Publication date: October 19, 2021
In Our Way Back to Always, Nina Moreno brings us another Port Coral story. I did not read the first book in this series, but it did not inhibit my enjoyment of the book in any way. It can definitely be read as a standalone. I always like a second chance story, whether it be a love story or just the reunion of old friends, but the event that caused the fallout between our two main characters just didn’t ring true enough for me. It seems like something that might have them mad at each other for a few days, but not four years.
Other than that, I thought the story was beautifully done. Watching Lou and Sam gradually rekindle their friendship as they work through their childhood bucket list was heartwarming and made me smile. I am thankful that the author used Lou’s sister’s teen pregnancy to point out that college doesn’t have to be a path for everyone, and that you can be happy and have a good life even if you don’t go to Princeton. I also appreciated that Moreno uses the death of Sam’s father to show how drastically such an event can alter one’s vision of their future.
It was great to see a vibrant Latinx culture represented in this book. I loved the viejitos, they always made me laugh. And the descriptions of the food made me so hungry!! One possible issue is that although it was lovely to see so much Spanish being spoken, it forces the non-Spanish speaker to rely on context clues to know what is being said. Fortunately my college Spanish was adequate enough to get me through.
Overall, I recommend this book if you’re interested in a quick YA read that has realistic characters, a fun plot, and a lot of heart.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.