Remember When is the first book in a new adult trilogy by T. Torrest. The novel is told from the perspective of Layla, a 17 year old high school senior, living in small town New Jersey in the early 1990s. The story details her friendship with Trip Wiley (then Terrence C. Wilmington III, Trip for short) before he was the super-famous actor he is today.
Wow. I don’t even know how to explain how I feel about this book. I loved it so incredibly much. I feel like this:
However, there are 3 reasons why I almost didn’t give it a chance:
1. The synopsis does a terrible job of capturing the essence of the book. It implies the book is light and fluffy and silly. It’s not. It’s funny, and insightful, and heartfelt. It perfectly captures how confusing relationships can be in high school.
2. The title is trite and overdone.
3. The cover design is awful.
I’m almost angry that I don’t feel like these 3 things give the book a fair shake. The content is wonderful, but if you’re judging a book by its cover, you may pass this one by.
The more I think about this book and the more time that passes since I read it, the more I adore it. I was back in high school while turning these pages. I was remembering how terrifying my first love was and how I was so paralyzed by the thought of saying how I felt and losing him or doing the wrong thing and losing him. I believed these characters. I believed in their voices, feelings for each other, their confusion, and their fears. Everything about this felt so real and poignant.
I have never read a book that more succinctly and perfectly captured how confusing relationships can be when you’re so young and inexperienced- the fear and excitement of it all.
I loved Layla to death. Her voice is so finely tuned that I feel like she was my best friend in high school. She was innocent and sweet, while somehow simultaneously being witty and almost-edgy (not quite). She was very real. She was definitely multi-faceted- three-dimensional. The author allowed her to be so many things. She drank, but she made good grades. She was damaged, but she wasn’t drowning. She was cool, but still sometimes so awkward in her thoughts and interactions with Trip that you cringed for her. The development of this character was fascinating and wonderful.
I’m so sad that this is only available in eBook format. Until I own in it paper form, I will live in fear that my eBook copy will somehow get corrupted and the author will remove the book from the internet and I won’t be able to re-download it. This is the kind of book that you keep forever. It’s the kind of book that you re-read every once in a while. It’s the kind of book that you want to loan to everyone. **I FOUND THE PRINT VERSION ON AMAZON! SO RELIEVED!**
Would I recommend this book? Yes, to everyone.