♦ 3.5 STARS. ♦
There's just something about a student-teacher romance story. When they're done right, they can be really good and fun to read. When they're done in a bad way, they can become predictable and clichéd very easily. Always You was a perfect example of the first category. It was a sweet, lighthearted story with lots of romance and very little angst.
Eighteen year old Wrenn hasn't had an easy life. Just a year ago her parents and brother were killed in a car accident. With no other family left, she was forced to move in with her aunt who happens to be the head mistress of an all girls boarding school. Her friends and boyfriend abandoned her ever since she the accident, and when twenty three-year-old Dalton arrives at her school as the new temporary teacher, she finally seems to have found someone to confide in. He's the first person who makes her want to enjoy life again. From the moment they met, the two of them have an instant connection (fueled by the fact that they already met several years ago when she was seven and he was twelve).
They start to spend more and more time together, and after a while neither of them can deny the feeling they have for each other. Luckily, Dalton's contract only runs for eight weeks, but still they have to keep their relationship strictly secret and that isn't always an easy thing to do...
"When you feel so strongly for someone you don't want to keep it a secret. You want to shout it from the rooftops. You want everyone to know what you're feeling. Hiding it feels so wrong. How can falling in love ever be a bad thing?"
Wrenn was a very strong heroine, especially considering her young age. I admired the fact that she doesn't care what other people think and that she's determined to stand by Dalton no matter what. She's the one who's made him realize, even at the age of seven, how important it is to life your life in the present without worrying too much about the future and (view spoiler)[the impending possibility of getting sick (hide spoiler)].
"Live each day like there is no tomorrow, but don't forget to live each day like there was no yesterday either. Live in the present, for it is a gift from God. That's why it is called the present." - Emily Austen
I loved Dalton! He's a cutie and I can perfectly understand why all the girls were fangirling over him so much. He's sweet, caring and the fact that he might be carrying the same terminal decease that killed his father, made me respect the way he decides to live his life all the more. (view spoiler)[Especially since he doesn't let himself be down after receiving the news that he is indeed sick. (hide spoiler)]
"Whether you realized it or not, since that first time we met all those years ago you've inspired me to be more than I thought I ever could be. It was always you…"
Towards the ending the story might have become a bit too predictable for my taste, but overall I really enjoyed reading Always You. It was a very realistic student-teacher romance with more to the story than just "forbidden romance" elements and it had the perfect (view spoiler)[happy ending (hide spoiler)].
**ARC courtesy of the author, Missy Johnson, in exchange for an honest review**