We Were Never Here
By: Jennifer Gilmore
Available June 2016
Did you know your entire life can change in an instant?
For sixteen-year-old Lizzie Stoller that moment is when she collapses, out of the blue. The next thing she knows she’s in a hospital with an illness she’s never heard of.
But that isn’t the only life-changing moment for Lizzie. The other is when Connor and his dog, Verlaine, walk into her hospital room. Lizzie has never connected with anyone the way she does with the handsome, teenage volunteer. However, the more time she spends with him, and the deeper in love she falls, the more she realizes that Connor has secrets and a deep pain of his own . . . and that while being with him has the power to make Lizzie forget about her illness, being with her might tear Connor apart.
This Blonde’s Review:
Lizzie had everything going for her when she suddenly collapses. While spending months in the hospital waiting to find out what’s wrong with her she wants to give up. She’s miserable and doesn’t want to shower or walk or do any of the things she should. Until Connor and his dog Verlaine, come into her room. She loves Verlaine from the start, but she soon finds herself wanting Connor around as well. He seems to understand and accept her in ways her friends and family can’t.
Part of the attraction to Connor was his mystery. He had secrets and pain of his own, leading to unfortunate choices and being infrequent in his attention to Lizzie. I couldn’t understand her feelings for him when he disappeared on her so often. Luckily there were others in her life willing to step in and be there for her if she could accept who they were and what they had to offer. Not everyone is who she might wish they were, but she had to learn who to accept as they are and who to let go.
I was torn on how I felt about this book. I could understand how she might not care for her appearance or talking with her friends who seemed so far from her new life. But as the book continued and she got caught up in her feelings for Connor I had a harder time connecting. Thankfully the author did not make this story entirely about Lizzie’s feelings for a boy and gave her new ways to cope with the changes in her life. Not everyone deals with the grief tremendous life changes can cause the same way. For Lizzie, her healing started with a boy and his dog. I may not have cared for everything Connor did and the things Lizzie accepted, but her healing had begun and she opened herself up to more ways to heal and move on with her life thanks to him. So while I was torn, I still needed to find out what would happen and that’s an important element in any story, keeping the reader reading and wanting to know what happens in the end.