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When We Were Strangers

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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 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 going to leave: he had been dating his twenty-two-year-old receptionist, Bree, who is now six months pregnant. Desperate to distract herself, Evie signs up for a summer photography class where she meets a motley crew of students, including quirky and adorable Declan. Still, Evie can’t stop thinking about her father’s mistress. Armed with a telephoto lens, she caves to her curiosity, and what starts as a little bit of spying on Bree quickly becomes full-blown stalking. And when an emergency forces Evie to help Bree, she learns there’s more to the story than she ever knew… Alex Richards crafts an addicting and compelling new story about betrayal, complicated family secrets, and getting to the heart of what matters — ultimately asking readers how far they’d be willing to go to unravel the truth.


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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 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 going to leave: he had been dating his twenty-two-year-old receptionist, Bree, who is now six months pregnant. Desperate to distract herself, Evie signs up for a summer photography class where she meets a motley crew of students, including quirky and adorable Declan. Still, Evie can’t stop thinking about her father’s mistress. Armed with a telephoto lens, she caves to her curiosity, and what starts as a little bit of spying on Bree quickly becomes full-blown stalking. And when an emergency forces Evie to help Bree, she learns there’s more to the story than she ever knew… Alex Richards crafts an addicting and compelling new story about betrayal, complicated family secrets, and getting to the heart of what matters — ultimately asking readers how far they’d be willing to go to unravel the truth.

30 review for When We Were Strangers

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alex Richards

    Hey! Thank you for checking out my book!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    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 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 photography and entered into a photography course by her uncle. The course and her eclectic classmates give Evie the outlet she needs, but when she happens upon her father’s mistress and begins to capture images of her, Evie learns there is so much she didn’t know and so much she has still to learn. When We Were Strangers is both gut-wrenching but also uplifting. For all the grief and emotional baggage Evie is carrying, there are moments of light, humour and human connection. I very much enjoyed Evie’s voice. She narrates the story and her teenage-ness just shines through so authentically and uniquely. She is sad, lonely and grieving and that comes through in her words and thoughts. At times she seems whiney or sulky, but that is so perfectly real. She has the right to be snarky and she uses that to the best effect. The photography course provides the perfect backdrop to this story and introduces some fantastic characters. It also provides our romantic interest. Evie is pushed to the very edge to challenge what she believes in and what she knows to be truly important. She doesn’t get everything right, in fact she makes a lots of judgements and mistakes, but she learns and grows so much as a character. When We Were Strangers is a book about grief, family secrets and healing and has so much heart. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book was very good.

  4. 5 out of 5

    vale garcia

    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 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 just today bc it was simply SO ADDICTIVE. this book deals with grief in such a beautiful way, and nothing about it felt forced or un relatable. i dont even know how to properly describe this book, all i know is that this book deserves every single preorder. this book is sweet, sad, relatable and simply stunning. definitely a new favorite.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ruei (Ruei's Reading Corner)

    Full Review: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c... 3.5 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 Full Review: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c... 3.5 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 class to spy on her father's mistress, but soon discovers that there was a lot more to it than she initially thought. This book was engaging because I couldn't put it down after I started it. I was really curious about what would happen next, but I found it to be a little predictable. The interactions between Evie and the rest of the characters were touching and honest. I felt the same pain and sadness Evie did but also anger towards her dad for the way he treated his family. Overall, When We Were Strangers was a book about grief, pain, and healing. It felt real and not everything was perfect which I liked.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michaela Bergland

