Can’t Look Away by Carola Lovering, 4 Stars

In 2013, twenty-three-year old Molly Diamond is a barista, dreaming of becoming a writer. One night at a concert in Brooklyn, she locks eyes with the lead singer, Jake Danner, and can’t look away. Molly and Jake fall quickly and deeply in love, especially after he writes a hit song about her that puts his band on the map.

Nearly a decade later, Molly has given up writing and is living in Flynn Cove, Connecticut with her young daughter and her husband Hunter—who is decidedly not Jake Danner. Their life looks picture-perfect, but Molly is lonely; she feels out of place with the other women in their wealthy suburb, and is struggling to conceive their second child. When Sabrina, a newcomer in town, walks into the yoga studio where Molly teaches and confesses her own fertility struggles, Molly believes she’s finally found a friend.

But Sabrina has her own reasons for moving to Flynn Cove and befriending Molly. And as Sabrina’s secrets are slowly unspooled, her connection to Molly becomes clearer––as do secrets of Molly’s own, which she’s worked hard to keep buried.

Meanwhile, a new version of Jake’s hit song is on the radio, forcing Molly to confront her past and ask the ultimate questions: What happens when life turns out nothing like we thought it would, when we were young and dreaming big? Does growing up mean choosing with your head, rather than your heart? And do we ever truly get over our first love?

My Review:

If you’ve ever experienced that type of hopeless, passionate, completely head over heels in love connection to someone, you’ll recognize the relationship that Molly and Jake have. It’s the kind of love that is so completely consuming, that realistically, it has no chance of lasting long-term. And as it turns out, it doesn’t.

Fast forward 10 years. When Molly meets Sabrina, a new comer to her sleepy New York suburb, she’s very excited. She’s never met someone in her little town that she truly felt she could connect with until Sabrina. And when she shows up in the office of Molly’s fertility specialist, Molly is even more excited to have a friend who understands what she is going through. But, just as true love was too much to last, apparently it’s also too much to ask for a true friend. Things are not as they seem and someone is lying.

Lovering does an amazing job in Can’t Look Away of creating realistic characters with realistic emotions. Sure, some of them are off the deep end, but that’s realistic too. It’s a great book, an amazing page turner and it was nostalgic revisiting the feelings of hopeless love and angst that many of us felt in our teen years.

Special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced e-galley that I took way too long to read. But I’m so glad I did! This one is available now.

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