You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. This old expression applies to books, as well as many other things. A great start is key to pulling the reader into the story. If the first chapter doesn’t captivate me, I am easily distracted and it’s damn near impossible to make up for that shortcoming. Almost Missed You had no such issue. Jessica Strawser lulled me into the comfort of “vacationland”, not Maine, but the Atlantic coast of Southern Florida. I was there, picturing the waves crashing on the beach, breathing in the salty sea air with a rum drink in my hand…then suddenly, I got cracked up the side of the head and brought back to reality. Strawser had my full attention, she was not going to do that to me again. This is a straight tequila book, no icy beverages with umbrellas.
Sometimes I find it peculiar how a story can remind me of another piece of work. In a strange sort of way, Almost Missed You made me think of The Comedy of Errors – the lack of communication and misunderstandings made the story a tragedy of errors. Bouncing back and forth between the characters, I wished and hoped that they could/would just say it, come clean, all of this not saying it is bad. This all speaks to how well Strawser developed her characters. For the time that I was reading this book, Finn, Violet and Caitlin were an intrinsic part of my life. I liked them, I hated their decisions.
Almost Missed You was a great change of pace for me; often, it’s fun to sink into a book that’s set in the here and now, one where the monster might be your next door neighbor or even closer.
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