Stephanie never truly let go of her first love James in 1988. When the relationship ended she kept her diaries, letters and memories safe in the attic and her heart locked away from any future heartbreak. Now her daughter Charlotte is experiencing the same relationship break up that she did. Handing her daughter the diaries she hopes to save her from the bleakness she felt at the loss of first love. The diaries inspire Charlotte to strive for true love as she realises that finding the right man is worth the wait.
Can Charlotte heal two broken hearts at the same time through a strange twist of fate, destiny, music and dance?
Linking the lives of a mother and daughter together you can join them on their journey of discovery through the highs and lows of first love. Will Stephanie finally face the future after the scars from the past, and find out why James left her? Charlotte starts to discover that dancing with Mitchell will be the time of her life. Does anyone ever forget their first love and can you go back?
Being the age I am, the 80’s aren’t some magical ‘olden times’ ideal that my kids have. Reading this story, particularly the music references, brought back memories of my childhood. The way the author has used these songs, and films to move the story along and to emphasise certain parts on it is very clever, and worked so well, one of the best I have read.
The characters were, on the whole, relateable even if at times they were annoying. but, 16 year old girls are like that most of the time, I know I was. The way both Stephanie and her daughter, Charlotte were very similar, sometime they read like the same character just with different names. In some ways, this worked well, and showed genetics between a mother and daughter who are very close after the death of Charlotte’s father. In fact, it was their relationship that was my favourite aspect of the story. The interaction between them is realistic and relateable – the same with the raltionship between Mitch and James, when we get to view it.
The intertwining of the two romance plotlines is very clever, and done seamlessly. Each couple meets doing something they enjoy and it gives them an instant connection – Charlie and Mitch with their dancing and Stephanie and James at the swimming pool. However, it is here that I started to get jerked out of the story.
The dialogue’s formality is my biggest bugbear with this story. It didn’t read as teenagers, but rather as an older couple. A few more contractions would have prevented this and made the flow a lot more natural. Also, in places, the two love stories felt a little unnatural – but as we’re seeing them through the eyes of loved up teenage girls, that could explain the ‘perfection’ to each plotline, despite the angst.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, and will certainly read the follow ups, I just hope the formality of the dialogue won’t jar me as much as it did in this first book.