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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Carried Away is a romance novel for young and new adults written by A.E. Brouhard. Leila Thomas was no stranger to experiencing memories powerfully evoked by scents, or scenes, or songs. She rather enjoyed traveling back into her past; sometimes, those memories felt more real than reality itself. One day, while sitting in her car, the 28-year-old was transported back, ten years earlier, to the summer before her senior year in high school. Actually, she went a bit farther back to the last day of school. It was a day of excitement and promise -- and disappointment. She learned that just about everyone except her was aware of her boyfriend Kyle cheating on her, but she found dumping him was surprisingly easy and rather painless. Meanwhile, she and her best friend, Trin, were bubbling over with their plans for the summer. Leila did have to work a summer job, unlike her more privileged friend, but the first few days of summer vacation were theirs alone to enjoy.
A. E. Brouhard’s Carried Away is a well-written and engaging story about that special last summer before senior year in high school. I loved how the author uses the present day as a frame for her main character’s nostalgic look into the past and found the romance she builds between Leila and Leo to be profoundly sweet and moving. Brouhard adroitly conveys the insecurities and aspirations of teens on the verge of adulthood, and the tensions she creates between the best friends over Leo give the story heft and dimension. Her characters are beautifully detailed and authentic, and her plot kept me interested and involved in their lives. Carried Away is highly recommended.