Since Forever Ago

Since Forever Ago - Olivia Besse Thank you All Night Reads for providing me with an electronic galley of the book, I’m really glad I got the chance to read it and it was such a perfect pick-me-up that I’ve been looking for for the last while and finally found in this book. Many of the reviewers complained about Riley being an annoying, obnoxious, and slap-worthy character, so many in fact that the author even wrote a disclaimer that this was the goal, to make Riley that kind of character. I don’t know if it’s because of the disclaimer, or whether it’s because I knew this was a novel that targeted an audience that was around the 20-25 year old category, but I found myself really enjoying not only the entire thing but also Riley’s apparently “unbearable” character. Because come on, let’s be realistic – people are annoying and unbearable more often than we’d like to admit it. The plot of the book is nothing that hasn’t been explored before, but it was written in such an honest, light, and humorous fashion that the originality didn’t matter at all. I devoured the whole thing and had to force myself to take a break because there was homework waiting to be done – this was a really addicting guilty-pleasure kind of read. Even the swear words felt right in the context which they were used in, and the intimate scenes were written in a way that actually felt believable and without making it border the erotic eye-roll-worthy type of scenario. I connected with Riley and understood some of her reactions as well as her initial clingy attachment to Noah and her unwillingness to let him go, and her transition to realising he was wrong for her was another that really spoke to me and made me smile a little and nod my head in a way that made the gesture feel like an act of solidarity. Her friendship with Max is another one that rang a lot of bells in terms of personal memories and will resonate with a lot of people who read this book I think, because it’s the kind of friendship-turned-romance that many girls (secretly) wish for, and it was really hard not to root for the two of them to end up together. I think it has such a natural feel because it was written by someone who’s around the same age and who understands the situation and people that were described in the story, and if the author writes from their personal experience or emotional understanding that truly strengthens the book, as it does in this case. It’s not one that will win awards or probably be that talked about among young adults but it’s a book that is light, quick, and an excellent distraction from the somewhat exaggerated love stories that are currently being published and a much more realistic approach at what it means to love someone and make mistakes. Don’t pick this book up expecting smart, more-mature-than-their-age characters, because you won’t get them in this book. Which is EXACTLY why you SHOULD pick this book up. Literature really needs a break from the standard it has set for mature, intelligent, witty characters, especially female leads, which tend to dominate the book market these days. There need to be more Rileys that depict the raw human emotions and the side of craziness and obnoxiousness that is present in all of us. It was a humorous quick story that I dove into and ate up completely, and would gladly do it again.