Review: “Unwritten” by Alex Rosa

Book Title: Unwritten

Author: Alex Rosa

Rating: 3.75⭐

Release Date: September 15, 2020

Goodreads | (Available on KU)

Synopsis: Hailey Elwood left her hometown of PineCrest five years ago to become a writer. And she did. She wrote a book about her hometown and her first love and it went on to become an international bestseller. But now she’s home after five years and she has to face all the truths, lies and secrets she left behind when she ran away to find bigger things. Including the boy she loves – Caiden.

Review: This second chance, angsty romance was nothing like I expected it to be. What happens when you leave behind the love of your life and then pour all of that love into a book that becomes a bestseller? You deal with the consequences of the book. 

Hailey’s book has gotten rave reviews and enough attention that it’s now being turned into a movie. And still, most of the people in her small hometown haven’t read the book. And those that have, aren’t saying anything. But her closest friends have made the decision to not read the book, because it doesn’t matter what she’s said, she’s still their friend. Well, except for the boy she left behind. Caiden has not only read the book, he’s marked out pages and portions that he wants answers for. And the entire book follows this damaged relationship and trying to figure out if it’ll work or not.

Alex has written a book so angsty and yet easy to read that once you start, you won’t be able to stop! The characters carry the story and their relationships and their history really bring everything to life. Told through only Hailey’s point of view, Unwritten is completely focused on Hailey coming to terms with life after writing a book about a boy you once loved. Caiden and Hailey have a second chance to fix this and pick up where they left off, but can they do it? Especially since Caiden has a new girlfriend and he’s still coming to terms with the fact that Hailey wrote a book about their lives.

“It was childish for me to make you choose. I know that now. We could have compromised. We probably had other options, but we were so young. Things just happened, and we can’t take them back, but hell, I can’t imagine you thinking you made the wrong choice.”

What I really liked about this book was that Caiden wasn’t an asshole about Hailey writing about him. While we don’t get to see the book itself or know the details of what she’s written, Caiden doesn’t hate Hailey for what she’s done. If anything, it gives him insight into her head and understanding what she felt when everything fell apart five years ago. I expected to see more about the book, to have Caiden ask Hailey questions and get answers, but it was a lot more about their real story than what she put in the book. I do wish that we got little excerpts or quotes from the book to carry the story a little more, but seeing it through Caiden and Hailey wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

Oh gosh, the supporting characters! Brandon and Ceecee and Cameron and Tyler. One of my favourite things about small town romances is the family and friends side of the stories. And Hailey’s got a great group of friends who don’t hold it against her for leaving. That’s actually a really refreshing part of this story – none of the characters hate Hailey for walking away. Everyone seems to understand and know why she left PineCrest for LA and why she wrote the book, they don’t judge her for it. It’s such a rare thing to find in books like this. I so desperately want more of Brandon and Ceecee, because what we did get of them? Absolutely glorious.

“You are a reminder of why my heart aches, not that we failed. You don’t get over your first love, Caid.”

The angst level in this book was so high. Every time you think Hailey and Caiden are going to sort through everything and deal with it like adults, it explodes in their faces. The feelings are still there and it’s a little more intense than they would like it to be, but the way they finally come together is quite something. I loved watching the relationship grow and also seeing the two characters grow. Because that is so important too! It’s the slowest burn and I was itching to push the two characters together when you can feel that it’s time!

Unwritten is a story about love, friendship and fighting for what you really want. Life throws you curveballs all the time and sometimes it’s hard to deal with all, but there’s strength in taking things one step at a time instead of rushing into it every step of the way. Alex Rosa’s story of Hailey and Caiden, their love and their history is a bittersweet read. It’s an unexpected read and makes you stop and think about the things you’ve done in life and how you’re going to get back everything you’ve pushed away in life.

Thanks to InkSlinger PR and Alex Rosa for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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