My dear bookish friends,
I have read many books this year. Some were fine, some were good, some were great. I didn’t get to write all the reviews for them yet (work and thesis and life!!). Some of my reads so far were even amazing, the few gems on my reading horizon of 2021. When I looked at the cover of this book, The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara, I thought I would be in for a nice ride. I loved working on the banner for this tour because the cover resonated with me so much, and I was expecting a good story. I didn’t expect to read my favourite book of the year yet, but here we are!!!! Very much like the heroine of the story, Maya, some things aren’t as you would expect them to be. I certainly didn’t expect to this blown away, to be in love with a book so much. But I am. Stay tuned for all my thoughts below, but first – here comes the synopsis!
What if the Lift driver who finds your cheating boyfriend’s phone holds the directions to true love?
‘Who are you and why do you have my boyfriend’s phone?’
‘He left it in my car. You must be the blonde in the red dress? I’m the Lift driver who dropped you two off earlier.’
And with these words, the life of the brunette and t-shirt wearing Maya Maas is turned upside down. Having planned to surprise her boyfriend, she finds herself single and stranded in an unknown city on her birthday.
So when the mystery driver rescues Maya with the suggestion that she cheers herself up at a nearby beach town, she jumps at the chance to get things back on track. She wasn’t expecting a personalised itinerary or the easy companionship that comes from opening up to a stranger via text, let alone the possibility it might grow into something more…
Come on this 5* journey to love, laughter and back again, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Josie Silver and Sally Thorne.
My god, how I love this book! Maya has everything in life. A good job as a reporter in the city of all cities – New York – a handsome, wealthy boyfriend, a nice place to live… What’s not to love? Well, if you look behind the shiny facade, you see the debris falling off, and Maya herself knows, if she really listens to the voice inside her head, that deep inside, she’s not happy. But she’s trying. For one, she’s trying to surprise her boyfriend David on his work trip by flying after him. Never in the world did she expect to meet a stranger – well, not really meet him, it’s only virtually through text messages after all – who will make her stomach feel like it’s full of butterflies?
David left his phone in a taxi, and the driver accidentally tells Maya her boyfriend of almost a decade is cheating on her. Alone in a strange, big city, Maya feels like someone punched in the gut. Should she take a bus back home to New York? Wait a whole day at the airport for her flight back? Or go on the adventure of her lifetime, on an adventure that might also lead her to the real love of her life..?
I absolutely loved Maya. She is a wonderful heroine, she is smart and funny, she sometimes feels insecure, she is a bit of a clutz… she reminded me a lot of myself in some regards (lol). I loved her friendship with Alisa – seriously, everyone needs a friend like her!!! I loved that Maya started to be brave, that she started to see the bad things in her life and acted to change them. She knows she wasted some time, but she doesn’t want to settle now. I found that really impressive, and I loved her all the more for it.
The setting of the story was amazing. We get to read about New York, and for one of the first times ever it isn’t this fairytale place that everyone expects. I loved to read of the place by the beach in California much more. It sounded beautiful, picturesque, calm, quiet, and yet exciting all at once. The author has a way with words, I could smell the sea breeze and feel the sand between my toes when Maya walked across the shoreline. I could picture the miniature houses she passed, the little French-looking cafè she sat and had coffee; I could see the inn before my inner eye and smell the owner’s self-made cookies fresh from the oven.
This book only took me a few hours to read, but it took me on a wondeful adventure. I got excited with Maya when she boarded the bus to her destination by the sea. I got a bit scared for her when she had doubts about Max, the driver who told her where to go, which café to stop at, which house to visit. Would he turn out to be a psycho after all? I watched the sunset with Maya, sat with her by the bonfire; I got angry with her when her boyfriend (could we even call him that?) arrived. I was sad to read about her giving in to him again, being back to the same old life that didn’t fulfil her for another year. But then, I was so over the moon when Maya finally took action. She wanted to change her life, act on a crazy idea, but when you know, you know. She fell in love with someone that day a year ago – someone she hadn’t seen in person, someone she only got to know with a made-up game of 50 questions over text messages. But when you know you love someone, you just know, over text or in real life. I got excited for her to go back, to look for him. I feared what she might find, but god, I loved that she went…and what she found!!!
Over the course of the story, there were some things I thought wouldn’t add up. Keep reading – there really is an answer for everything. I guessed at some point who Mister Perfect was, Max, the cab driver, the guy who Maya hadn’t ever seen before but loved with all her heart. But it didn’t take away from my reading enjoyment at all. I loved the main character as much as the support characters, the friends, the strangers at the beach, the visitors at the café. (Ok, not so much the other employees or the boss at her reporter job (god, they were AWFUL), but that was her old life, so let’s forget about them, shall we?!).
This book is a must read for all the dreamers, the artists, the writers, the seekers of happily ever-afters, the singles, the happily marrieds – for everyone who wants to escape reality for a day and just dream. I surely did, and I am thanking the author of this wonderful novel for letting me dream for a day.
Obviouslly, a big, fat, shiny 5 stars from me!
Big thank you to Dave at TheWritereads, the author, and Aria Fiction for my ecopy and spot on this tour!
Thank you all so much for reading!
About the Author
As a child, Olivia not-so-quietly ‘observed’ (AKA bothered with countless questions) her grandfather — who worked for the biggest publishing house in Romania — edit hundreds of books. And when he wasn’t editing, he read. Everything, all the time. Just like her father, who wrote short sci-fi stories, and was set on building the largest library she’d ever seen and her mother who’s never found without a book…wherever she goes. Her love for words came naturally, and after studying marketing, communications & photography, Olivia worked as a journalist for a newspaper and news television network in Romania.
An unapologetic citizen of the world, she spent a few years in Greece, Sweden, France, before settling in sunny California with her photographer husband and young daughter, where she works in marketing and writes. Oh, and let’s not forget the ever-growing menagerie that completes the family: Pumpkin, the Maine Coon mix, three black cats and a siamese kitten.
When she’s not writing or thinking about writing, she reads (across genres), watches old movies and collects vintage books, vinyl records, and eerie paintings. She loves traveling (and can’t wait until she can do it again, safely), swimming, biking, hiking and of course, photography.
SOMEDAY IN PARIS, her debut, published by Aria Fiction/Head of Zeus in May 2020 became a B&N, Apple, Kobo and Amazon Top 100 Bestseller and was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel Awards 2021. Her second novel, THE MEETING POINT, a contemporary romcom set in Northern California, is set to be published as an e-book on September 2, 2021 and in paperback in December 2021 in the UK and March, 2022 in the US.