A View from Forever by Charles Sheehan-Miles
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult M/F Novella
Format: Kindle ARC
Plot: Dylan Paris is a working class kid from Atlanta. A former high school dropout who is trying to clean up his act, Dylan is stunned to be selected for a six-week foreign exchange program to Israel.
Alex Thompson is the daughter of a wealthy US Ambassador. Several weeks overseas with an exchange program is just what she needs to get out from under her over-controlling parents.
They only have five weeks before they go back to their homes.
They have completely different lives.
The last thing either of them want or need is to fall in love.
Review: Just to be clear, I am a die-hard Charles Sheehan-Miles fan. This guy can write. No, really. He can write articulated, moving, heart-felt characters in these totally plausible situations that’ll have you spending the first half of every book falling in love with the characters and the second half having your heart ripped out by them. It’s a delicious combination and Charles definitely knows how to work it. In fact, he is the undisputed master of what I like to call nuanced coming of age NA. He writes a heady blend of nostalgia, teenage angst, and mature characterization. A View from Forever is a perfect example of this. This is a prequel novella to his highly lauded, Just Remember to Breathe, but it can most definitely be read as a standalone. In it we get to see how two characters meet, fall in love, and are separated by circumstances outside of their very limited control. It’s a sweet backstory that is only hinted at in Just Remember to Breathe but it puts their later relationship in a more dramatic context and gives us deeper insight into Dylan and Alex’s motivations. The book reads a bit young – more mature YA than NA – which is fitting with the age of the main characters. Watching these two tip-toe around new feelings and setting it against the exotic backdrop of Israel certainly makes for some heady reading. The romance is top-notch, the build up to it long and tension filled. But it’s also 100% PG which is frankly, a breath of fresh air in a time of glamorized sex among teens. All in all, a lovely edition to The Thompson Sisters’ canon.
What you’ll enjoy: the writing is phenomenal – Charles knows how to plot and build suspense until you’re just begging for something, anything!, to happen to force the characters’ hands; there is a sort of dreamy nostalgia to this story that will make you long for those care-free days when you had nothing more stressful going in life than falling in love; steamy international setting; totally clean with only a hint of kissing to whet your smutty appetite.
What you might not enjoy: honestly, there’s not much to dislike! Possibly the short length and what feels like a bit of a forced side-story about a missing friend of Dylan’s. All in all, the good far outweighs the bad with this one.
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