Review: Remember When 3: The Finale by T. Torrest
"I’d spent too long in limbo.
It was time to put The California Plan back into effect."
I’ve been in love with Trip Wiley since I was sixteen years old.
Yep. That Trip Wiley.
Academy award-winning actor, known philanthropist, People’s Sexiest Man Alive two years running…
It’s not like I’m some delusional stalker-fan. It just so happens that he was my high school sweetheart back in 1991.
In the years since, he’s simply been The One That Got Away.
We just can’t seem to get on the same page at the same time.
Our timing may have sucked, but the feelings had already been confirmed. Years ago.
At least his were.
He doesn’t know that I had chosen to love him back.
I need to fix that.
And I need to do it now.
Remember When (#1)
Remember When 2 (#2)
Remember When 3 (#3)
At the conclusion of the last book we were pretty much left brokenhearted when Layla let Trip slip through her fingers. After their heated reunion in New York a decade after their high school romance, Trip and Layla's connection hadn't dimmed in the slightest though their lives had new complications. After Lay breaks off her engagement to her boss and decides to follow Trip to L.A. she finds that in his haste to cover up the pain from Layla's refusal to be with him, Trip has agreed to marry someone who was not right for him.
"Every choice we'd ever made, every road we'd ever traveled brought us to this place. Every bad decision, every stupid screwup, every bit of drama. Every beautiful second together, every miserable hour apart...led us here."
Now, with all that in mind we begin the final book in the series where we can hope, wish, and dream that they'll finally get their stuff together and be together for once and for all.
Thankfully, Torrest doesn't make us wait long for it as Trip's father's death brings the two back together within the first chapter. Granted, I was excited that Trip and Lay finally stopped getting in their own way to be together, but it felt way too easy.
And please, take this with a grain of salt, it's just my humble opinion. I love this series and I want to see it succeed with all my heart, but I must also be as honest as I can, even if it truly pains me to do so.
When reading a series I expect for the tension and stakes to increase with each book. The fact that I hold the first book in such high esteem may prove to be a detriment to the other two as it's a lot to live up to. However, the third didn't really deliver on quite what I was looking for in terms of conflict.
I want them to be together, sure, but I also want them to have to work for it...otherwise there's really no point in reading. For the majority of the book they are happy together, which is great and I'm glad for them, however that makes it feel more like an epilogue than it's own story.
Set four years after the conclusion in the previous book, we miss all that immediate drama - aside from Trip's prologue, so it's like everything that happened previously has already been resolved without us having to read it. This also serves as quite a let down. I mean, you cannot make that big of a build up and then just solve it within the first few pages with an undeniable 'connection'. Great for Trip and Layla, not so much to keep me interested. I wanted them to have to keep working for it. Prove to me that they wanted it. Of course they did want it, but I really wanted to see them fight for it. Neither should have been so willing to go back to a relationship, in my eyes. There would have been a whole slew of objections and justifications that they had to work through before driving off into the sunset in L.A.
What conflict there was came towards the end and it seemed like it was put there just for the sake of being conflict in their relationship. Which was fine, but to me it could have been more cleanly executed to make for a more fulfilling story. If those issues had been present from page one, then it would have been so much more satisfying. As it is, however, it felt a little contrived and therefore less believable. There was also some slut shaming present, though I get where it was coming from it's still a bit of a peeve of mine. I think with a bit of fine tuning the conflict could have been more inclusive and the ending more conclusive.
Now, don't mistake me, please. The Remember Trilogy is one of my favorites of all time and if this puts you off of the series, don't let it. If anything, read the first book. It's one of those that changes your life and will forever be one of my favorites. There are moments in the book that are pure Trip and Lay gold, the reason why I loved these books so much is present in them.
“I’ve loved him as both a girl and as a woman. I have both a history and a future with this man. This man I will love forever.”
Their love story will always be epic and the pop culture reference and subtle humor is what made me love this series in the first place. Both of those elements are present along with a good love story. Trip and Layla have such a unique, playful relationship that stems from their history together - that's what makes this series unique and what I love about it.
A movie superstar and his high school sweetheart. That even sounds great.
And that's what I will always love about this series. No matter what.