With or Without You - Shari Low
Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley
Have you ever made a life-changing decision and then wondered if you made the right one...? When Liv and Nate walked up the aisle, Liv knew she was marrying the one, her soul mate and her best friend. Six years later, it feels like routine and friendship is all they have left in common. What happened to the fun, the excitement, the lust, the love? In the closing moments of 1999, Liv and Nate decide to go their separate ways, but at the last minute, Liv wavers. Should she stay or should she go? Over the next twenty years we follow the parallel stories to discover if Liv's life, heart and future have been better with Nate... Or without him?
This book is so strange. I am currently at 53% and at the end of the ‘Without Him’ portion of the book. The book feels finished, yet I’m about to start it again for the ‘With Him’ section. I know it’s about to really mess with my head, as I feel like I have lived their lives, know their story and am happy with what I have just read (even though I wasn’t after the prologue as I was really sad that they were splitting up!). We have traversed 16 years very quickly, and it all feels like a whirlwind, but we have discovered a lifetime of stories! I am now wondering what difference will there be in all of the friends lives just because of one decision that Liv makes, I’m about to find out… I’ve now finished the book. I definitely preferred the ‘Without HIm’ story, it was much happier and in the end felt right. I wasn’t happy with her reasons at first for wanting to leave him; it didn’t seem enough when she still looked at him and thought he was fit, and she still loved him. However, part two shows us why for her own sanity it was the right thing to do. The ending ties up nicely, but it felt like so much time had been wasted in the ‘With Him’ version. I decided to write this review in two parts the same way the book is written. I didn’t want to forget about the first part once I was caught up in the second. Overall this book has the usual Shari Low recipe of hitting you right in the gut with all the feels it has. It is very poignantly and emotionally written just as you would expect from this author! I know a lot of people are comparing this to the film ‘Sliding Doors’, however, I haven’t seen that film for years, although all I remember about it is she’s a party planner in one of the versions, and it made me want to be a party planner for a short time! However, I haven’t read a book like this before so it felt fresh and original. I really enjoyed it as it really showed that no matter what choices we make destiny prevails.