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What It Was Like

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
“It’s really a very simple story. What happened was this: I met this girl and did a very stupid thing. I fell in love. Hard. I know that to some people that makes me an idiot and a loser. What can I say? They’re right. I did some extremely foolish things; I’m the first to say it. And they’ve left me in jail and alone.”

So begins one of the most compelling, emotionally charg
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Story Plant, The
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Jun 23, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review
ARC for review.

Closely akin to a Endless Love for our age (although without all the good sex parts and, as our narrator states upfront "no swearing" - so I guess this is geared toward the YA audience, but I missed the sex and the swearing!) and it's set in the early 70s, I believe (some stories just don't work with cell phones and texting).

Our unnamed narrator is a lower middle class kid headed to Columbia in the fall and decides to make some summer money as a camp counselor. There he meets Rac
Jun 15, 2015 Nourhan rated it it was ok
Boringly captivating, the kind of book where you just want to know what happened next and get it over with.
Marisa Turpin
Jun 20, 2015 Marisa Turpin rated it it was ok
A very fast paced read and hard to put down. It is clear from the beginning that it's not going to end well because the main character is writing his side of the story from jail. We never learn his name, but his girlfriend's name (Rachel) is used a lot. He is clearly in over his head with her and is told so numerous times by numerous people. But like any young guy (or girl) in love, he doesn't listen. Rachel is described as beautiful throughout the book, and as far as I could see, that is ALL ...more
Aug 01, 2014 Cherei rated it it was amazing
"What it was like" by Peter Seth will take the young adult literary world by storm! This book is the 21st century generation's, "Catcher in the Rye"! A must read book for young adults! The book starts off in one of the most unique ways ever.. It was so different that I handed the book to my husband to read for just a second.. and after fifteen minutes had to yell at him to make him give it back! lol

The story is about a young man who falls in love.. and then.. starts down a path that anyone coul
Oct 23, 2014 Sue1958 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley

I had such high hopes for this story. I really wanted to love it. I really tried to get into this but it was such a hard struggle at the beginning. I kept on going though in the hope that I would see the light of where the author Peter Seth was going with this.

I get it. I get the love story in it, I get the obsession, but what I didn't get was the hope for something to be revealed, I kept saying to myself "Right, something is going to go BANG soon and its all going to take off" I repeated that s
May 28, 2015 Deanne rated it did not like it
Only turned the pages of this book quickly to skip the long, overwritten chapters full of way too many details. I was halfway through the book and nothing significant had happened. Not my idea of a "page turner"!
Sep 18, 2014 Elaine rated it it was ok
Shelves: psycho
This is a story about love, first love – the sort of obsessional all consuming young love that leaves you unable to think about anything else apart from the object of your desire. The sort of love where every word you hear spoken, picture you see, TV programme you watch etcetera brings your loved one to mind. The sort of love for whom you ditch all your friends. The sort of love that means you cannot function when you are apart and literally pine for. The sort of love which blinds you to your ...more
Jay Phillippi
Jul 19, 2014 Jay Phillippi rated it liked it
In simplest form this is "boy meets girl and eventually it all goes terribly wrong". Same basic story line as Romeo and Juliet. (Spoiler- this isn't R&J).

The English have this wonderful concept of the "busman's holiday". In simplest form it means that you spend your vacation doing something related or similar to what you do for a living. So a busman (bus driver) would go on a bus tour, a teacher would take classes, etc. As a youth minister, reading this book was something of a busman's holid
Feb 04, 2016 Mira rated it it was ok
Reading this was a chore. It didn't only drag on; it wore me out before anything had even happened. Of the 464 pages, I think about 200 pages - minimum - could have been edited out of it without losing anything even remotely important, at all.
Reading back through the notes that I had jotted down, I apparently was hooked by the first chapter. I hardly remember that at all, because all of that interest had quickly fallen away. It's just that simply nothing happened until the final fourth of the b
Denise MacDonald
Jun 26, 2014 Denise MacDonald rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-s
These days, when a book is compared to being like another hit book I usually don't pick it up. But this book was provided as an ARC from NeT Galley and it sounded interesting, so even though it was compared to Gone Girl in the blurb, I downloaded it anyway.
The idea of the book was good, but it seemed like there was something missing through out the entire story. I was waiting for the big reveal and there was none. I get that it was about an all consuming love, a young obsession that lead to a t
Aug 02, 2014 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014

WOW!! WOW!! WOW!!!

It has been a few days since I read the last word and closed the back cover, before putting my thoughts in writing because it took me some time to process and reflect on what I had just finished reading.

