What If by Rebecca Donovan: Review

What If by Rebecca Donovan: ReviewWhat If by Rebecca Donovan
on September 16, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 352

A new novel by the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Breathing Series . . . 

What if you had a second chance to meet someone for the first time?

Cal Logan is shocked to see Nicole Bentley sitting across from him at a coffee shop thousands of miles from their hometown. After all, no one has seen or heard from her since they graduated over a year ago.

Except this girl isn't Nicole.

She looks exactly like Cal's shy childhood crush, but her name is Nyelle Preston and she has no idea who he is. This girl is impulsive and daring, her passion for life infectious. The complete opposite of Nicole. Cal finds himself utterly fascinated-and falling hard. But Nyelle is also extremely secretive. And the closer he comes to finding out what she's hiding, the less he wants to know.

When the secrets from the past and present collide, one thing becomes clear: Nothing is what it seems.

Stacia says…

What If is the kind of book that had my head spinning and had me guessing all different kinds of theories, pretty much from the start. I thought I had it all figured out, but another flashback would occur and it would change my original ideas.

Cal, what an amazing main character; the book is told primarily in his point of view, with a few flashbacks in other points of view.  Cal remembers the days of hanging with his three best friends Rae, Richelle, and Nicole. But when Richelle moved and Nicole chose popularity over their friendship, it was just him and Rae. Rae was never able to get over Nicole’s betrayal and Cal wasn’t able to get over his childhood crush on Nicole.

With everyone back from college for the summer, Cal is sure he will get to see Nicole again, but strangely enough, no one has heard from the most popular girl in school for over a year.  When Cal heads back to school from the summer, he’s shocked to run into Nicole at a coffee shop; only this isn’t Nicole, her name is Nyelle and she has no idea who he is.

“You can’t make it go away by pretending nothing happened.”

Nyelle’s a bit on the wild side; she is daring, outgoing, and the complete opposite of Nicole in almost every way. Nyelle lives her life day by day; she tries to complete things off a “list” she has made, things that make her happy and touch others. I didn’t connect with Nyelle’s character right away. This could be because she was so mysterious and I felt like I had so many unanswered questions. Plus, when she did have something to say, it was so vague; she almost talked in riddles. However, once I really understood her, I couldn’t help but fall in love with her character.

“There are so many times I think about a decision I’ve made and wonder, ‘What if I had done it differently? Who would I be? What would my life be like? What if…?”

I have to say I was bit confused in the beginning of the book; there were so many different characters and names to keep track of. Also having the flashbacks from when Nicole, Richelle, Rae, and Cal were younger and then going straight into present time was confusing at first- perhaps with a “time stamp” header or something it would be less confusing. The book did start off a little slow for me, but once it came together it was really a beautiful, touching story. I was happy that this was a standalone and felt that the story was complete, although I would have liked for a longer epilogue.

“I’m looking for the girl I’ll regret if I let her go.”… “Your what if girl. I like it.”


About Rebecca Donovan

regard, I don’t know how to give up; it’s not part of my biological make up.

I’m a passionate (and some would say, overly enthusiastic) person. I learn by doing (and have been burned more times that I’d like to admit), but I will always throw my entire self into whatever I do – fail or succeed.

I think this is evident when I write, leaving nothing behind and spilling it all out on the pages. I give it all to my readers – love it or hate it.

The path I’m on is very often my own, veering off the beaten path at the sight of something more interesting or captivating, getting caught in the vines and thorns in order to experience the beauty and intrigue others often pass by. And I always meet the most interesting people along the way