**ARC Provided in exchange for an honest review**
Title: The Ones Who Got Away
Author: Roni Loren
Series: The Ones Who Got Away #1
Read: January 2018
Format: Physical Book & eBook
Rating: 5 Caffeinated Stars
Trigger Warning: School Shootings, Death, PTSD, Trauma
“Liv’s words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she’d known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence.
It’s been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.
Liv Arias thought she’d never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs…” – Description taken from Goodreads.
I first heard about this book on Bookish First and I was enraptured by the first few chapters. I just knew I had to read this book. I was lucky enough to be accepted as an ARC reader and I know this review has come out after the book was released but that was because I received it last week via Bookish First though I will admit, I was accepted as a Netgalley reader too (yes, I was that in love with just the preview I asked to read the book on NetGalley too which is really completely rare for me.
I was really scared this book was going to hit all of the wrong buttons but I was so completely impressed. Roni Loren has a way about writing that makes you feel like you are sitting on the sidelines watching this all take place. I felt the emotions of the characters and they were realistic. I love how each character was unique and relatable in a way. The characters were well thought out and I loved the personalities of each one. I also loved the friendship and comradery that was in this book between the main characters. I felt like I was hanging out with some of my friends while I was reading it.
Liv & Finn were by far my favorite characters (which tends to happen with main characters). The banter they had was amazing and I found myself swooning for Finn many times while also cursing his name at other times. I honestly just loved the chemistry between the two of them. It made me want to live passionately too.
The plot of this book is unfortunately realistic and I loved that it humanized the survivors of this horrid act of violence. Too many times we think of survivors as props in a way. I’ve never been in a situation like this but I know people who have. I was a grade schooler in Colorado when the Columbine shooting happened and I graduated from Arapahoe High School about 10 years ago so I see a lot of the press that happens when an anniversary happens. It’s a constant barrage of news articles anytime April or December comes around. I love how this book made the characters, the survivors, all be humans who are messed up and yet surviving. I loved that.
All in all, I loved this book. This book is messy, beautiful, heart-wrenching, and just spectacular. If any part of this book sounds like it’s up your alley, pick up the book and read it. It’s wonderful.