Author: Ana Huang
First Published: 30 June 2020
Rating: 4.5 stars
“And now that she’d walked amongst the stars, how could she not believe in fate? How could she not believe in love?”
I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Ana for sending a copy my way!
One year, two opposites, and a love that will blindside and, ultimately, shatter them.
She’s an aspiring interior designer who dreams of falling in love.
He’s an ex-football star who thinks love is a con.
She’s a virgin, and he doesn’t do virgins.
He’s cocky, infuriating, and not her type.
She wants the fairytale.
He wants freedom.
Blake and Farrah shouldn’t have fallen for each other the way they did: totally, completely, and irrevocably.
Because they’re studying abroad in Shanghai, and they only have one year.
Because forces at home threaten to rip them apart, even if they don’t know it yet.
And because, eventually, they must face the most heartbreaking lesson they’ll ever learn: sometimes, even the greatest love can’t conquer all.
If We Ever Meet Again is a sweet romance with a dash of angst and a lot of heartbreak. This romance is set in Shanghai during a foreign exchange program. This book was so much fun. I love getting to see China along with our main characters Farrah Lin and Blake Ryan. This love story seemed perfect until the real world comes knocking.
Farrah Lin is an interior design student who’s hopeless romantic and a virgin. I adore her. She’s intelligent and driven. She knows exactly what she’s going to do with her life and submitting a portfolio to a prestigious competition is the first step. Farrah is in Shanghai to connect with her father’s memory. I love that we have a Chinese-American protagonist. We need more diversity in romance.
Blake Ryan is a senior and an ex-college football star. He walked away from an NFL contract, his girlfriend and the perfect life he’s meant to lead. Blake ended up in Shanghai to get as far away from his hometown as possible. Now, he has to figure out what he wants to do next. Blake is an honest and hardworking guy despite his cheesy pickup lines and cocky attitude. It broke my heart seeing that his family doesn’t believe in him. They are waiting for him to come home and for everything to go back to normal.
These two are perfect opposites. Farrah is determined not to fall in love with Blake. She insists that he is not her type. Their relationship unfolds slowly. During study sessions, where Farrah helps with Blake’s language homework, the pair becomes friends. They confide in each other and share their family issues and secrets. I adore how they support and encourage each other to reach their goals. The romance is a slow burn. They are the sweetest couple; I couldn’t stop smiling at them.
I will say that the ending shocked me, which is crazy because the prologue starts at the end of the novel. It was like I had convinced myself the heartbreak wouldn’t happen since Farrah and Blake seemed so perfect for each other. This highlights Ana Huang’s master craftsmanship.
I adored the setting. Shanghai becomes another character. The Chinese culture was highlighted and emphasised without taking away from the narrative. I loved the inclusion of Chinese phrases and different festivals. I love the way Huang describes the food was incredible and it made me hungry.
There are a lot of supporting characters. Farrah and Blake establish a core group of friends, which included 7 other students. The banter the group has was funny and felt realistic, but at times it was hard to keep track of them.
Honestly, I need the sequel, If The Sun Never Sets, as soon as possible. This ending just about broke my heart. I am invested in these characters and only want the best things for them. Thank god we don’t have to wait too long because it is out at the end of this month!