ARC Review: Last Time We Met by Emily Houghton

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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher, Transworld (Random House, U.K.), in exchange for an honest review.

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Aged thirteen, best friends Eleanor and Fin are inseparable. Convinced it will always be this way they make a pact – to go to university together, always live near each other, and if they’re both single at 35 they’ll get married.  

Eleanor and Fin haven’t spoken in fifteen years. Life has run away from them and they’re both far from where they’d dreamt of being all those years ago. 

It takes tragic circumstances for Fin to come back into Eleanor’s life, but everything has changed since the last time they met. Is it too late to mend their friendship? Or is there a chance they can keep some of the promises they made?

My Thoughts

This book was my penultimate read of last month and what a good read it was!

Following on from her debut novel, Before I Saw You , Emily Houghton returns with Last Time We Met – a friends-to-lovers-come-second-chance romance novel.

In it, we are introduced to Eleanor Levy and Fin Taylor — two childhood friends who have lost touch but, through pretty bleak circumstances, find their paths crossing again. Through dual narrative, we figure out there is more than meets the eye where these characters and their fallout (if you can call it that) is concerned. The flashbacks in this really made my heart melt, conjuring up one of my all-time favourite love stories Where Rainbows End, and I spent the whole book like please get to this point again!! Even though there were moments I was shaking my head at one or both of them, Houghton has again given us two characters we can’t help but root for — both as individuals and together, I think.

Houghton also presents a lovely set of secondary characters, to the people Eleanor meets in art class to her gorgeous sister Freya and wonderful, slightly eccentric mum Angela. Very often, secondary characters are just that but — in this book — they provide, sometimes much needed, comedic relief and help the plot glide along nicely (which helped when it needed a bit of a push).

A lot of the time, these kinds of books are as sickly sweet as the icing on the carrot cake I was eating at the time of writing this review but – much like her debut – Last Time We Met isn’t all sweetness and light. In amongst the sweet flashbacks and the heart melting present day scenes, Houghton addresses losing a loved one, illness, alcoholism, abusive relationships amongst other things. Whilst it didn’t always make the reading easy, or that enjoyable, these serious issues were dealt with sensitively and it made the book feel more authentic and emotional.

If you fancy picking up a poolside read, or something to cosy up on the couch with, Last Time We Met might just be the read you need (you may also need tissues!).

You can follow Emily Houghton on Instagram , Twitter and her website .

You can buy this book here.

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