Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Book Review: Maybe Once, Maybe Twice

By Allyson Bales

You know that old saying, “if we are still single when we’re 35, we should get married?” Well, Maggie Vine made that vow with two different people, at two very different stages of her life.

And they both showed up.

Maggie Vine’s life is going extra-medium. At 35 she’s pursuing her dreams of being a singer and being a mother—though neither is successfully panning out. So when Garrett Scholl—stifled hedge fund manager by day but electrifying aspiring rock singer by night—comes to her 35th birthday party with the intention to kiss Maggie senseless, it feels like one piece might click into place. Except he’s engaged to someone else, and Maggie knows she won’t fit into the cookie-cutter life he’s building for himself.

Enter Asher Reyes. Her first boyfriend from summer camp, turned into heartthrob actor, he’s lived a successful yet private life ever since he got famous. When a career-changing opportunity is presented to Maggie after her reconnection with Asher, it feels like everything—music, love, family—will fall into place. But her past won’t let her move on without a fight. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

It has been such a long time since I have been unable to tear myself away from characters when I am not reading about them.  The cover of Maybe Once, Maybe Twice looked more like a light hearted rom-com to me. However, this story is anything but. This story and these characters will live in your heart long after you finish this book.

"You know the moment you realize the person across from you could be the person who fills the blank inside your soul?"

From the very first page of this story, Maggie had my heart.  She has synesthesia and can see music in color and taste specific words.  She is thoughtful, brave, vulnerable, and a character you really can relate to perfectly.  I love her nerd music heart.  I love that she is 35 years old and loves writing music and is still on the road to figuring herself out.  I love all the lyrics of her songs and wish there was a spotify playlist I could have listened to while reading this book! I love that she doesn't have it all figured out and that's okay.  I also love her love for Garrett and Asher.

Garrett, or more specifically Grocery Garrett, is also in love with music.  Like Maggie, he is also trying to figure himself out and wants to always do the right thing by the people he loves and cares about.  He would rather others be happy than himself.  Asher is the kindest human.  There is so much grace in his character, so much heart.   Both men are the perfect book boyfriends.   The way they both care for Maggie and the way she cares for them in return is such a gripping plotline.   They both offer Maggie different and unique things and the "will they won't they" had me guessing and riveted the entire story.  I truly did not know what I wanted Maggie to decide, and that is the best kind of read!

I also loved Maggie's best friend Summer.  She is direct and the best kind of friend to have in your corner.  I love Maggie and Summer's dynamic so much and their friendship reminded me a lot of my best friend.  Summer is loyal and will show up for you at three a.m. if you need her.  I love the way Summer and Maggie challenge each other and show one another so much understanding and tenderness, never judgment.  Also, they are both going through different parts of the fertility process and I really love the way that Greenberg explores this topic.

So many women are going through different parts of the fertility process.  Whether it is struggles to have a baby, or fears about having a baby, or questioning whether they want to have a baby.  The process of motherhood is unique for everyone. I think so many feel alone during this process for fear of expressing their situation and feeling judged.  I love that this story brings that process more out in the open and the way Maggie and Summer talk about it and support one another is so important.  I think we need more of that.  I also think we need more women loving themselves!

I loved the way Maggie works on her relationship with herself.  She has been through some difficult situations and the way she processes that trauma and accepts who she is without apology is something I want to strive for.  Maggie's character is so inspiring! I loved that Maggie realizes what she deserves and goes after it with her heart open.  Maggie is definitely one of my all time favorite characters and I would love to read a sequel of this story to see where she ends up some time from now.  I miss her and am still thinking about her and will for some time.

This is my first read by Alison Rose Greenberg and I cannot wait to read more from her!  Her writing is poetic, heartfelt, and the vulnerability and development in her characters is my favorite.  The way emotions are described paints a picture in your mind that is impactful.  I also loved the funny, lighter side of her writing too.  

If you love a strong yet vulnerable female protagonist, friends that are your family, and women supporting women, definitely get your hands on this book!

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Also by Alison Rose Greenberg:

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