Publisher's Note:  

From the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of Marchcomes a gripping, poignant novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember.
Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crain can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a journalist and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As she and Ryan leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister. 
When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense—everything connected and felt right. But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what—and whom—she wants.
Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Ballantine Books


by Sarah Jio

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Overall Review:  

Always is more than your average love story. Written by New York Times Bestselling author Sarah Jio, Always begins with an interesting premise and ends as a poignant story about second chances. The novel follows kind-hearted and likable Kailey as she attempts to make an impossible choice between her past and present. Set in rainy Seattle, Always alternates between two time periods -- 1997 and 2008. Jio has an impressive knowledge of 90's music and sprinkles popular artists and other musical tidbits into the narrative. Despite a few loose ends in the plot, the pacing is steady and Jio's writing is descriptive and entertaining. Always also addresses the topic of homelessness and humanizes those most affected. This is an excellent read and recommended for anyone looking for a good book!

Review of an Advance Reader Copy

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  2 religious exclamations; 6 mild obscenities; 1 derogatory name; 1 scatological word; 2 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:  A few secondhand reports of violence including a fist fight, suicide, a character appears with injuries, and a man is described as having "a record of assault"; a brief scene of violence when a character is punched. 

Sex/Nudity:  Frequent kissing; a character helps another take a bath in a non-sexual depiction of nudity; a few implied incidents of sexual activity; a brief scene of sexual activity without explicit detail between adults. 

Mature Subject Matter:  

Homelessness, abandonment, death of family members, miscarriage, excessive drinking, traumatic brain injury, World War II, and mention of suicide and drug use. 

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Characters frequently drink with dinner or at clubs; a scene takes place at a liquor store; drinks are spiked with liquor; mention of characters smoking and doing "coke".  

Reviewed By Rachel
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