Heartwarming, tragic, and beautiful. Not light, at all.
Disclaimer: I’ve received an advanced reader copy via NetGalley, this doesn’t influence my opinion or review. Thank you to the author and the publisher for providing me with a reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
“Pipe dreams and big plans with a man I’ve never met are perhaps a tad silly, but I think about it all the same.”
Who should read it? Anyone who’s ready for a not-light-at-all love story
Would I recommend it? Yes! 100% yes!
Possible Triggers (source): Cancer; Depression; Hospitalization; Terminal illness.
Even though I was expecting a completely different mood from this book, I could have never imagined I’d love it as much as I did! The main reason I picked it was because I knew it’d be relatable since I was in a not-quite-but-similar situation when my now-husband and I were forced to be in a long-distance relationship due to the pandemic restrictions. Unlike Hannah, I didn’t have as many supportive friends. In fact, pretty much everyone thought I was a lunatic for waiting for someone on the opposite side of the world.
I think this is why this book is so special too. Just because you are in a situation where you have to be apart from your loved one, it doesn’t mean your relationship is any less “real”. It’s easy to mistake the convenience of what (or who) is next to us with love or the potential of something that is right for us. However, sometimes, the best things and the most beautiful love stories don’t come easy.
Of course, this book is so much more than a virtual relationship between two people, and that’s not what the whole book is about. That’s as much as I can tell you to avoid spoilers.
Here are some things I LOVED about the book:
🧡 The depth of the relationship
Even when Hannah tries to dismiss her feelings or fears the judgment of others, it’s clear that she knows in her heart how she feels about someone who, technically, she “never met”. Perhaps if this happened to your best friend, you’d think they were nuts. But the fact that most of the book is told from Hannah’s perspective, really helps you understand why she feels the way she does. Every day in some long-distance relationship communities, you read about people frustrated at how their family and friends don’t value their relationship or can’t understand them. I wish I could recommend them this book!
🧡 The characters
I can’t actually remember the last time I liked most of the characters in a book (and disliked the ones we’re supposed to dislike). I like them so much that I get upset when others treat them unfairly — leave Joan alone! It just has that feel-good vibe that complements everything else, no matter how rough things get.
There’s one thing I didn’t love:
🌧️ Late POV shift
I mean, yes, it was interesting to find what was in the other person’s head, but it came way too late and kind of ruined some of the suspense for me. Some things are better left to wonder.
Overall The Man I Never Met was a beautiful romantic story that I couldn’t get enough of!