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When We Were Strangers

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  386 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Evie Parker is devastated in the wake of her father’s sudden death. But she knows something her mother doesn’t: the day of his heart attack, her dad was planning to move out. After finding his packed bags, an impulsive Evie puts everything away, desperate to spare her mom more heartache.

To make matters worse, Evie soon learns the reason her father was go
Hardcover, 359 pages
Published July 27th 2021 by Bloomsbury YA (first published July 13th 2021)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  386 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Alex Richards
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Hey! Thank you for checking out my book!
Jun 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
I am a massive fan of Accidental, so I was eager to pick up the author’s latest novel, When We Are Strangers. Again, Alex Richards delivers a novel that is full of emotional tension.

Evie Parker is distraught to learn of her father’s death. But when she finds his bags packed, ready to leave her and her mum for his pregnant mistress, Evie decides to unpack them and hide the truth from her mother. As she carries the weight of both the secret and her grief, Evie finds herself turned towards photogr
T.K. {Genie in a Novel}
Jan 05, 2022 rated it really liked it
When We Were Strangers is a roller-coaster of emotions for both the main character, Evie, and the reader. The same day her dad dies, Evie finds out that he had been planning to move out, if his packed suitcases are any indication. Covering it up as to not upset her mom any more than she is, Evie thinks she’s doing the right thing. But then she overhears her mom talking about her dad having had an affair with his young receptionist. Now Evie has no idea what to think or even how to process her gr ...more
Aug 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was very good.
Amy Potts Ostrowski
Oct 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The first line grabbed me, and by page three I was a goner. I would have finished it in a few days if it hadn't been September (teacher nightmare month). Evie's story threads grief, anger, love, friendship, and acceptance through a literal and figurative lens of personal growth. Oh, and I LOVE the mom-daughter dynamic. Yes, yes, yes.

For the classroom, 8th grade and up, but most mature 7th graders would love it, too.
vale garcia
Jul 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, favorites
if you ever listened to any of my reviews and thought “hey, maybe i should buy this book” pls believe me when i say THIS ONE IS WORTH EVERY PENNY.
i was lucky enough to receive a physical arc from the author after winning her giveaway and OH MY GOD.
5/5 ⭐️ for SURE. this book was simply stunning. it felt like it was somehow written for me, and i loved every second of it. i was in a reading slump when i started it and this book single handedly YANKED ME OUT OF IT. i binged like 200 pages of it ju
Ruei (Ruei's Reading Corner)
Full Review: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c...


Evie Park is still getting over her father's sudden death when she returns home to find her father's packed bags. As if returning from the hospital wasn't enough, she discovers that her father had planned to move out earlier that day.

On an impulse decision, Evie unpacks the bags and hides everything from her mother, including the reason why he left. Turns out, his receptionist is already 6 months pregnant! Evie soon takes up photography cla
Michaela Bergland
Jul 21, 2021 marked it as dnf
Shelves: ebooks, arcs
Unfortunately, this book just wasn't for me.

The premise really drew me in--Evie's father's passes away unexpectedly and when she gets home from the hospital, she finds all of his belongings packed up. She then goes on to learn that not only was he going to leave her and her mother, but he was having an affair with a much younger woman who was also pregnant. Evie takes it upon herself to investigate and try to keep the truth from her mother.

The story started off on the wrong foot right off the ba
Shannon Takaoka
Apr 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
When We Were Strangers is a poignant, beautifully crafted story about grief, forgiveness, art, finding yourself and learning to love the people in your life for who they really are – flaws and all. At the beginning of this novel, Evie is lost and devastated over the loss of her father and a discovery that has shaken her to her core. A summer photography class that she reluctantly joins in on at first provides a distraction, but it soon becomes more: a path to new and unexpected connections, a pa ...more
Apr 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, arc
Evie is understandably distraught when her father dies suddenly. But when she comes home from the hospital, she finds all her dad's things packed. He was going to leave them. To protect her mom, she puts it all away, but now she has a secret to keep. Alex Richards weaves another funny, yet heartbreaking story in this amazing read. I really liked that Evie was flawed and we get her growth as a person in this story. Plus the fun side characters were hilarious. ...more
Jul 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
When We Were Strangers is the story of Evie, who is navigating life in the aftermath of the sudden death of her father. Shortly after her father dies, Evie also discovers that he was having an affair with his receptionist (Bree), the receptionist is now 6 months pregnant, and he was planning to leave her mother. To help her cope, Evie signs up for a photography class and meets a new group of friends, but also uses the opportunity to find out more about Bree.

When We Were Strangers is the kind of
Jul 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, reviewed
This book was such a treat to read! When We Were Strangers is about a girl named Evie who, when her dad dies from a sudden heart attack, learns that her dad had his bags packed and was planning on leaving her and her mom. So what does she do? Stricken by grief, she puts everything back the way at was. And what about the girl he cheated with? Who is she and why would she seduce a married man? Evie is about to find out.

Focusing on the plot for a little bit, I really liked the way this story went.
Dec 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star-books
super good! pretty different than what i normally read, so it was very intriguing! definitely recommend
Jul 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: heart-attack
My full review can be found on the Epilie Aspie Chick blog!

Thank you to Bloomsbury YA for providing the ARC for an honest review.

Life is complicated and death has this really fun way of highlighting that. Very rarely do we leave this world with all of our affairs perfectly wrapped up and easily taken care of. Alex Richards is easily one of my favorite authors because of how excellent she is at capturing the complex emotions a person has in difficult situations. This release only continues to
Jun 02, 2022 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this book but ended up disappointed. I thought some of the things several of the characters did were ridiculous and implausible. I also could have done without all the f-words (yes, I know some teenagers probably speak like that, but not all) and repeated use of the term "aka." ...more
Samantha Geissler
Jul 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury YA for the chance to read and review an early copy of Alex Richards new novel, out now!

