Book Reviews

Book Review: The Moment I Met You, by Debbie Johnson

The Moment I Met You, by Debbie Johnson

Publication: William Morrow; March 8, 2022


When I was twenty-six years old my world was literally turned upside down and inside out, like a coat pocket being excavated for loose change. It was terrible, and frightening, and it taught me a lot of things I never wanted to know.”

Elena Godwin has scrimped and saved for a relaxing dream holiday in Mexico with her handsome but laddish boyfriend Harry. Life has felt a bit less exciting than she’d imagined her twenties would be, and she’s hoping the trip will add some sizzle. But on a gorgeous summer evening an earthquake strikes—shattering their peaceful vacation. The trauma changes Elena’s life forever.

Ten years later, Elena still can’t forget the face of the stranger she met that night—the man who may have saved her life. When they’re suddenly and unexpectedly thrown back together again, Elena starts to uncover the truth around that fateful night, and question whether she should have lived her life differently in the years afterwards.

What if it’s not too late?

**My Review**

Oh my goodness I loved this book! This is the story of Elena and Harry who have been dating forever, things are kind of getting stale, so they take a long vacation to Mexico. One perfectly wonderful night, an earthquake destroys the small village they are visiting and changes their lives forever. Elena was chatting with another man from their guided tour, Alex, right before the earthquake, with whom she ends up sharing the trauma of the earthquake, and it immediately bonds the two together. Years later, Elena is going through the motions of her life and marriage to Harry when she is approached by a young filmmaker wanting to interview Elena for a documentary she is making to mark the ten-year anniversary of the earthquake. As she starts remembering and processing the events from the horrible night, Elena slowly starts to wake up and look closely at the life she has made and the life that she wants.

Debbie Johnson is a new-to-me author and her writing is beautiful. This is one of the best uses of descriptive language that I can recall, making me see, hear, and smell everything that was around them in that small Mexican village, in the hospital, and then years later in their lives in England. The only exception is Elena herself. I cannot tell you what she looked like. But everything else was so descriptive it lept off of the page.

I loved Elena’s character and only wanted wonderful things for her, but unfortunately, I felt sorry for her for the majority of this book. Her character put everyone but herself first until about the 85% mark in the book. I wanted to shake her at times and tell her to run away and be happy, but that’s just not who she was. I loved Alex’s calm demeanor and what a huge heart he had in his own quiet way. Harry just rubbed me wrong from the start and I’m not sure why. Most of the novel involves his saying or doing things that supported my less than wonderful feelings about him, but even in the beginning, I wasn’t a fan of his pompous and somewhat clueless attitude.

The Moment I Met You is certainly a love story, but it is also a story about what we give up in life and why. It’s about dreams that never got chased but were not forgotten. It’s about the universe putting two people together that were meant to get to know one another. Lastly, it’s about remembering your own happiness is as important as anyone else’s. I loved every word of this novel and devoured it an afternoon, but it is probably one I will read again. I highly recommend this one.

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

Pre-Order The Moment I Met You on Amazon!


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