Title: The Last Time I Saw You
Author: Eleanor Moran
Publication date: February 7, 2013
Length: 504 pages
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Age group: Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository
When Olivia Berrington gets the call to tell her that her best friend from university has been killed in a car crash in New York, her life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Sally was an exhilarating roller coaster, until a shocking betrayal drove them apart. But if Sally really had turned her back, why is her little girl named after Olivia?
As questions mount about the fatal accident, Olivia is forced to go back and unravel their tangled history. But as Sally’s secrets start to spill out, Olivia’s left asking herself if the past is best kept buried.
Even though I’ve heard great things about the author’s previous books and I even got as far as downloading her Christmas short story onto my Kindle, I haven’t managed to read any of these books yet, so I didn’t really know what to expect from The Last Time I Saw You. I have to say, though – I’m very impressed. It was definitely a pleasant surprise and I fell in love with the writing right away.
Apart from the fact that Moran’s writing style is just spot on and it got me hooked within a few pages, the other thing that made me even more intrigued by the two girls’ story is that I’ve had a friend just like Sally. While I was reading Olivia’s version of events I knew from personal experience exactly what they had gone through because I’ve been that friend and I could relate to literally everything she said. Even though Sally was quite a powerful character – a lively girl who always wanted to be the centre of attention and someone who was used to getting what she wanted – and her behaviour towards Olivia really started to irritate me at times, I couldn’t help wondering: what went wrong? They seemingly had such a great relationship… so what happened? What made their friendship end in such a dramatic way? And whose fault was it? And more importantly, how and why did Sally die so young when she’s always been the bright and energetic one? And this is exactly what Olivia herself is trying to figure out in The Last Time I Saw You – while she tells her and Sally’s story through an episode of flashbacks and tries to come to terms with Sally’s death, she herself is looking for answers.
The only thing I wasn’t really keen on is the last few chapters but especially the very last one. It seemed to have ended so suddenly and even though I loved the story and I don’t mind happy endings at all, it just seemed so out of character and so unlike the first 450 pages. It might have something to do with the fact that I didn’t like William (I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read it so that’s all I’m saying) or his relationship with Olivia, I don’t know. Love triangles usually don’t work for me because I always prefer the ‘other guy’ but apart from this aspect and the fact that the ending was a bit of a let-down, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it to anyone.
The Last Time I Saw You is a brilliantly written story of friendship, love, revenge, acceptance and overcoming grief that is guaranteed to leave fans of contemporary fiction speechless. Beautiful writing, compelling set-up and relatable characters – what’s not to love?
“Speed. I’ve always been fast – a low boredom threshold will do that to a person. How fast is too fast? I think I’ve just taken myself to the edge. Can’t count the junctions any more, they’re nothing but blurry smudges in the farthest corners of my eyes. I can’t see much at all, not with the acid tears that are biting into my face, the sobs cresting up inside me and smashing me against something hard and cold and unforgiving.”