T/w: death of a parent, grief, alcoholism

This was a GREAT story showcasing grief and how everyone grieves differently.

This is more of a dark YA that is both moving and inspiring. Losing someone is never easy, and watching Evie go through that and the different stages of grief while immersing herself into a new hobby of photography, was beautifully done.

We hav
John Clark
Sep 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
While Evie and Bree might have attended high school together, albeit with several years of age between them, their re-connection, following the death of Evie's dad and her seismic discover when she returns home before her mother from the hospital where he died, is unplanned, at first unpleasant, and uncomfortable for both. It comes about after her uncle shows up too late to attend the funeral and attempts to make up for it by calling in a favor to get her enrolled in a challenging photography cl ...more
Mar 19, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: march-2022
Imagine your parent dies, and the day they die, you find out they were about to leave your family for someone else, you hide the evidence they were going, and it leads you to find the person they were leaving for.

Thank you, Bloomsbury YA and NetGalley, for allowing me to read, review and honestly review this title!

TW: adultery, stalking, body image issues, death, grieving

I enjoyed this book, and it left me thinking about forgiveness -although please don't
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

When Evie’s father dies suddenly, she discovers her was leaving her mother for his pregnant mistress, a young woman only five years older than she is.

WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS wasn’t an enjoyable read for me. Seventeen-year-old Evie had the maturity of a twelve-year-old. She makes a lot of assumptions without fact-checking and though most turned out to be true, the leaps seemed too convenient. Much of the story is predictable. Evie gets into a coveted photography program and guess what, sh
Markevia Jackson
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I read the ARC of When We Were Strangers by Alex Richards and I loved it! I ate this book up. It had everything: drama, humor, grief, art, awkwardness, a little cutesy romance, complex feelings & relationships.

The description of this book alone was enough to peak my interest. After a teen girl, Evie Parker, learns of her dad's unexpected death, she comes home to discover that her dad was planning on leaving her mom...for his 22-year old receptionist 6 months pregnant!

Of course, I had
Jul 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 07, 2022 rated it liked it
idk man… it was cute and all but also she took her gut feeling as fact and acted solely off of that which really pissed me off. like she saw one suitcase and assumed that some girl from her high school was pregnant with her dead dads baby. also the ending felt somewhat unresolved for some reason. for a quick read it was pretty good; 3.5/5
Shirley Freeman
This YA novel has quite a set-up - 17 year old Evie Parker's dad dies of a sudden heart attack. When Evie arrives home from the hospital before her mom, she discovers her Dad had been in the process of moving out. To protect her mother, Evie unpacks his bags and hides the evidence. But of course more complications come to light. Evie and her mom have to process grief, anger and confusion to make their way back to love. A young adult novel for the older teen coming in July 2021. ...more
Nov 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this
Sep 14, 2022 rated it liked it
Forgettable. Everyone is always “smirking” and “flashing” each other smiles. This book could have benefited from an editor who owned a thesaurus. Also, the plot seemed inconceivable. One of the most famous photographers in the US is teaching an intro class at a photography school, and some random teen who had never picked up a camera and doesn’t even want to be there gets a spot in the class a week before it starts, and then is an incredible photographer? Hm…
The Book Worm Bookstore
Jun 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The book was really good. Once I got started, I couldn’t put it down
because I wanted to see what else was going to happen. It opens up with a death and it just goes on from there. Poor Evie thought she was doing the right thing but later realized that she lived in the same house but didn’t know what was happening and blamed her mom for lots of
things. This is a good book for both mothers and daughters to read.

Evie’s dad dies, and she finds out the same day that he died that he was moving out. So,
Eva Gibson
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
With vivid prose and a unique, engaging voice, Alex Richards explores the messy realities of love and loss in this complex, unflinchingly honest glimpse beneath the façade of public grief. When We Were Strangers is a genuine and gutting story that never fails to infuse even its bleakest moments with beauty, empathy, and steadfast hope.
Jul 31, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-mf
I had so much expectations from this book, but sadly it didn't meet them.
Writing was REALLY repetitive.
I want to cry all over again but I force a swallow, hauling the suitcase toward me. I’ve barely unzipped it when I spot an even bigger suitcase on the floor. And then a garment bag and a box by the door.
Hold on, what?
That last line was really weird. No one can have internal monologues that wierd.
I think the author wanted the writing to be humorous. It may seem a little funny, if you didn't
Jul 26, 2021 rated it did not like it
Evie Parker is still dealing with her father's death. Unfortunately, she's also been harboring a secret : the day of his heart attack her dad was going to move out.Evie wants to spare her mom's feelings so she quickly puts everything away. Things go downhill when Evie finds out why her father was moving away: he had an affair and got the girl pregnant. I'll be honest this isn't my usual type of book that I like to read, but I thought the premise was interesting so I wanted to give it a chance. I ...more
I strongly disliked this story :( The female MC, Evie, is an annoying whiny brat for like 98% of the book, and the male MC Declan keeps showing interest in Evie, but whyyyy? She’s one of the most annoying characters I’ve read in a while. She’s rude at time, doesn’t want to apologize, so why would this guy who just met her keep pursuing her?
She’s mad at the world because she found out shortly after her fathers’ death that he was going to get a divorce, and Evie is just fuming for a lot of the bo
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Alex Richards has been writing young adult fiction since the age of ten, with stacks of spiral notebooks to prove it. Also a freelance magazine contributor, Alex enjoys making no-budget horror movies, taking photographs, and crafting. Raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Alex lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two very silly kids.

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