Title: Our Last Time
Author: Cristy Marie Poplin
Published Date: November 17th 2015
Genre: New Adult Romance
***THIS BOOK WAS PROVIDED TO NERD GIRL IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
Willow Monroe and Kennedy Danes have been best friend’s since drawings were assignments in school. They’ve been joined at the hip for years. They love riding bikes together, smiling for real, and laughing, even at the wrong times.
Once their senior year of high school rolls around, Kennedy becomes terminally ill. Though he has plans that don’t involve sadness, he still needs to find a way to tell Willow he only has six more months to live.
Willow and Kennedy can never say the word ‘goodbye’.They have this agreement to say Hello up until their last time spent together. The sixteenth of August in the year of 1997 is when Willow and Kennedy say Hello for the last time.
Nine years later finds Willow in the smallest hospital of Chicago, working as a registered nurse. There she meets Wyatt Blanquette, a curmudgeonly patient with untapped wisdom and heart, beneath a stony exterior. When they agree to be nice to each other instead of abundantly rude, Wyatt eventually shows the fact that he sees a light in Willow that cannot burn out. Everything changes once Wyatt reveals to Willow his heart-wrenching secret.
Willow’s thoughts bicker, and she has to determine whether she should suppress the feelings she’s afraid of reliving, or to let them be seen — with her heart wide open.
Kennedy and Willow are joined at the hip. They’ve known each other since they started school. It is almost impossible to describe the characters separately because they are so much part of one another’s lives. Kennedy had cancer early in grade school. Between the cancer and being raised by a doting single mom, he has a very mature voice for a teenage boy. Willow is a very typical introverted teenage girl. She clings to what she knows—Kennedy—and doesn’t socialize too much beyond her relationship with her best friend.
As their relationship deepens in high school, the two continue to meet at their childhood “club house” that they refer to as their home. When they part, they say hello to one another instead of goodbye. Their future has a deadline—Willow is heading going away to college and Kennedy is moving—and their inability to say goodbye and let go of one another is adorable and sweet.
Naturally, Willow is gutted when the cancer returns; Kennedy dies soon after they both turn 18. Willow has a lasting reminder of their love—their daughter, Annette. In her grief, Willow decides to keep the identity of Annette’s father to herself.
I struggled with the present day story for the longest time. I did not see the relevance of the story line until well-past half way through the book. In a way, it was refreshing to be completely surprised by the turn of events.
Nine years later, Willow takes a new patient that no other nurse wants. Wyatt is suffering from a heart condition, and seems like a cranky old man. He has had his own disturbing past that continues to haunt him as an adult. During his extended stay in hospital, hip Willow and Wyatt develops a less antagonist relationship. Rather suddenly, their relationship becomes a hot infatuation; while I found Willow’s behavior disturbingly unprofessional, anyone with a nurse:patient fantasy will love it.
“I hated that I wanted to be the one who made him smile.”
It’s no surprise that Willow and Wyatt pursue a relationship after he is released. Some of their early interactions didn’t work for me because they seemed too immature given the characters ages. However, I was delighted that both these damaged characters found someone who gave them a reason to open their hearts to love again. Overall, a 3.5-4 star read for me.
***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fan Site: www.facebook.com/NerdGirl.NG***
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