Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, High School, Humour
Author’s Facebook page: Click Here
Years before Trip Wiley could be seen on movie screens all over the world, he could be seen sitting in the desk behind me in my high school English class.
This was back in 1990, and I cite the year only to avoid dumbfounding you when references to big hair or stretch pants are mentioned. Although, come to think of it, I am from New Jersey, which may serve as explanation enough. We were teenagers then, way back in a time before anyone could even dream he’d turn into the Hollywood commodity that he is today.
In case you live under a rock and don’t know who Trip Wiley is, just know that these days, he’s the actor found at the top of every casting director’s wish list. He’s incredibly talented and insanely gorgeous, the combination of which has made him very rich, very famous and very desirable.
And not just to casting directors, either.
I can’t confirm any of the gossip from his early years out in Tinseltown, but based on what I knew of his life before he was famous, I can tell you that the idea of Girls-Throwing-Themselves-At-Trip is not a new concept.
I should know. I was one of them.
And my life hasn’t been the same since.
**Remember When is the first book in an NA romantic comedy trilogy, but there is NO CLIFFHANGER. It is intended for mature teen readers and immature adult ones due to some high school sex scenes, underage drinking, questionable language and 1980s flashbacks.*
This was a truly wonderful and unforgettable tale that takes you on a time capsule and has you experiencing high school in the 90s and ahh…what a wonderful experience it is! I was mesmerised by the little journey back in time which I took and I am thankful to the writer for giving me such a great experience.
The story takes place in 1990…it’s written from the main character, Layla’s, point of view and it’s narrated in a way in which she’s re telling a story of the past. Apparently Trip is currently a famous movie star but I guess I’ll get to find out more about that in the next book. For now, it’s Layla’s final year in high school. She’s just your average teen, falls a little in the popular group. This year however, is a little different than her previous school years and not just because it’s her last year. No, this year there’s a new student in town, a change from all the familiar faces she’s been around her whole life. Trip. Trip is the kind of guy who every girl drools over. He knows just what to do get your attention. He’s pretty much the whole package with a cherry on top. The story takes you through that final year, the friends, the happiness, the memories and it’s packed full of 90s references so I guess there’s truly no way anyone can just not enjoy this story.
So the most important thing to know about this book is that it’s not a heart wrenching, eye tearing sob story. It is in fact very light hearted and contains some good ole’ humour. That is also the factor which contributes to giving this story its edge, the thing that is responsible for making it so likeable. I enjoyed the witty narration from Layla, it’s found on almost every page and for that reason I was drawn in from the very beginning right through to the ending. Here’s a wonderful example of exactly what I mean when I say the narration has an entertaining side to it:
Are you there, God? It’s me, Layla. I know I just jerked off some guy who is not even my boyfriend in the bathroom of this crappy, brown house. But if you could find a way to kill me quickly and painlessly within the next ten seconds, I promise to never touch another penis again. Well, I’ll be dead, so, I guess I promise not to whore it up in heaven. Which, of course is where you’ll be sending me, right? I mean I’d hate to think you’d deny me an eternity behind your pearly gates just because of one impetuous handjob. Thank you. Sincerely, Layla Warren. Amen.”
Another thing which I think contributed to making this book enjoyable for me is because it very much reminds me of those final days of school / college, where everything seems surreal. I imagine it is the same for everyone else. Those times which you know will never come to pass again and the waves of time will just float you by. But the memories that last you a life time regardless of whether they were happy or not, it’s just one of those times that give you the best experiences. All that is shown in this book. I adored the friendly humour, the times they had that will never be forgotten, I loved how close everyone was to each other. It was the perfect high school story. And those last moments where everyone tries to grip reality and say good bye to the old life to make a future for themselves. But it’s those memories that will last Layla a lifetime and shape who she is, that’s exactly what this story is about; ‘Remember When’.
This story managed to pull of the whole high school drama matter rather well which is saying something because I cannot tell you how much I usually hate books that drama in their stories. But I think the author may have added from all our experiences and there existed a little amount of all the ‘to be expected’ drama that tends to happen at that time in all our lives. But I guess it was the reminiscent factor added to it that made it really okay because I can guarantee everyone reading was thinking, ‘yeah I remember them times.’
And I cannot forget to state that the ending is what makes this whole story even more perfect. It may make you sob a little but in the happy, bittersweet way. I would hate to ruin that moment for anyone but every little part of that final chapter was amazing for me. I was a little mad at Layla for not opening her mouth and saying something tangible as final memories were created.
Overall, I can certainly say this is a book that I immensely enjoyed. It had humour, a reminiscent factor which is impossible not to like, it contains romance; and just a little bit of everything to make it a perfect little read. I cannot wait to read the sequel and see what it has in store for me! Will Layla and Trip ever find their way to each other again? I recommend this for almost every type of reader, no matter what genre you usually read, this is NOT a book which ends up on the ‘regret’ pile.
“I carved out little spaces within my heart; little, lovely mausoleums where I could lock each and every one of them inside, keep the memories safe and close to me forever.”