF, wipes eyes with tissue, SNIFF)

If you enjoy a good heartfelt love story, I highly recommend you read Before We Were Strangers. I give this book 5 Nerd Glasses out of 5. This book really put an imprint on my heart, and I am definitely going to be reading Renee Carlino’s earlier publications. Oh and if someone in Tinseltown can hear me, please, please, please make this into a movie, I’ll heart you forever.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Bookahontas says:

    Great review! 🙂

    1. Dee Shore says:

      Thanks so much for checking it out!

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