From reading the back cover/synopsis and previous reviews, I knew that somewhere in these pages, an outcome was going to be tragic. And a love story was to be told.

But before I go any further, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, I am a member of The Story Plant's
Aug 02, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing
"We were on this wild, real-life amusement park ride -- part House of Horrors, part Tunnel of Love -- and we couldn't stop now."

That sentence from Peter Seth's "What It Was Like" perfectly captures one of the most compulsively thrilling novels I've read in years. A pitch-perfect portrayal of the zeitgeist of the late '60s, the book moves easily and organically from genre to genre. It starts out as an innocent love story and reminiscence of youth at a summer camp, then gradually becomes a rivetin
Diane Moyle
Jul 16, 2014 Diane Moyle rated it it was amazing
WOW!!!I just finished this book and what a page turner. This is the debut novel from author Peter Seth and I couldn’t put it down. It is a story of a shy middle-class young man who works at a youth camp during the summer before he starts his college career at Columbia. There, he encounters his first true love, Rachael. She is a rich, spoiled manipulative, soon to be a high school senior who wraps his heart and mind around her finger. It starts off like other typical novels that you have read but ...more
Laurie Carlson
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!! This was by FAR the BEST love story I have EVER read! 462 pages, and I read it in 2 days!
BRAVO to this author, Peter Seth!

I'm back now with my official review now! Here it is!
5+ Stars!
WOW! WHERE has this author been hiding??? This is an outstanding book! BRAVO! What a story! It is one I will never forget! I cannot sing enough praise about this book! This book captures your attention from the second you open the cover and start to read the very first page, to ever
Larry Hoffer
Jul 19, 2014 Larry Hoffer rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full disclosure: I received an advance readers copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

"It's really a very simple story. What happened was this: I met this girl and did a very stupid thing. I fell in love. Hard. I know that to some people that makes me an idiot and a loser. What can I say? They're right. I did some extremely foolish things; I'm the first to say it. And they've left me in jail and alone."

The narrator of Peter Seth's What It Was Like grew up in the late
Jul 17, 2014 Kaitlin rated it liked it
What It Was Like (click on book or see below for description)
By Peter Seth
Releases 9/2/14
Downloaded free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 3 bones

Finish Time: 5 nights. This book had me up late turning pages in antici………..pation! The build up for this book was ridiculous. The description on the back (and see below) and first few pages of the book set it up and there are teasers throughout about this “big unknown” event, and until it happens, it’s really hard to guess. (Al
Viviane Crystal
Aug 26, 2014 Viviane Crystal rated it really liked it
A nameless high school graduate has his future all lined up. He’s going to work in a summer camp and planning to begin student life at Columbia University. Obviously, he’s a bright guy who’s just wanting to earn some money for his college days in the fall of 1968. However, It should be noted that he’s (nameless throughout the entire story) writing this from jail and so we realize it’s really an account of his memories, flashbacks and reflections on the pivotal days that landed him where he is ...more
Martin Maenza
Jul 12, 2014 Martin Maenza rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
What It Was Like is the debut novel by Peter Seth, coming out by the Story Plant publisher in September of this year. I had the opportunity to read an early release gallery of the novel.

It tells the story of a soon-to-be college freshman (we are never given his name) who conveys a very detailed account of how an all-consuming love affair with a seventeen year old beauty named Rachel led to the ruination of his life. It is told in three acts: how they met at a summer camp, how the relationship sw
The memories of young love, summer camp and the innocence of youth turns into a haunting tale of two people against a world who seeks to shred them apart. Rachel and Defendant X are on the run, from her controlling parents and finally, the law. How can that first love go so wrong? How does a tender love story become a deadly game of cat and mouse? How does one promising young man go from a brilliant future ahead of him to a fugitive to a man broken and incarcerated?

What it Was Like by Peter Set
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jun 20, 2014 Lolly K Dandeneau rated it liked it
This story is a dissection of young love before and after it curdles and sours. It begins as a tender, sweet love story set in 1968 as a young man works as a camp counselor and falls in love with one Rachel Price. With a promising future as a student at Columbia University, the reader watches with a foreboding feeling while it slips through his fingers as he allows his new love to consume and manipulate him. She is beautiful but messy and soon he is drowning in the secrets of her abusive ...more
Shannon L. Gonzalez
Sep 05, 2014 Shannon L. Gonzalez rated it it was amazing
What It Was Like
by Peter Seth

What would you do for love if it encompassed your entire world?

