"It's an emotional story that will take the reader back to those feelings that made the late teen years such a powerful time."
Late one night Nicki Johnson plays with emotional fire and Googles her high school love, only to find his name splashed across the British gossip columns. Back in his native England, Adam Kincaid is successful and dating a woman from an aristocratic family like his own. With a career in politics, Nicki’s no slouch, but she knows Adam is living a world away from her life.
Yet there was a time he was no farther than the next locker. Nicki will never forget their year together in high school—the year of her sister’s death, the year her mother checked out. Adam helped Nicki through suffocating grief, and she led him through a coming of age. Was it just high school, or was it something more?
All of this induces a retelling of their high school days that lasts the entire book. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought that we would hit the ground running, knowing that these two characters had a history, and we would move forward with them reconnecting and stuff. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Beside Your Love is still considered new adult because of the adult situations, but for the entire book after the first chapter, we follow Nicki and Adam as young teenagers and how their friendship develops into love.
I don’t mind that type of story, but I’ve kind of grown up and am not into the high school setting much these days. The drama and angst of a young teenage girl on the cusp of womanhood is very present. Nicki and her family suffer from a loss that cuts them deeply to the core. They spend time trying to find their footing in the world again after their foundation has been shaken. Throw in a new budding romance and things can get tricky. I liked that Nicki was mature about the situation she was in and looked at things realistically. Adam seemed the more sensitive of the two and seemed a bit more reckless with his emotions.
Adam is the typical pretty boy foreigner. Everyone gravitates toward him, and he’s the type of person who can move between high school clicks seamlessly. He has a girlfriend for the first half of the book, and I found his actions hurtful, like he’d purposefully do things with this girlfriend in front of Nicki even though he has feelings for her. I don’t understand boys. Geez… he also does something really stupid toward the end that really acts as the catalysts for the reason why Adam and Nicki aren’t together. But I have hope for these two!
I found myself skipping parts, because I was a little bored with the details shared. This isn’t an action driven story. We follow these two people from the start of their junior year to the end which got tedious. I would have much rather read a story where Nicki and Adam meet up after years apart, which lucky for me should be the next book in the series. I’m looking forward to that one a bit more.
The writing style is good, but the story was a bit predictable given how the author set it up. I’m giving Beside Your Heart 3 solid olives.