Published by Transworld Digital on January 23 2020
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Bought, Library
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?
Where to start… well maybe I will talk about the fantastic playlist of this book. I had to keep stopping the audiobook just to listen to the songs at that same moment. Whilst I didn’t like some of the songs the first time around, when I listened to them as part of the setlist, I fell in love with them and some completely resonated with me now. You can find the playlist here.
I loved the idea of the story, a love story told through music, I mean who doesn’t love how powerful music can be. It has been sat here thinking about songs I would send. Sometimes I do send songs to friends if they are ones that at the moment mean something to me. Songs really are powerful. For me, that was so emotive.
I found I could picture the 1970’s Sheffield and the houses Dan and Ali lived in, the football match they went to (a winner for me) and then in their present day. I have never been to Australia, but it is a place I would like to visit more so after the places that Ali visits, it just sounds amazing.
I was intrigued to see how these two people who were each other first loves would re-connect after all this time. Both grown-up, both with families and lives without each other. However, that moment that the first song was sent on Twitter, I didn’t see it panning out the way that it did. It was explosive, it started something that none of the characters was quite prepared for but it happened right when they both needed it.
I know looking some other reviews, some people struggled with the content of this book, and to an extend I agree. I don’t condone it but I thought that the way the story panned out, it felt quite real. It is the sort of thing that you would hear happening. The problem is when you know, you know. You forget everything else and you focus on what you want. Yes, it is selfish, but do you know what, you sometimes have to be selfish in life now and again. I loved that hear Dan and Ali’s thoughts going around in their mind, the way their focus was slowly panning out on what was going on what was in front of them, instead they were waiting for that next song to drop in their mailbox. It is all-consuming to them and us, I was waiting for the next song to drop, wondering what link it would be, what words would flow. It allowed us and them to be transported back into a time that was easier when they were together, but by no means easy. In fact, for Ali, it was so goddamn tough and she has it easier now!!
I bought the book and borrowed the audiobook from the library because I found this book was on my mind a lot and I was impatient. When I didn’t listen to the book, I was soaking up the past with the playlist on Spotify. I wanted to be transported back into a time where life is simpler. A life before moral dilemmas, family dramas and thousands of miles between them. It was bittersweet, but to me it was realistic and I loved how unapologetic this book was and so it should be.
Until next time xxx
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: