Everyone should live their life like Willow Stone. Willow knows the date of her death (read the book to get details), but instead of huddling in the corner crying, she lives each day to the fullest. On the first day of freshman orientation, she announces to her floor that she will die on December 27, 2019. She plays it off as a joke but tells her new floormate, Rosemary Burns, it’s actually true. She has no plans to let herself love because she doesn’t want to leave the person behind when it’s her time, but Rosemary isn’t just anyone.
Rosemary has always tried to make her parents proud but it’s never good enough. She dates the guys her parents want her to date even though she knows she’s gay. Even now that she’s away at college, she has no plans to live her life for herself, until her eyes meet Willows across the room. Sometimes, you know in an instant that a person will change your life.
These characters are so beautifully developed that you will feel like you know them. Willow, Rosemary and their best friends, Lisa and Tori will become friends. Willow’s family is lovely and give Rosemary the kind of acceptance and love that her family seems incapable of providing. What begins as a casual fling, or at least that’s what they try to tell themselves, becomes so much more.
Erica Lee writes beautifully emotional books, but this is so much more than that. If you follow her on social media, you know that this isn’t a happily ever after. What it is, is one of the most beautiful love stories you will ever read. Willow and Rosemary are the star-crossed lovers that we deserve. Willow helps Rosemary to live for today and to do what makes her happy and not to live to fulfill her parent’s wishes and Rosemary helps Willow realize that love is always worth the risk, even if it has an expiration date.
This book will rip your heart out, but it will also make you think about how you live your life. Are you watching it pass you by? Are you too focused on what may go wrong in the future that you forget to live for today? Are you “present” in the moments you spend with the people you love? Are you actually living each day and acknowledging how truly wonderful it is to be alive? Are you trying to make the world a better place and being the best version of yourself?
I know that I will come back and read this book many times. Not because I enjoy having emotional breakdowns in the middle of the night while my partner sleeps. But because I believe in love and I believe that we should all embrace having that person who makes our heart skip a beat and who knows what we are thinking without having to hear the words. And regardless of how long we have with that person that we should embrace the time we have with them because it’s everything.
If you choose to not read this book because it doesn’t have the happily ever after you want to see, then you will be missing out on Erica Lee’s magnus opus. And Then I Met You has all the things that I love in a book- humor, sizzling chemistry, love and even through the tears, hope. This is one of the most beautifully written books you will ever read.
ARC given by the author for an honest review