ABOUT THE BOOK
You never forget the one that got away. But what if ‘what could have been’ is still to come?
Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape.
But that was years ago and Ali hasn’t thought about him in a very long time. Even if she had, she might not have called him ‘the one that got away’; she’d been the one to run away, after all.
Then Dan’s name pops up on her phone, with a link to a song from their shared past.
For two blissful minutes, Alison is no longer an adult in Adelaide with temperamental daughters; she is sixteen in Sheffield, dancing in her too-tight jeans. She cannot help but respond in kind.
And so begins a new mix tape.
Ali and Dan exchange songs – some new, some old – across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences, until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything…
Because what if ‘what could have been’ is still to come?
PUBLISHED BY BANTAM PRESS
Oh the joy of a mix tape! This book has brought back all those wonderful memories of songs from the past – the joy of finding a song that encapsulates a person, a moment in time and making a tape for that person, or yourself, and then years later the impact on hearing those songs again have on the life you are living now and leave you questioning decisions you made.
We see these impacts through the characters of Daniel and Ali – from their lives in 1979 when they’re teenagers, young and in love, to where they are now, leading successful lives but through a chance connection online, those feelings and memories from the past are brought back to the fore and we see how they confront their emotions as they look back and compare how they felt back then to how they feel now.
It brings up so many emotions – good and bad – and seeing the impact that the music from their pasts has on them was so intoxicating. There is a playlist of the songs on Spotify and this was a complete added bonus as it really helped you connect more with the characters and set the tone of the music and times they were going through. Their current lives seemed settled until these blasts from the pasts emerge and it really shows the impact on being truthful to others, and yourself, as it is often so easy to hide emotions to save the feelings of another but that soon comes back to haunt you in the future.
I loved how easy these characters were to identify with – Ali in particular, who didn’t have an easy homelife as a child, but found safety and comfort with Daniel. She had to put up with some pretty brutal encounters and you can totally understand why she chose to block so much of her past life out. Hearing from Daniel again makes her confront that past and leads her to start looking at her current life through different eyes, especially with her relationship with her daughter when tough times hit her.
This was a riveting read, with the added bonus of a soundtrack, and was a perfect exploration of how a song can jolt you back in time and bring back those connections that had long been forgotten. Highly recommended.