Title: The End of Our Story by Meg Haston
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romantic Elements
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
Every love story has a breaking point… From the author of Paperweight comes the star-crossed romance of two high school friends in a tale rife with deeply buried secrets and shocking revelations.
BEFORE: Bridge and Wil have been entangled in each other’s lives for years. Under the white-hot Florida sun, they went from kids daring each other to swim past the breakers to teenagers stealing kisses between classes. But when Bridge betrayed Wil during their junior year, she shattered his heart and their relationship along with it.
AFTER: When Wil’s family suffers a violent loss, and Bridge rushes back to Wil’s side. As they struggle to heal old wounds and start falling for each other all over again, Bridge and Wil discover just how much has changed in the past year. Though they once knew each other’s every secret, they aren’t the same people they used to be. Bridge can’t imagine life without Wil, but sometimes love isn’t enough. Can they find their way back to each other, or will this be the end of their story?
In The End of Our Story by Meg Haston, a family tragedy provides for an opportunity for teenagers Bridget “Bridge” Hawking and Wilson “Wil” Hines to rekindle their romance. However, will the events of the year they have been apart prove to be too insurmountable for love to overcome?
Bridge and Wil’s childhood friendship turned to love but Bridge’s drunken mistake led Wil to break up with her. Bridge’s apologies and efforts to explain have fallen on deaf ears and she eventually has no choice but to honor Wil’s request she end all communication with him. Now more than a year has passed and after a brush with the law, Bridge has cleaned up her act as she eagerly awaits the end of her senior year. She is still pining over Wil, but he has made it quite obvious he is over her. Bridge has a chance encounter with Wil’s dad occurs just before tragedy strikes the Hines’ family and afterwards, she decides to act on his advice to try and repair her friendship with Wil. Although he is not initially receptive to her overtures, Wil gradually allows Bridge back into his life, but with everything that has happened to him during their time apart, is their second chance romance doomed to fail?
Bridge and Wil’s story alternates back and forth between both of their perspectives. Bridge’s part of the story occurs in the present while Wil’s narration takes place during the preceding year. The descriptions of their childhood escapades are closely intertwined with Wil’s close relationship with his dad who is also a father figure for Bridge whose own dad has long since abandoned her. Even before their breakup, Wil and Bridge’s lives were on a different path since she is college bound and Wil is planning to continue working in the family owned business. Whether or not their relationship could survive a long distance romance becomes a moot point after Bridge’s lapse in judgment leads to their break up.
After the Hines’ family undergoes a catastrophic loss, Bridge reaches out to Wil who is surprisingly receptive to her efforts to support him. However, she quickly realizes that he has inexplicably changed during their time apart and in some ways, he is a stranger to her. Given the recent events in his life, some of Wil’s behavior is understandable, but Bridge is conflicted by his inability to confide in her. She knows he is keeping secrets from her but the glimpses of the boy she once loved leave her hopeful for their future. But as their senior year winds down and graduation looms on the horizon, Bridge’s concern for Wil deepens when she realizes he is clearly tormented by the tragedy that brought them back together.
Although there is a romantic element to the storyline, The End of Our Story by Meg Haston delves into some weighty topics that are quite thought-provoking. One of the most discerning questions that is explored is the correlation of shared traits and interests within family members and whether this is predictive to future behavior. Are children’s lives destined to follow the same path (good or bad) as their parents? The answers to these questions are not always cut and dried and the novel’s conclusion is appropriate if a little open ended.