The moment in which Renée Carlino’s sexy summer read Wish You Were Here switches from breezy romance novel to something a little more serious comes at about page 180. The tone shift is a jarring change in what to this point was a light and airy story of Charlotte and a wild, romantic night with Adam. The boy in question from the title is Adam, a strangely acting lawyer who Charlotte literally runs into at a bar when out with her friend Helen. Charlotte is a dissatisfied waitress and the meet-cute leads to some steamy prose in their first and only encounter.
Then Adam disappears and Charlotte attempts to move on without Seth, a baseball fan and more of a counterpoint to Adam’s wildness. They meet through chance, from an online dating profile left up by Charlotte’s brother, and just when their story is starting to heat up, (including another steamy encounter), the spectre of Adam returns, and Charlotte must decide between the flighty Adam and the grounded new man in her life, Seth.
Obviously, I would have been happy to continuing to read the particular details, as the book felt realistic, or at least realistic enough. The surprise reveal on page 180 turns the book into a more unbelievable portrayal of a whooshing change and I didn’t quite enjoy the second half of the book as much as I did the first (Your Mileage May Vary, obviously, as some of the reactions and previews are extremely glowing).
What can I say, other than that the last few pages pick up significantly, but the encounters of the previous hundred pages didn’t seem to follow organically from the events presented beforehand by the author. Carlino seems to have a powerful fanbase and will likely grow it through the buzz of Wish You Were Here. Though I am not the target audience, I still wish the events were handled a little bit more sensitively.
Wish You Were Here was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. It may be purchased from your friendly independent bookseller or other fine bookstores.