The Start of Us, by Hannah Emery
Publication: One More Chapter; July 31, 2020
From the moment they meet their worlds are changed forever. They know that fate has led them to each other.
Daniel knows Erica is special, but he doesn’t quite understand how special she is. Because Erica has a unique gift: an ability to slip between worlds and observe a life she’s never lived, made up of all the paths she didn’t take.
But just as their lives seem perfect, tragedy strikes.
Erica’s gift offers them hope – a chance to re-do their lives. But going back comes with risks.
What if Erica can’t find Daniel again? What if their paths were never meant to cross?
What if going back means Erica has to give up all the happiness – and pain – of today?
What if you got the chance to live another life…would you take it?
When I first saw this, my first thought was that it would be a more whimsical version of The Time Traveler’s Wife. However, this ended up being quite different. After the end of one relationship, Erica begins a relationship with Daniel. What Erica once thought were memories, end up actually being glimpses into another life, much like a “what if” situation, begging for her to consider if she should have made different choices in her own life, as well as, in relationships. Initially, I found this to be an interesting premise, but for some reason, it just didn’t work for me.
I think my main issue with the book was that I never became invested in Erica or her relationship with Daniel. I didn’t feel any great romance between them, making it hard for me to root for them, much less care about them either way. Daniel felt like any other secondary character and it just didn’t work. Some of my favorite books include secondary characters that truly help drive the story, but this was pretty much the Erica show, and unfortunately, she just wasn’t a very likable character.
Another huge let-down for me was Erica’s glimpses, time-travels, or whatever you want to call them. Overall, not much happened so I was left wondering, “what is the point?” Despite ups and downs the story has an overall HEA, not much happens during the travels, and although there is certainly some reflection about life choices, I didn’t feel that much of a statement was made.
I do applaud Hannah Emery’s creative vision and ideas for her plot, but as a whole, this just wasn’t a great read for me.
*Thanks to NetGalley for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.