Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: That’s Not a Thing
Author: Jacqueline Friedland
Format: ARC received in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley
Release Date: 4/14/20
Meredith Altman’s engagement to Wesley Latner ended in spectacular disaster—one that shattered her completely. Years have passed since then, and now she’s about to marry Aaron Rapp, a former Ivy League football player and baby-saving doctor. As they celebrate their engagement at a new TriBeCa hotspot, Meredith is stunned to find the restaurant owner is none other than Wesley, the man she is still secretly trying to forget.
When Meredith learns that Wesley has been diagnosed with ALS, her feelings about their past become all the more confusing. As she spends more time with Wesley and is pulled further under his spell, she discovers what kind of man her new fiancé really is—and what kind of woman she wants to be.
I’ve never been yanked around by my heartstrings so much by a book before.
I didn’t remember anything about the synopsis before I picked up this book to read it, and I’m glad I didn’t. I’m glad I went into the novel blind, because I thought I had a pretty good idea about where this book was going, and I was so wrong.
I won’t go into detail here for that reason.
The first half of this book is told in a dual timeline. Sometimes when this happens, I find I’m more invested in one timeline than I am in the other, but that was not the case with this book. I was completely invested in both timelines from the very first page. I felt attached to the characters I was meant to feel attached to immediately.
I felt as torn as our main character, Mer. And that is not at all an easy place to be, not at all.
The first 30ish percent of this book seems like your typical novel. I thought I knew where it was going and I was comfortable with that. And then I was completely blindsided…and immediately after the first punch in the gut, I felt like I got hit again. And again. Up until the very end, I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how and if everything was going to be resolved. NEEDING everything to be resolved. And entirely unsure HOW I even wanted it to be resolved.
I casually read the first part of this book over a couple of days, picking it up whenever I had time. Little did I know that once I hit a certain part, I’d abandon my plan of getting to bed early and stay up all night reading fiendishly until I finished.
aside from the story itself, I loved the three main characters in this book.
Mer is not a main character I usually like so much. She’s almost overly self-sacrificing, greater-good kind of character that can be eyeroll worthy sometimes, but she isn’t perfect and she’s not annoying. She’s just a good person in a really heartbreaking situation.
Then there is Aaron, who seems like your typical almost-too-perfect rebound boyfriend and Wes, the magnetic first love.
There are a lot of typical romance tropes here, but I promise this book isn’t typical. It’s so much more and it’s a story that needed to be told.
I adored this book, these characters, and yes even the heart pumping, tear-jerking rollercoaster it took me on.
Keep in mind there are trigger warnings in this book for severe illness and loss of a parent. I’m not the best at spotting triggers, but I felt like I should mention the ones I did notice since this was an ARC.
Butterfly Rating: 5 Stars
Re-read Worthiness: Yes
Bookshelf Placement: Yes
Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars