Cole Riann's Reviews > The Once and Future Love

The Once and Future Love by Ari McKay
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Review posted at Brief Encounters Reviews.

4.5 stars

This was an all-around heartwarming read that I really enjoyed!

Anthony is an A-List Hollywood actor who wakes up on the day of his 50th birthday alone and regretful. He has everything now that he thought he wanted -- he has a brilliant career that he got by sacrificing everything that would now make him happy as his career naturally declines with his aging looks. He spends that evening at a fundraiser for Berkeley, his alma mater as a guest of honor and runs into his old flame. Well, Rob is the only man that Anthony ever really felt he could come to love, and they never even got to have their first date. All those year ago in college, he finally wore Rob down until he agreed to a date, then stood Rob up for an audition that turned out to be the big start of his career. But seeing Rob again brings up all those old feelings, especially seeing Rob on the arm of another man. He wishes he could go back and change everything, now that he's realized that having Rob would have meant so much more than fame, fortune and adoration by millions.

This second chance story is a very, very common plot, but one that is sort of tried and true. It seems like every other year another movie comes out with this same plotline. I think that these authors (who this is their first published story, by the way) could have easily changed this plot to make it new and exciting but I'm glad they stuck with the simplicity of it. The writing is solid and very easy flowing and the story works because since we've already seen this plot over and over, the story becomes about the characters, and I really liked them.

Anthony is the one that gets a second chance here. He's our narrator and as the story moves through time we get to see him at different points of his life. From, at 50, almost tired and in a since finally grown up, but way too late -- to back in his college days, where we get memories of how shallow and driven he is towards his career, then shown through the light of his newfound understanding after having gone back in time. This is shown well through the first meeting after the time shift. Rob is Anthony's Shakespeare tutor and even while Anthony has been trying to wear Rob down and get him to date him, he's also been shallow and he doesn't care at all about Shakespeare, preferring new, modern words and roles to play. He doesn't understand Shakespeare at all, nor try to. Seeing him then, after he's in effect finally matured to Rob's level (now being a 50 year old in his young body), he understands and uses Shakespeare to show Rob that he's really serious about life and getting to know Rob. That was one of my favorite scenes, which worked well as one of the scenes where the character is shown just a bit out of place and time.

I'll definitely be reading anything this duo publishes in the future. LIke I said, I really enjoyed this story because it didn't try to mess with such a solid and well-known plot. Other's might disagree, because this is a story that we've read and seen in movies before. Still, the characters here make this story original, and I really enjoyed them. I don't really have any complaints and I'm happy to give this story an A- rating!
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami Lovely review. The part with reading Shakespeare is one of my favorites in the story as well

Cole Riann Thank you :) Yeah I really enjoyed this one and I always like that fumbling in a strange time, to see how the authors take it. I liked how these authors dealt with it.

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