Synopsis: Sarah doesn’t talk to strangers. It’s awkward, stressful, and there’s the uncontrollable blushing to worry about. When she boards a plane to fly home after an overseas holiday, she plans to stick her nose in a book and ignore everyone around her.
Aiden’s terrified of flying, and it’s his first time on a plane. If he can distract himself by talking non-stop for the entire flight, he will. Too bad for Sarah he’s sitting right next to her.
Against all Sarah’s expectations, she ends up enjoying Aiden’s company. They laugh, argue, concoct stories about other passengers, and accidentally hold hands during the turbulence. When the time comes to say goodbye, Sarah can’t help the crazy thought that she shouldn’t let Aiden go.
Then he kisses her.
And then he’s gone.
With her world turning upside down in more ways than one, Sarah has to make a decision: stick with the safe, predictable life that’s been mapped out for her, or find the courage to go after what she truly wants.
Genre: YA/NA Contemporary
I’m an absolute sucker for a good romance novel, and this book did not disappoint me. I actually found it to be very interesting, for a variety of reasons. First, it’s set in South Africa! As an American reader, I’m used to books being set in America (or in a fantasy or science fiction location that doesn’t exist!) Despite the foreign location, I found myself intrigued by the culture and customs that were mentioned, like the gates around the house and the different name for beef jerky. Second, I just found the characters and their actions to be so realistic and believable. Rochelle Morgan’s writing definitely kept me engaged and interested all the way through. I read this book in a single day, sneaking in pages between my other daily tasks.
While some might think that the romance between Aiden and Sarah couldn’t happen in real life, I disagree. Life is full of weird coincidences. While I’ll admit that some of the twists and turns felt too convenient for real life, I was willing to suspend my disbelief for the sake of the story, which already had me hooked from the very start.
Speaking of the start, I really loved the first chapters of the novel, which all took place on the airplane or at the airport. I think that they did a really good job of setting up the characters, their personalities, and part of their pasts. The author did a great job of peppering in minor details that hint at things, but at the same time don’t give anything away.
I think that Sarah is a very relatable character, especially for college students. She’s not sure about her current relationship or her college major, which I’m pretty sure that a lot of people worry about. Her reactions and emotions throughout the novel felt very real, and, given that she’s the first person narrator through which we experience the novel, I could sympathize with her a lot. She’s a writer just like me, so I really liked her as a character.
As for the drama in the book, that’s where I’m deducting half of a star. I won’t spoil anything, but it felt sort of hollow and drawn out. Of course, watching Sarah figure out her life and the cute romance scenes were what I really wanted to see, the drama just seemed a bit lackluster to me.
All in all, I’d definitely recommend this book. I was able to read it for free because I’m an Amazon Prime member, and there’s a prime reading library that you can borrow books from! I’m super excited to check out the other books available there, and to review them here! Fans of Gail Forman’s Just One Day will love this swoon worthy read featuring unlikely, foreign romances!