    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 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 bat. It immediately begins with Evie getting home and finding her father's suitcases packed up and ready to leave. We don't get any introduction into Evie, her father, her relationship with her father--nothing. So while we're supposed to be grieving the loss of this girl's father and feel this betrayal along with her, we can't because we don't even know who these characters are yet. Instead, this book should've started at the beginning of the day, which ends up being glossed over in a brief flashback, where Evie went to school thinking it was a normal day, hears her father had a heart attack, and moves forward from there. That way we would have an understanding of her "normal life" before it was disrupted by her father's death. Not to mention, the writing was very immature. Evie's 17 but her voice reads like someone much younger because of how she's written. The dialogue was very awkward, and Evie kept picking fights with everyone over literally nothing at all just to--create conflict? establish that she's "edgy"? I'm not even sure, but it wasn't effective--it was just incredibly frustrating. I wish I'd liked this story, but alas, I just couldn't put myself through finishing it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    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 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 book where the hits just keep coming. Losing her father? Hard enough. Finding out he was having an affair and was about to leave? Unbearable. But wait, the receptionist is also pregnant???? How much is 17 year old Evie supposed to handle? Evie's story is easy to engage with, and the reader will feel her multitude of emotions and struggles with each page. Her grief process is not linear, and she goes through conflicts with her mom, Bree, her friends, and her potential love interest while dealing with her hurt. I thought the book also did a good job conveying the difficulties felt by Evie's mother and Bree, and the reader will see all sides to this story. When We Were Strangers is a thoughtful YA read that shows the many different sides to dealing with the loss of a loved one, and is very worth picking up. Thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's Books for this ARC; this is my honest and voluntary review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Krys Lenore

    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. 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. From beginning to end you see Evie’s perceptions of the people in her life shift back and forth. Over time, she learns that nothing in life is black and white. That there’s two sides to every story. That it wasn’t just the one person who was to blame for what her dad did. You get to see her grow and change as a person which I really liked. The characters are also so well-written. Each character has so much depth. You don’t feel like they’re written solely because of this one book. It feels like you’re getting a glimpse into their lives in that moment. Each character has their own lives and backstories and relationships with each other, which is how it should be! It’s like they’re real people who existed before this book started and will continue to live their lives after it ends. I wasn’t really expecting romance going into this book, to be honest. I thought it was going to be more about how Evie deals with her grief and realizations about her family, and while that is the main focus, the romance isn’t too much on the back burner nor is it too prominent. It’s just the right amount. Reading their relationship develop, Evie makes some very realistic choices that, being in her position, seems completely logical for someone going through what she was going through. For example, Evie didn’t want to use the relationship that was forming as a way to escape her grief over the loss of her dad, which I totally get. She wanted the relationship to develop naturally rather than use it as a crutch to get through this period in her life. There are other elements of the story that I won’t address because I like to keep my reviews as spoiler-free as possible. However, I will say that I ended up liking Bree way more than I thought I would. She wasn’t the person Evie thought she was or made her out to be in the beginning, which I really liked. Her life was just as complex as anyone else’s in the book. Over all, I would give this book 4/5 stars. Not because of any drawbacks in the writing or story choices, but simply because five star books for me are ones that I could read over and over. While this story was very enjoyable, I don’t think I would reread it more than once

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    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 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 show just how fantastic she is creating realistic characters who truly struggle like any one of us would in uncomfortable circumstances (at best).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Takaoka

    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 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 path to self-discovery and a path to finding a way through her grief. Don't miss this one - it's a lovely mix of sad, funny and life-affirming.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    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 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 know that her (MC's) father died just fifteen hours ago 💀 And this is just from chapter one. Then there is this: The last of about twenty grieving guests finally stumbles out of our bereavement cave—aka Dad’s funeral reception, aka home—and.... Juana Lujan—aka our only remaining guest, aka my best friend—stands at.. Juana—aka Dean, aka my steadfast protector—cups her hands.... All these three paras were within the same chapter, which is only chapter 2. And this writing continues on and on, the word "aka" is used 20 times!! To say I was frustrated is an understatement. And, sorry for the realness but, like, what would this truth... Who talks like that? Who thinks like that? I am not kidding when I say the writing is BAD. The phrase "but, like" is used 12 times in the book, "just, like" used 10 times. There is "are, like", " if, like" , "blah, like". And to say I never used to hate the word "like". It seemed like the author wanted to make her seem like a normal, quirky teen, but teens do not talk like that; in grief or normally. MC just seems like a nut-job. Writing issues aside, I didn't relate with the characters at all. The main character, Evie, is just that. A character. She does not seem like a real person, dealing with real grief about her dad's death, who is supposed to be very close to her. This became really apparent since the whole book is about the impact of her dad's death and his secrets. It's like someone trying to fake their emotions, except their acting skills are that of a third grade kid. Then there is her mother. Wow. Alex Richards is still relatively new, so I would really look forward to their future work, but this book was not it for me. 😶 Edit: Added blockquotes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    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. 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.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Kelley

