Book Reviews

Book Review: You Were There Too, by Colleen Oakley

You Were There Too,

by Colleen Oakley

Publication: Berkley; January 7, 2020


you were there tooAbout the book:

Mia Graydon’s life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too—unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of it, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he’s been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?

**My Review**

Oh my goodness, this was a good one! If anyone out there has an obsession (or semi-obsession) with dreams, then this is your next read. If you’re not one of those people, just play along because this is a damn good book. Mia and Harrison have a somewhat wonderful life and marriage. Granted, she’s had several miscarriages, they have just moved to a new town, no one wants to display her art in their gallery, etc. – but they are happy. Harrison is battling his demons, Mia is battling hers, but an important factor in her life is dreams that she has been having for decades about the same man. The dreams have been in a variety of settings with a variety of things occurring within them, and then one day she sees the man that she has been dreaming of right there in the flesh.  The best part? He’s been dreaming of her too! He has no idea why, but his dreams don’t have the happy or non-descript endings like Mia’s. As Mia and Oliver start trying to understand their unusual connection, Mia starts to notice Harrison pulling further away from her and their marriage. Not only is she trying to make sense of her and Oliver’s dreams, but she is also trying to understand the changes within Harrison and how to save their marriage.

I loved this novel. Although this was my first time reading Colleen Oakley, I had heard of her previous two novels, especially Before I Go. Her character development is fantastic in regards to Mia, although I felt a little slighted regarding other characters. I’m not saying that I loved Mia throughout the entire novel because there were numerous times I was just done hearing about her unwillingness to get up, move around, shower, unpack, buy furniture, and so on. I tried to empathize with her situation and emotions, but she annoyed me to death. Nevertheless, I was completely drawn into and addicted to her story. Even better – all of the surprises and twists. This book did not go like I thought it would at all. I had predictions very early on and also drew off of the prologue, but nothing I expected to happen actually happened. Except for the tears. I did expect early on that there would be some heart-wrenching moments and I was right about that. But there are plenty of wonderful moments to make it all worthwhile. 

This was truly a 5-star read for me, although I’m still not sure about the ending. I guess that I just wanted and needed more closure than what was given, something more concrete. However, if you don’t mind an ending that is happy, although a bit ambiguous, I think you will truly enjoy this novel. It’s original, emotional, moving, and above all truly encompasses the wonderful emotion that is love. I was more than impressed with Oakley’s plot development and originality and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. 

*Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review!


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