Review: Remind Me How This Ends by Gabrielle Tozer - More than just a 'boy meets girl'

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Remind Me How This Ends by Gabrielle Tozer
Released: 27th March 2017
Published by: HarperCollins Australia
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Pages: 352
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
It's the summer after high school ends and everyone is moving on. Winning scholarships. Heading to uni. Travelling the world. Everyone except Milo Dark. Milo feels his life is stuck on pause. His girlfriend is 200km away, his mates have bailed for bigger things and he is convinced he's missed the memo reminding him to plan the rest of his life.

Then Layla Montgomery barrels back into his world after five years without so much as a text message. As kids, Milo and Layla were family friends who shared everything - hiding out in her tree house, secrets made at midnight, and sunny afternoons at the river. But they haven't spoken since her mum's funeral. Layla's fallen apart since that day.

She pushed away her dad, dropped out of school and recently followed her on-again-off-again boyfriend back to town because she has nowhere else to go. Not that she's letting on how tough things have been. What begins as innocent banter between Milo and Layla soon draws them into a tangled mess with a guarantee that someone will get hurt.

While it's a summer they'll never forget, is it one they want to remember? A boy-meets-girl-again story from the award-winning author of The Intern and Faking It.
Thank you to HarperCollins Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


So you've finished high school...what next? In this heartfelt and adorable read, Gabrielle Tozer explores the time 'in between' the teen years and reaching adulthood. What I've come to love about this author's work from The Intern and Faking It is the humour and awkward-but-hilarious moments which we can all probably relate to on some level. Aside from the lighthearted banter between the characters, there is enough depth to what they are experiencing which really makes you think.


When we first meet Milo Dark, his life is almost on pause. Working in 'The Little Bookshop' in the small town of Durnan and his girlfriend Sal who seems to be having an amazing time at university hundreds of kilometres away, he's not really sure where to go from here. The pressure from his parents to go out there and 'make something' of his life like so many of his peers seem to have done is something which transcends fiction, and his journey which follows in the novel continues to reflect the challenges teens face today. From coming to the realisation that the excitement of a first love may not be forever, to slowly forging your own way in the world, Milo's character development seemed authentic. 


When Layla, Milo's best friend from childhood enters back into the picture after five years, it's certain that both of their lives are about to change. It was interesting to see how they both had been in relationships that were fundamentally flawed, stuck in a rut where their partners didn't truly appreciate or understand them as people. The friendship and flirty banter which soon develops between the pair and their text messages was a sweet touch, though I like how Tozer didn't shy away from addressing Layla's grief over her mother's death and how this had an enduring impact on her own sense of self. The alternating POV's between Milo and Layla worked well here, as we had the opportunity to see them reach their own conclusions about not only where the relationship was heading, but what their lives could be like outside Durnan and all the possibilities that lay beyond. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Yes, this is a 'boy meets girl (again)' story, yet also so much more. Where Gabrielle Tozer truly shines is in her ability to portray characters who are equally endearing and realistic. She has captured the uncertainty and the thrill of growing up; both the pain and the joy of leaving your old self behind to begin a new adventure. 

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