This nostalgia-tinged story of music and romantic mayhem will have you in stitches, scouring your house for a walkman.
Good to know
Enemies to Lovers
When college sweethearts Frankie and Ezra broke up before graduation, they vowed to never speak to each other again. Ten years later, on the eve of the new millennium, they find themselves back on their snowy, picturesque New England campus together for the first time for the wedding of mutual friends. Frankie’s on the rise as a music manager for the hottest bands of the late ‘90s, and Ezra’s ready to propose to his girlfriend after the wedding. Everything is going to plan—they just have to avoid the chasm of emotions brought up when they inevitably come face to face.
But when they wake up in bed next to each other the following morning with Ezra’s grandmother’s diamond on Frankie’s finger, they have zero memory of how they got there—or about any of the events that transpired the night before. Now Frankie and Ezra have to put aside old grievances in order to figure out what happened, what didn’t happen . . . and to ask themselves the most troubling question of all: what if they both got it wrong the first time around?
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Frankie Harriman took a long last look in the mirror on the back of the bathroom door of her decently appointed hotel room. The lighting was, as expected, quite grim, but even without the shadowing and the unflattering overtone of yellow, she startled herself. She fidgeted with the hem of her oversize wool sweater, tried tucking it into the waist of her Levi’s, then decided that made her look like she was trying too hard, so untucked it, but she still wasn’t happy. She turned to the side and gave herself a final once—over. It would have to do. The rehearsal dinner invite had called for College Chic! and this was all she had: her old J.Crew fisherman sweater that she’d dug out of a box in the back of her closet in her Los Feliz apartment and her vintage Levi’s, which she now bought at a used—clothing store on Fairfax, but she may just as well have been wearing the ones from 1989, the year they graduated. The last time she’d set foot on campus at Middleton University.
She had been as surprised as anyone that she willingly accepted her freshman—year roommate’s request to be a bridesmaid (how do you really turn that sort of thing down?). Months later, she checked off “Yes! Party Like It’s 1999,” rather than “Y2Nay,” on the invitation, and after sealing the envelope and dropping it in the mailbox on the corner outside her office, it wouldn’t be a lie to say that she regretted it and immediately thought of a million and one excuses as to how she could bail last minute. She always had excuses at the ready, and to be honest, half of them weren’t even lies: her artists inevitably got themselves into trouble or she was headed out on tour or there was some sort of unforeseeable crisis to manage.
Why I love it
Author, This Time Next Year
I’ve always been a fan of high concept love stories but show me one set in the nineties that takes place around New Year’s Eve and I’m pretty well guaranteed a book I’m going to enjoy. The Rewind presents an excellent setup: two exes wake up together with wedding bands on their fingers and no idea how they got there. So far, so invested. Throw in a few classic romance tropes—first loves, second chance love, enemies to lovers, waking up together in your old dorm room (that might not be a trope, but maybe it should be)—and you have a delicious rum punch of a book.
Ezra and Frankie used to date. They broke up ten years ago and haven’t stayed in touch, let alone amicably. But when they wake up together the night before a mutual friend’s wedding, with no memory of the night before, they must work together to establish what happened. They retrace not only their steps but also their relationship as we find out why it all went wrong. Will this trip down memory lane cause them to reconcile or simply cement their decade-long resentment towards one another?
The Rewind is an unabashed nostalgia-fest and a great second chance romance. I’d particularly recommend to anyone who lived through the nineties, Y2K, and cassette tapes. Put on your double denim, power up that lava lamp, and let’s read a rom-com like it’s 1999.
Member ratings (5,677)
Decently a page turner, I couldn’t put it down! I find the mess that they all are pretty relatable but it’s hard to imagine those messes all wind up being fine in the end. Still a good one though.
While I struggled a little with Frankie’s abrasive, defensive self, I loved this story of two people who realized that time can change us, while keeping our basic selves, into better versions of us.
What happens after a bad breakup & reunion 10 years later? It is a mess! I enjoyed the ride with Frankie & Ezra as they figured out what happened the night before and what should happen in the future.
I more than liked it but didn’t completely love it. It was a little too slow. I would have enjoyed flashbacks as separate chapters instead of happening in the middle of each chapter. Rushed ending.
This was the perfect choice for the end of the year (I finished walked down the stairs, and left for an NYE party). This second chance romance takes place on NYE 1999 and the writing kept me reading.