When I received the ARC of “The Ones Who Got Away,” I thought that it was a horror story in the likes of “I Know You What Did Last Summer” franchise. I was surprised that it was actually a romance and that this story was ripped from today’s headlines was totally unexpected.
From Columbine to Sandy Hook, school shootings have been headline news in the past decade. These were always horrific and sad stories, followed by public outcry. Still, no matter how dreadful these events were, they were forgotten when a new scandal or crisis break. And while the rest of the world goes on, the survivors have to deal with the aftermath for a very long time.
This was the premise of “The Ones Who Got Away.” Focusing on five of the 18 survivors of what was dubbed as the bloodiest school shooting in America, author Roni Loren brings to light how survivors coped, albeit in fiction form.
Four girls – Olivia, Rebecca, Kincade, Taryn – and a boy – Finn, all five of them who are now adults meet in their old high school to film a documentary about the shooting. Memories of their high school days, the shooting and the aftermath are brought to light as the characters interacted.
And, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, author Roni Loren cleverly brought romance center stage which in turn fleshed out the characters to be three-dimensional.
A beautiful love story that tugs at your heartstrings because of the tragedy that surrounded it. This book revolved around Liv and Finn. But, there are three more – Rebecca, Kincade and Taryn. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Loren will make this a series so that we can learn the story of these three women.
“The Ones Who Got Away” is Rated M for Mature due to language, violence and sexual content.
A fresh new contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestseller Roni Loren
Twelve years ago, tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a small number of students survived, a group the media dubbed as The Ones Who Got Away.
Now, web designer Liv Arias, along with the rest of the survivors, have returned to the small Texas town to tell their stories for a documentary. Which means Liv seeing former star-athlete and old flame Finn Dorsey. A lot happened between them that night and Liv is ready to end their decade-long riff and move on. But when her attempt at closure turns into a steamy kiss, moving on proves much more difficult than either of them thought…
Liv’s words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she’d known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package. The smooth face was now dusted with scruff, and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence. A thousand things were in those eyes. A thousand things welled up in Liv.
Photos in collage: All on Pixabay