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 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 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 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 have a misfit of characters who started off as strangers to Evie and eventually became like family. I loved all of their different personalities and how they protected Evie, despite only meeting her weeks prior in this class. I think it showcased well how we can bond with others, no matter how different they are than us, through a shared love of an activity. Evie was definitely selfish at times and at times a terrible friend to Juana, so that was frustrating, but then again she was only 17 and what teenager isnt selfish at times? Juana was amazing though. What a freaking amazing friend! She was devoted and non-judgmental and able to call Evie out on her BS when needed. It was also interesting to see Evie connect with the “villain” of the story as they processed the same characters death together, and how connecting with her helped Evie in so many ways. Overall, a beautiful story that I highly recommend. This is my first read but Richards but I will be picking up her other book on my shelf very soon.

  14. 4 out of 5

    John Clark

    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 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 class. Evie's trying to hide too much to be able to deal gracefully with everything coming at her. Things like learning to take good pictures, deal with her mother's crawl into self pity and wine bottles, her best friend's drama, now that she's back in a relationship with the girl who cheated on her the previous summer, and the hot guy in her class. She could easily turn into a hot mess rivaling her mother, and while she has several awkward moments on her way back to emotional equilibrium, her growth and insight in the process make for an extremely satisfying read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    2.5 STARS 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 2.5 STARS 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, she’s a prodigy. The strongest part of WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS is the strength of the writing. Alex Richards is a terrific word builder. The quality of her word building sometimes made me stop and reread the sentence for its beauty. Younger YA readers who like realistic fiction may enjoy WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS. It’s not a terrible book. Richards set the bar very high with ACCIDENTAL, hopefully her next book will bounce back.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Markevia Jackson

    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 who...is 6 months pregnant! Of course, I had 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 who...is 6 months pregnant! Of course, I had to know how this was going to play out. It is not a situation that is unheard of but it is also like a total nightmare to imagine. The way Richards wrote how Evie deals with the grief of losing her father and trying to protect her mom from her dad's secrets while also being an ordinary 17- year old girl made it so relatable in the most unbelievable of situations. This is the first book by Richards that I have read, and I love her writing style.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When Evie's father suddenly dies of a heart attack, she and her mom are devastated. But Evie realizes that things aren't always as they seem, when she comes home from the hospital to find all of her dad's things packed. Was he leaving them? Why? A good story about grief and complicated family situations. When Evie's father suddenly dies of a heart attack, she and her mom are devastated. But Evie realizes that things aren't always as they seem, when she comes home from the hospital to find all of her dad's things packed. Was he leaving them? Why? A good story about grief and complicated family situations.

  18. 4 out of 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. 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.

  19. 5 out of 5

    The Book Worm Bookstore

    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, 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, in order to protect her mom from finding out she puts all his stuff back. Evie and her mom don’t get along. She was more of a daddy’s girl. She enrolls in this photography class and through this class she learns to see what she had been missing. That her father had the affair, he got his mistress pregnant and the mom had been trying to cover this up in order to protect Evie. Evie starts spying on the mistress that went to her High school and she ends up helping in the birth of the mistress child. It is very entertaining.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eva Gibson

    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.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robbyn

    A very interesting storyline. It had too much cursing for my taste, but the story was very compelling. A great look into what it means to be human and seeing ALL of someone else: the good and bad. A great look at exploring grief and the interchangeability of the different stages and coping mechanisms among different people.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Dang

