Author: Jennifer Gilmore
Publication: June 14th 2016 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
n this exquisitely written, emotionally charged young adult debut, Jennifer Gilmore explores the bond that is formed between a hospitalized girl and the secretly troubled boy she falls in love with.
Did you know your entire life can change in an instant?
For sixteen-year-old Lizzie Stoller that moment is when she collapses, out of the blue. The next thing she knows she’s in a hospital with an illness she’s never heard of.
But that isn’t the only life-changing moment for Lizzie. The other is when Connor and his dog, Verlaine, walk into her hospital room. Lizzie has never connected with anyone the way she does with the handsome, teenage volunteer. However, the more time she spends with him, and the deeper in love she falls, the more she realizes that Connor has secrets and a deep pain of his own . . . and that while being with him has the power to make Lizzie forget about her illness, being with her might tear Connor apart.
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Some parts of the book gave me extraordinary experience. Lizzie expressed her emotions in different levels because one minute she's just one normal teenager with insecurities and then another moment, she's this matured person who just doesn't give a fuck about those shallow things anymore. Ileostomy is difficult to undergo to and even though there are moments Lizzie felt so ashamed of herself, she pulled through. Gilmore also gave us a chance to be with the characters and their support system side by side, it's like, the symmetry between the brokenness, illness plus the support system just lets us know things will always get better. Even if it doesn't yet, it sure will. Lizzie is just so loved and I truly appreciated the fact that she extended it to Connor (who basically is broken from the inside).
Lizzie meeting Connor and Verleine in the hospital is also another extraordinary chance. It isn't every day you get to stumble upon a book so unique you hug it. It was definitely insta-love but I guess this type happens and forgivable. Like, two broken people giving each other hope and strength? Yeah, I can understand that. I can also understand why this book can be disliked, this is another kind of hit and miss to the readers. It wasn't as compelling as you hoped it would but I liked it because if you think about it, really think about it, this book is enough. The characters didn't need to be written in such complex way and I believe this is what the story needed. And this story ended in a fucking cliffhanger which left me gazillion questions. I may never get the closure I need but I loved loved loved it because Gilmore made me hope for the better - Connor, don't fucking slip up anymore.
We Were Never Here is the perfect break from all the soul-wrecking and mind-blowing genres we are surrounded by lately. It warms your cheeks and leaves pinches to the heart. What a truly really enjoyable read.
Thank you so much HarperCollins International for the review copy!
"Sometimes you stop seeing what the person is to the world. You only see what the person is to you."
"You think the worst is behind you, but it's never behind you. In fact, saying something is the worst does not leave room for all the bad stuff that can follow it. You say the pain is nine, but you mean ten. You leave room."