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Book Review

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 e…


by Sarah Jio

Overall Book 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 provided by the Publisher

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”.  

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.