By some weird coincidence, this is the third book in a row I’ve read by a Lauren, though this one is much more familiar to me, since I seem to devour anything Christina Lauren have written in a day or two. And their latest, Twice in a Blue Moon (out tomorrow, October 22), is no exception. I didn’t even read the synopsis before I requested it on NetGalley; I just knew I had to read it.
Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.
During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.
Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.
This is, admittedly, only the third book of theirs that I’ve read, but it is probably my least favourite so far. In saying that, I do not want to imply that I didn’t enjoy it—I definitely did; I read it in basically 24 hours—but seeing as it’s my job to compare, there was something (only so slightly) lacking with this one. My guess it that maybe it was the humour that I’ve come to love that wasn’t quite on par with the others, but not every story needs to be humourous to be effective.
I really enjoyed Tate and Sam’s love story. The beginning of the book, which read like a YA novel, was probably my favourite, but as their relationship develops later on, I come to love them together just as much as I did when they were basically teenagers. Sam’s backstory was interesting, and it was clear why he was motivated to do certain things. I felt I could relate to Tate in terms of her love-life situation (not so much the Hollywood/PR part of it), and I liked that she didn’t jump into relationships just because she could, like, unfortunately, a lot of “actressy” women tend to do in fiction.
The secondary characters were fully developed and really added to the story, though I think Tate’s relationship with her father was missing something. I understand that it was really complicated, but I don’t know if it was really needed or whether it just muddled the story a little bit. I feel like we could have gotten the same plot without bringing her father into the picture… maybe. I’m not sure. Her mother, on the other hand, is amazing. I wish we got a little bit more of her in the story.
Without spoiling too much, I do love that there were part of the script that were fully written into this story. Though I don’t quite get the sense of how it could be a full-length feature, the scenes that were portrayed were powerful and really added a touch more heart to the story. I’ve read a few books that take place in Hollywood or on a movie set, and this is the first time I came across the moving-making experience quite like this. I liked it a lot.
If you’re a fan of their writing, you will love this story, too. It was a quick, heartwarming read with a twist that I didn’t see coming (but makes total sense in retrospect), and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
“He’s the one who taught me what love looked like and felt like and then taught me it’s a lie. I have never been able to come back from that.” —Christina Lauren, Twice in a Blue Moon
Thank you to NetGalley, Gallery Book and Simon & Schuster Canada for the advanced copy, and to Ryan Holloway on Unsplash for the featured photo of the moon.