The narrator of What It Was Like probably would ask, “What wouldn’t you do for love?” He is in prison at the beginning of the story as he tells the tale of young romance. It’s his last summer before heading off to college and he spends it working as a camp counselor. He meets Rachel, not yet graduated from High School, who is related to the camp owner. Although warned not to “go there” as she is nothing
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
3 1/2 stars

My View:
Limmerence personified – so sad.

Wikipedia ( states that limerence is “an involuntary state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one's feelings reciprocated…”and "an involuntary potentially inspiring state of adoration and attachment to a limerent object involving intrusive and obsessive thoughts, feelings and behaviors from euphoria to despair, contingent
Patty Mccormick
Aug 17, 2014 Patty Mccormick rated it really liked it
I have to say that I really got lost in this book. I kept thinking that it seemed so real. I even flipped back to the copyright page to make sure it was fiction. Lol. This book was that realistic for me. I would like to think that the narrator of the story, a young college man was just a victim of circumstances, but I am not so sure. It is a little strange we never learn his name. As the story unfolds, you know that something bad happened, but you don’t find out what till almost the end. Is this ...more
Scott Stewart
Aug 17, 2014 Scott Stewart rated it it was amazing
First I want to thank The Story Plant and the author for giving this book away to Goodreads readers. I have never won anything, so it is appreciated.

Now, on to the book review. This is one of the best written books I have read in a long time. I am surprised that it didn't come out in hardback first. This is a book I will enjoy keeping on the shelf for years to come.

Some may say that this is a book for young readers, but I beg to differ. This was one of the most suspenseful thrill rides you will
Jeffrey Sakson
Jul 25, 2014 Jeffrey Sakson rated it it was amazing
A highly enjoyable page-turner that begins as a nostalgic coming of age summer camp romance and segues into James M. Cain territory. First time novelist Seth does tip his hand at the outset by having his protagonist recall the events from his prison cell years later, which effectively creates suspense and doesn't spoil the surprises when they come. Set in 1970 and full of retro references that boomers will relish, the novel's central theme of obsessive love is so universal and its characters so ...more
Oct 28, 2014 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this was a surprising little story. This is supposedly an account of actions and inactions written by a convict for his lawyer. Of course, you know something bad happened or he wouldn’t be a convict but … it’s not what you think. Even after you reach that part in the story and know what happened, there are still surprises around the corners. The narrator is an interesting character as are the others in the story. It’s hard to put down. Very tight writing. Worth a look. Received free copy ...more
Melissa Chandler
Aug 06, 2014 Melissa Chandler rated it it was amazing
I got an advanced reading copy of What It Was Like, and the next thing I knew, I was so immersed in reading this delicious page-turner that I couldn't put it down.  I loved the vivid characters, the juicy detail and the whole absorbing world that Peter Seth created -- beautifully evoking the thrill, passion and turmoil of young love.  He is a master storyteller and I can't wait to read more of his work.  If you like great writing (with just the right amount of heartbreak mixed in), I highly ...more
Jun 12, 2014 Shawna rated it liked it
ARC provided by NetGalley:
Interesting premise for a story but it never really fully developed for me. This one's the story of teenage love/obsession that turns deadly. Written in the form of a manuscript, it's rather dry and evoked almost no feelings from me. Another gripe of mine is that it took forever to get to the point. I knew something big was going to happen pretty much from the beginning but it seemed like the climax would never happen. I'm actually kinda surprised I stuck with this one
Katherine James
Jul 10, 2014 Katherine James rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing - I literally could not put it down! A real page turner. Don't be fooled by how quickly you get absorbed - there is a depth and artistry here that will pull you in and stay with you long after you have finished reading it. Peter Seth captures the angst of young love and what it will make you do for it. I can't wait to see who decides this needs to be a movie - because I can't wait to see it.
Virginia Winfield
Aug 17, 2014 Virginia Winfield rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful debut novel.. This had romance and intrigue. During the whole book I was trying to decide who got killed. I knew who was being manipulative but you still kind of liked all the characters. You knew there was something not quite right but you aren't sure what. I look forward to more books by Peter Seth. I received this book from The Stoty Plant for a fair and honest opinion.
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Peter Seth is a writer living in Los Angeles. He has written for television shows produced by Gary David Goldberg ("Brooklyn Bridge") and Glenn Gordon Caron ("Showroom"). He wrote, produced, and directed the award-winning short film "Lunch with Louie," which appeared in more than thirty-five film festivals around the world. He was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island. WHAT IT WAS LIKE is his ...more
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