Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Book Review: Us Two

By Sara Steven 

When Florence met Rowena, they knew for sure that they would always be friends. Wayward parents, boring teachers, teenage crushes, first heartbreaks – anything and everything could be faced as long as Florence had Rowena by her side. But then she didn’t. And life had to be redrawn and reconsidered. Being a grown-up has its perks, but as Rowena faces the biggest challenge of her life, and Florence wonders if it’s time to stop running away from hers, there’s a wise soul who knows the one thing that can help them both. Some friendships are meant to last forever, and it’s never too late for forever to start again. 

Joyous and heart-breaking, laugh-out-loud funny, life-affirming and unforgettable, join Flo and Ro on a journey that will warm your heart and perhaps make you wonder about those old friends who knew you so well. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

I like the parallels that are drawn between the friendship that Florence (Flo) has with Rowena (Ro), and the relationship between Florence’s former teacher, Cassie, and a friend of Cassie’s. At the root of things, there is miscommunication and other factors that play into both sets of characters experiencing a breakdown between them, which ultimately leads to severing ties. It’s what weighs on Cassie, enough to bequeath a campervan to Flo, in the hopes that maybe she can right the wrongs that maybe Cassie felt she never really got to do.

Flo has a tough time when it comes to trust. So much so, that she doesn’t even trust herself enough to rely on herself 100% of the time. It’s a big reason that she still lives at home with her parents, going on long trips out of the country in order to escape reality. Never really putting down roots. Her parents plan on selling their home and insist that she finally find her own way, and then the campervan is there, as though it was meant for her all along. We get glimpses of the past, when she used to love that kind of life, when she had her own campervan–before the horribleness of life changed everything. 

Cassie has presented Flo with a scavenger hunt, the type of shenanigans that she used to set up for her classroom all those years ago. The type of experiences that would instill interest in her students. That’s where the parallels come into play. Cassie’s past, and Flo’s too. I thought it was great that we had some flashbacks from Cassie, from Flo, and we’re also getting to see where Ro is now in the present time, too. 

There is plenty of mention of romantic love, but the bigger focus is on the strong friendship bonds that can form in our youth, and despite the troubles that might come and unravel those close bonds, there is hope for reconciliation. It was a very touching read.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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Janet Hoggarth
is the number one bestselling author of The Single Mums' Mansion and the highly successful Single Mums' subsequent series. She has worked on a chicken farm, as a bookseller, a children’s book editor, a children’s author, and as a DJ (under the name of Whitney and Britney!). She lives with her family in East Dulwich, London.

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