Title: The Possibility of Us
Author: Lisa Burstein
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Publication date: July 1, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Arc received from Publisher – thank you!
In a nutshell: The book hits you right in the feels.
|One weekend together could change everything…
When her friend called to tell her about the funeral, Cassie wanted to say no. She had enough to handle with her own hollow existence. But she knew she should pay her respects to her old Wilderness Program counselor…as long as her ex, Ben, wouldn’t be there.
Except Ben is there. Still gorgeous, still angry, and still able to penetrate her defenses with one intense stare. All the reasons they left each other in a flurry of heartache start to fall away over one long, snowy weekend.
But tough Cassie can’t truly open up to Ben when she knows confessing her secrets will leave her raw, defenseless. And the possibility of forever might not be enough to gamble on all the impossibilities of now.
This book just proved me once again how much I adore Lisa Burstein’s writing. There is that certain something in this book I can’t describe but anyways, The Possibility of Us is just so, soo good!
I have to admit though that I was a little bit sceptical about the book at first. I mean, obviously, the story is all about if Cassie and Ben will reconcile or not, but within TWO days only? That’s actually quite a critical amount of time and I was not exactly sure how the plot was supposed to work out. But gladly, it did! However, the sympathy I’m feeling towards the character now….I definitely did not feel the same right from the very first page.
The story starts off pretty slow-paced for my liking. Ben and Cassie — they are a bit like two lazy pigs for me at the beginning: They obviously have not recovered from their break-up six months ago yet and there were many moments in the first 40 pages or so where I just wanted to jump up from my chair and tell them to PUT THEMSELVES TOGETHER and to talk to each other again (Cassie lives at her brother’s place now; Ben went back to Maine). Just as Cassie is doing her boring morning routine (aka scrolling through her Facebook feed) she receives news that her former “boot camp” counselor has passed away. The hitch of the story? She has to see Ben again..and that is where the real story begins.
It was such a blast to see Cassie and Ben facing each other, trying to give each other a hard time although they are clearly so much better together than apart. Their stubbornness, however, definitely gave me one of the best reading moments.
The narrative style alternates between Ben’s and Cassie’s POV. I’m usually not that much of a fan of POV switches but fortunately I quickly got used to it. In fact, having finished the book now, I’m so happy we got to see the story from those two different views since both of them are such complex and deep characters. Knowing their fears, their thoughts and motivation in certain situations definitely helped me to empathize with both of them.
But ultimately, the book remains memorable in the way it depicts how they two finally accept their own mistakes, their own flaws and past to open up to each other again. The book shows you the hard-bitten, uncompromising truths of life. You know those kind of books that always have that lecturing tone? I never got that feeling in The Possibility of Us. Sure, the story is not your usual picture perfect, fairytale-kind of story but the book is outstanding in its brutal honesty: One of the reasons for instance, why Cassie and Ben actually broke up was because they ran out of money. But seeing Cassie and Ben being eventually happy makes you happy. They are just so SO cute together!
I have never been in the same situation that Cassie is finding herself in but yet, I could really empathize with her. It was more than interesting to see how she struggles but also how she ultimately finds her inner strength to trust other people again. She is on her last stage of coming of age and we can really see how much she has matured by the end of the story.
I also found the secondary characters to be really adorable. Drew, Ben’s brother, was not exactly a person I would normally like (if you have read Dear Cassie, you will understand why). He is not your typical big brother since he only seems to have his own enjoyment and pleasure on his mind (aka picking up girls, his own band…you get the idea). He, however, turns out to be really likeable (I’m not exactly saying that he turns out to be an amazing character because, believe me, he is not. He is FULL of flaws) since – like all the other characters in the book – he is authentic. Besides, I really enjoyed reading the dialogues between him and Cassie because…well, they are cut from the same cloth (they, for instance, are on the same language level. I’m just saying..) (after the twentieth time Cassie said “fuck” I stopped counting). Their conversations are truly priceless!
Also, I really liked to see how all of the characters have grown since Dear Cassie, such as Cassie’s best friend Laura who has set her sights on trying to fix up Cassie’s and Ben’s relationship again (she is actually the one who forces Cassie to go to the funeral). You could really feel that sincere and unconditional bond of friendship she and Cassie are sharing; she never gives up on Cassie but instead, chooses to rather kicks her more in the ass.
Overall, I can’t tell how many times I highlighted passages in the book either because they were somewhat poetic or super hilarious.
As a sidenote, I also really liked the fact that sexual tension does not play a big role in the book. Instead, it contributes to the maturing process of both Cassie and Ben; thus, it rather symbolizes a turning point in their lives because they do understand by the end of the story that they cannot just look at ther past in order to move on.
And that is exactly what makes the ending perfect. It is not the flawless kind of perfect but the “I know they will be okay”-kind of perfect. The ending makes you happy because it is neither cheesy nor overblown; it makes you happy because Ben and Cassie get a sense of – ahem – the power of commitment and responsibility. Period. (Okay, that sounds totally sappy but believe me, I really tried to rephrase this sentence but just couldn’t find any other words to explain it.)
The Possibility of Us is definitely one of the most surprisingly amazing reads I have read this year. After a somewhat bumpy start the book turns out to be a real page-turner, being of the best NA books I have read so far. It is such a refreshing and wonderful coming-of-age story about standing up again after many times of failure; about moving on and..undertaking commitment. In your life. And your love life. There were so many kind of emotions I went through while reading the book since it really hits you in the feels. Just read this book and you will totally understand what I mean.