Review: Always by Sarah Jio


Always by Sarah Jio

Series: No

Genres: Women's Fiction

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Format: Audio

Narrator: Brittant Pressley

Source: OverDrive

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiance, Ryan, at one of Seattle's chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can't believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense everything connected and felt "right." But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what and whom she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she's willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love. 

WHAT I LIKED:

I’m a sucker for a second-chance romance so Always seemed like one that would be right up my alley. I really enjoyed the dual timeline that portrayed Kailey’s present but also shared, in bits and pieces, her past. In 1996 Kailey met Cade, a music executive with a talent for finding the next big thing in Seattle’s indie music scene. They clicked immediately, their romance was passionate, and they planned a future together. So why, a decade later, is Kailey planning her wedding to another man?

I was so drawn in by Kailey and Cade’s story, wanting to know what happened to them – what happened to Cade. I appreciated the way their story was told in snippets from the past and I found myself waiting anxiously for each “past” chapter. Kailey was a mostly likable character, loyal and determined, but it was Cade who captured my heart and had me wanting to take him by the hand and help him myself. Kailey’s fiancé’s reactions to her seeing Cade and her insistence in helping him rang true and I couldn’t help but empathize with him. This second-chance romance with a touch of mystery was an entertaining and sometimes emotional read.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:


While I was invested in Kailey and Cade’s story, Jio’s heavy handed narrative covering the homeless issue became preachy and off-putting. The tone throughout the sections where homelessness was addressed made the pacing feel clunky. Additionally, some pretty significant plot holes that were never resolved or revisited also tampered my overall enjoyment a bit.

3.5/5 STARS

HAVE YOU READ ALWAYS?

17 comments

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Totally agree about this one. I liked it but there were definitely things that took away from it. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Grace. There were definitely some issues, but overall I really fell for Cade's story.

      Delete
  3. I have had a few books ruined for me with preachy stuff. I don't mind being educated, but if I signed up to read a contemporary romance, there shouldn't be tons of political stuff in the book. Just saying...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! Learning about an issue is one thing... I'm all for that. But a romance novel being used for a platform to launch into a diatribe about a political issue? Ugh.

      Delete
  4. It's too bad about the writing being the way it was with handling the homeless issues, if it was handled well that would be different. The story as a whole sounds really good though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Jenea. If I overlooked the preachiness, the story itself was very compelling.

      Delete
  5. I've wanted to try Sarah Jio mainly because I thought her other book Goodnight June sounded so interesting. One of these days I'm going to get to that book!

    Glad you enjoyed it despite the issues. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Goodnight June has such an interesting premise. And I'm definitely not ruling out trying something else by Jio at some point. Hopefully we'll both get to that one eventually.

      Delete
  6. This sounds pretty good! It does such when preachiness gets in the way of an otherwise decent book- but UGH the plot holes too! I kind of want to find spoilers because I am curious to know how it ended hahah. Great review!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL I imagine GoodReads reviews are full of spoilers. :) The constant harping about the homeless issue was just too heavy-handed. It's obvious Jio did her research but it just didn't mesh with the story well. And one plot hole in particular just drove me crazy. Even so, I really fell for Cade and just felt for him *so much.*

      Delete
  7. Than for your honest review, Tanya. This is new to me. Thanks for sharing. Will check it out. 😁❤️

    ReplyDelete
  8. oh oh A professional DNFer like me needs a steady pace :) and while I LOVE second chances romance I think I hate preachy more :) so I think this one would have not seen the light of my blog but 3.5 is pretty good! That means you enjoyed it! I'm glad you did Tanya!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, overall I did enjoy it but it wasn't without its issues. If you don't like preachy, steer clear of this one.

      Delete
  9. This sounds interesting! I'm already routing for Cade and past love, lol, and I haven't read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL It was easy to root for Cade. Thanks Nicola!

      Delete