2 Book Lovers Reviews

When I saw that Renée Carlino had a new book releasing this year, I immediately added it to my must-read list. I didn’t need to know what it was going to be about, I just new that I had to read it. I had been hoping for a new book from her, but I am a patient reader, and let me tell you, it was well worth the wait.

As soon as I began reading This Used to Be Us, I knew that it was going to be a winner. Dani and Alex had a wonderful, romantic relationship, a beautiful family, and a promising life together. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? It was a lovely relationship, but this is where Carlino shines, she isn’t afraid to give her readers an honest depiction of married life, complete with the happy moments as well as the difficult ones. Sometimes a couple can make it, sometimes they are mature enough to realize that the relationship has run its course.

Of course, from the synopsis alone, you are aware that this couple is getting divorced. We witnessed how much they annoyed each other, how they lived together but still apart, and how what they once might have found endearing about each other was now something that just got under their skin. What I really loved, though, was how Carlino also showed us how they fell in love. She showed us their quirks, their intense attraction, and their overall respect for one another. It wasn’t always bad, they had many memorable, good times. They had been absolutely lovely together, until they weren’t.

This novel just hit me right in the pit of my stomach. I fully expected it to. For twenty-two years they had built a life together, but they just couldn’t make it. Trying to navigate their new lives apart, but still co-parenting and swapping an apartment every few days so as not to uproot their sons’ lives was definitely a lot to get used to. After they were Dani & Alex for so long, it was time to rediscover just who they were as individuals again.

This novel punched me right in the gut, repeatedly. There was never a moment where I felt anything other than fully invested in this couple. I was all-in, one hundred percent on this journey with them. It was an all-consuming, beautiful, heartbreaking, and emotional journey. This Used to Be Us is a mature, honest, realistic romance novel that just cements why this author is one of my favorites.

*5 Stars



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This Used to Be Us 
By Renée Carlino