I have been expanding my reading list this month by exploring more titles on 'Swoon Reads', the platform where my novel 'Family Portrait' is available to read. On the 'currently being read' section a book popped up that took my fancy - Since We Were Friends, by Zoe Haslie (available to read here ).
I'll start by saying that I am a big fan of friends becoming romantically involved, and also have always had a soft spot for stories where the protagonists end up having to live together, and the opportunities and problems that arise from that! These book included both these ideas, and I found myself caring about the characters from very early on. Sophie, Regan's new best friend, was a fantastic character who really stood out in the novel. She helps Regan in so many ways, and also has a fresh perspective for the reader on relationships and life in high school.Sixteen-year-old Regan Clark only longs for the summer camp trip her dad takes her and her three brothers in each year. But everything changes when the unimaginable happens—her best friend, and acquired fourth brother, Harper, turns into a big cheat and she gets cast aside. So when school starts again, Regan finds herself friendless, struggling with soccer practice and on the verge of failing math. On top of that, Harper’s own issues lead him to move in with the Clarks, which makes it impossible to hide all the bad blood between them. But meeting Sophie turns into a mindblower, for Regan’s introduced to the strange world of girls she’s been missing out until now. And, much to her dismay, she soon finds out what hurts the most about losing her best friend—to be secretly in love with him.
The protagonists both have their flaws and their struggles, but both are believable and their actions understandable in this YA novel. Both have issues outside of their growing feelings for one another to deal with, and I found Harper's respect for Regan a brilliant facet of his personality. This was a fast paced read that I was keen to complete after starting it!
One character I did not like as much was Regan's father; I felt his attitudes towards Regan were unfair and perhaps not challenged as much as they should have been, although this was addressed by Regan's mother later in the novel. I also felt this novel could benefit from another round of edits to tighten up some typing mistakes and incorrect usage of words - but this is all fixable in a novel with a really interesting premise and relatable characters.
Overall, I would recommend reading this novel if you're a fan of YA romance!
You can find Zoe Haslie's website here.
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