Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara – Book Details
TITLE – The Meeting Point
AUTHOR – Olivia Lara
YEAR PUBLISHED – 2021
PAGE COUNT – 368
MY RATING – 4.5 of 5
RATED ON GOODREADS – 4.31 of 5
A huge thank you to NetGalley, as well to the author and publisher, for providing me with an ARC of The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara in exchange for an honest review.
What It Is About
“If today was a story, it wouldn’t be one I’d write. Even if I hated the main character.”
Can one day change your whole life? Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met?
After a nightmarish day, Maya Maas decided to go to California to surprise her boyfriend David. But once there, she gets a text message from a guy who’s found her boyfriend’s phone. And who accidentally informs her that David was with another woman when he lost his phone.
The mystery guy cannot fix all Maya’s problems, but he can offer her a break from her own life – a day in a gorgeous small beach town with him as her virtual guide. That day influences them both in a way neither of them expected.
But can such a short time be enough to make a real difference in their lives?
The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara – My Review
“My name is Maya Maas, and I write love stories. All the time and ever since I can remember.”
Wow, I don’t know if I was really in the mood for it or what, but I ended up enjoying this book so much! It’s been a while since I last read a light, fluffy romance I really liked, so, even though I hoped I’ll like this one, it still somewhat came as a pleasant surprise.
The Meeting Point is one of those easy, cute romances that almost make you feel like you went out on a date. It was relaxing, uplifting, swooning, well written and just a perfect summer read.
The chapters were super short – only a few pages each. It added on the lightweight feel of the story and made for a super-fast, easy read. I think this book would be perfect for reading on the beach, public transport, while traveling or if you are busy for whatever reason but still want to add something little special and romantic to your days.
But even though I could have probably finished this book in a day or so, it was also one of those books I try and read as slowly as possible and just – savor them. In my case, that is one of the most obvious signs I really enjoy a book and wish it lasted for as long as possible.
“Do you believe in signs? Or fate? Or whatever it is? I didn’t, until today.”
There were many things I liked about The Meeting Point.
I loved the setting. The adorable small beach town in June – sounded like a place I would adored. Plus, since the town (and a few other locations mentioned in the book) really exists, I just googled the photos. It helped me visualize everything and almost made me feel like I was really there.
I also liked the main character, Maya. She was creative and a dreamer. I could feel her passion for writing, it was one of the sweetest things ever. She liked to spend days imagining and writing happy endings for random people she met on the street. I thought that was endearing and very romantic.
“Yes, my characters all lived happily ever after, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. There’s enough sadness in the world as it is.”
Plus, Maya just seemed like one of those kind, generous people you could ask for a favor if you needed something. She was so full of – what shall we call it? Optimism? Good energy? Desire to see other people happy?
She wasn’t exactly what you would call adventurous and she didn’t often take chances. But that might be just because she didn’t have a lot of opportunities for adventures in her regular day-to-day life. The first time she got a chance to step out of her comfort zone, she did take it, proving that she could be brave and spontaneous.
That decision – to accept an invitation from a total stranger and let him guide her through a town he obviously knew very well – had a strong impact on her life and the way she saw herself. For the first time she had to ask herself how much of her life did she actually choose and how much just happened to her.
And though slow, the change was inevitable and comprehensive.
“Maybe just the adventure, the almost magical—fairy-tale-like— feel of that day, perhaps just its beauty and serenity, the friendly people, the ocean, the hope of a life I didn’t even know I wanted.”
I didn’t realize there was a (kind of) secret pen pals trope going on in this book, which is one of my favorite tropes.
The sweet unease of falling for someone even though you don’t know who that someone is. The mystery and suspense while trying to find this dream guy. The fear things might not be so perfect in person…
There’s something adorable and a bit adventurous about that feeling. It was cute and sweet and charming and fun. Fluffy, but with a deeper note to it. Something close to meant-to-be-together kind of vibe, which I love.
It was also a bit naive and unrealistic, but that’s OK. I’m fine with not-likely-to-happen-in-real-life in my romances. Heck, that’s why we read them.
After that captivating beginning, things did start to drag a bit. The story was still interesting and well written. But when you’re reading a romance, inevitably you start counting pages until the next encounter with the love interest. Everything else starts to feel like parts you need to push through to get to the good stuff.
But I’m happy to say – the ‘pushing through’ definitely paid off in this case. I don’t know about the others, but I could definitely feel the chemistry and was rooting for the two love birds the whole time.
“Being back here, so close to him, about to meet him— hopefully— feels like breaking one of those unwritten rules that says you leave the ones that got away alone. They got away for a reason.”
Not sure I liked the from-his-perspective parts, though. I liked the idea of how those parts were added, but not the result. They felt a bit repetitive and rushed and I didn’t think they added a lot of value to the story. But, oh well.
But that miscommunication trope… It’s just so frustrating – to think they could just talked and saved themselves the almost-a-heartbreak. I just wanted to shake them both and force them to spit it out.
I couldn’t deny, though, the lack of communication added on the angst and stirred the emotions. Driving each other crazy definitely can keep the things hot. So it wasn’t all that bad.
All in all, this book felt a bit nostalgic to me. It reminded me of the time when I first fell in love with light contemporary romances. When the whole thing was so new and exciting to me.
I’ve been struggling so much with the genre lately, I started to think I only imagined I once liked it. But this book gave me all the same feelings as the best books of this type I’ve ever read, and I’m in love again!
“These things never last; they’re like summer romances. Maybe that’s what this was: a fairy tale— virtual as it was—condensed into one perfect day. One of my perfect stories.”
Some books just have that ability to keep you immersed in their little world even when you put them down. They make you look forward to picking them back up, to spend some more time with the characters, to see what happens next.
For me, The Meeting Point was one of those books. And I am so happy I got the opportunity to read the early copy.
I will probably get myself a paperback when the book comes out (which will be on September 2nd this year). It’s definitely one of the stories I’d want to have on my bookshelf, plus I will probably want to reread it at some point…