    What would you do if right after your father dies you discover that he was planning on leaving you and your mom and moving in with his secret mistress who is pregnant with his child? Evie Parker has always loved her dad and is devastated by her father’s sudden death. When she comes home she finds his packed luggage... and later on over hears her mom talking about a woman her dad was having an affair with. To make matters worse it is the 22 year old receptionist at his work who is only 4 years ol What would you do if right after your father dies you discover that he was planning on leaving you and your mom and moving in with his secret mistress who is pregnant with his child? Evie Parker has always loved her dad and is devastated by her father’s sudden death. When she comes home she finds his packed luggage... and later on over hears her mom talking about a woman her dad was having an affair with. To make matters worse it is the 22 year old receptionist at his work who is only 4 years older than Evie and went to the same school as her. Now on top of her grieving her father, she has enrolled in a photography class and soon finds herself following Bree around everywhere. She becomes obsessed with finding out more about Bree while also trying to understand why her father would do this to them and trying to sort out her own grief. On top of this new obsession and her grief, she is also struggling to deal with her relationship with her mother and a budding new relationship. This was a really interesting story filled with family drama and dealing with grief, especially the betrayals and secrets that loved ones can have. It was interesting and really kept you hooked until the end. *Thanks Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's Books for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*

  23. 5 out of 5

    E Pozo

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was definitely…something. First off, let me tell you what I was expecting. I started this book with very very high expectations. I thought that there would be at least one murder, and I thought that Evie was going to get driven to madness ending in her realizing that she needed help. I thought her stalking Bree was going to become like an addictive “coping mechanism” Let’s just say, I was wrong. This book could have taken a completely different approach towards the story. And they didn’ This book was definitely…something. First off, let me tell you what I was expecting. I started this book with very very high expectations. I thought that there would be at least one murder, and I thought that Evie was going to get driven to madness ending in her realizing that she needed help. I thought her stalking Bree was going to become like an addictive “coping mechanism” Let’s just say, I was wrong. This book could have taken a completely different approach towards the story. And they didn’t. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with that, but I am a fan of murder mysteries and I was expecting something more suspenseful. Another thing I didn’t like about this book is the main character. Evie comes off and annoying and not like able. She is said to have character development but I just don't really see it? She forgives her dad’s mistress, but then she’s rude to her mom. She lets herself have a crush, then she is a bitch to him. I just don't really understand her. Anyways im bored of writing this book review so byeeee

  24. 5 out of 5

    DJ

    Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. When We Were Strangers is an emotional heartfelt story about family, love and grief. I couldn't put it down. I was completely immersed in the emotions of Evie Parker (not a superhero). When her dad dies suddenly her world is wrecked. Her relationship with her mother is already complicated but then she goes home after the hospital and discovers something else. Her father was leaving them; he had his bag packs before he Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. When We Were Strangers is an emotional heartfelt story about family, love and grief. I couldn't put it down. I was completely immersed in the emotions of Evie Parker (not a superhero). When her dad dies suddenly her world is wrecked. Her relationship with her mother is already complicated but then she goes home after the hospital and discovers something else. Her father was leaving them; he had his bag packs before he died. She impulsively decides to unpack his bags and keep the secret from her mother. She finds solace in photography and new friend. She learns a lot about herself. I really enjoyed this story. Families are hard, and grief is harder. I liked that the author chose to make this story complicated. It didn't all fit into a neat little box where the mom and daughter suddenly become best friends in their grief. Evie and her mothers relationship felt honest, and real.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amani

    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 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 would've loved to see Evie's relationship with her dad through flashbacks or something, but there wasn't anything so I had no idea what kind of relationship they had. It felt kind of flat to me and Evie is constantly arguing with everyone in the book for the sake of conflict. This is not the book for me, but perhaps this is it for you. I felt disconnected to Evie and the other characters in the book. I would've loved to see more of their personalities.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I binged this fresh, raw, and poignant novel in a day and a half. Grief, infidelity, and the reduction of a parent to a mere human are at the core of this contemporary YA drama, which is in turn humorous and heartbreaking. Richards deftly manages to explore some of the oft-overused tropes--such as the "not telling someone something to protect them" phenomena--but in a way that actually makes sense, not just from a plot-perspective, but a human one, too; not once did I yell at the book to "just t I binged this fresh, raw, and poignant novel in a day and a half. Grief, infidelity, and the reduction of a parent to a mere human are at the core of this contemporary YA drama, which is in turn humorous and heartbreaking. Richards deftly manages to explore some of the oft-overused tropes--such as the "not telling someone something to protect them" phenomena--but in a way that actually makes sense, not just from a plot-perspective, but a human one, too; not once did I yell at the book to "just tell them already!" (This is rare, for me.) Each of the characters is flawed but fleshed out in ways that made them relatable and leave you rooting for them, too. (Even ones you'd think you'd hate. Such as ones named for fancy cheese.) Highly recommend.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Delfina

    Seventeen year old Evie's life has done a complete 180. Everything had changed since the death of her father who suddenly died from a heart attack and if that wasn't enough, she finds out that not only was her father cheating on her mother which a much younger women, he had also got her pregnant. Curious about the woman, Evie starts spying on the women, Bree, who is only a few years older than her. While there is some cute romance featuring a cute boy that Evie meets in her photography class, th Seventeen year old Evie's life has done a complete 180. Everything had changed since the death of her father who suddenly died from a heart attack and if that wasn't enough, she finds out that not only was her father cheating on her mother which a much younger women, he had also got her pregnant. Curious about the woman, Evie starts spying on the women, Bree, who is only a few years older than her. While there is some cute romance featuring a cute boy that Evie meets in her photography class, the real story is Evie, her grieving process and her relationship with her family. Heavy at times but overall hopeful. I enjoyed reading this book and finished it in one sitting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Cresse

    I was immediately drawn to the storyline of this book! The unimaginable happens immediately after Evie's father dies and she is left not only to deal with her grief but also all the questions that flood her when she realizes that her beloved dad was living a double life. There comes a point when we realize the humanity of our parents--and it happens at different times for everyone. Richards shows us this humanity of both of Evie's parents and we go through the pain and betrayal with Evie. There I was immediately drawn to the storyline of this book! The unimaginable happens immediately after Evie's father dies and she is left not only to deal with her grief but also all the questions that flood her when she realizes that her beloved dad was living a double life. There comes a point when we realize the humanity of our parents--and it happens at different times for everyone. Richards shows us this humanity of both of Evie's parents and we go through the pain and betrayal with Evie. There is a symbolic element to photography and Evie's growth as she is forced to see the situation from various viewpoints and decide what emotion will win her focus. The characters are well-developed and the pacing is perfect. There is an abnormal (to me) vibe and boundaries between the women in the story and how they speak to each other: Evie and her mom; Evie and her best friend; Evie's mom and her best friend-- personally, it bothered me; however, it was also a "window" moment because I realize that mother/daughter relationships are unique and don't all look the same.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Piper

    DNF'd at 40% as I was struggling to connect with the main character, Evie. The writing is fine and the plot was intriguing but I couldn't invest in Evie and when I can't invest in a character, I lose interest very quickly. So sadly, i won't be continuing this which is a bummer because I was really hoping it would be good. DNF'd at 40% as I was struggling to connect with the main character, Evie. The writing is fine and the plot was intriguing but I couldn't invest in Evie and when I can't invest in a character, I lose interest very quickly. So sadly, i won't be continuing this which is a bummer because I was really hoping it would be good.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beth Dettman

    I really really really loved this book! The main character was so real and I just was right in there with her the whole time! I loved how she wrestled through the really bad situation that she found herself in. I loved her character growth. I could not put the book down. So good.

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