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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Then & Now by Karen A. Leppert is the first book in the author's Then & Now series, which follows the young, intelligent Sarah Matthews and her wayward classmate, Seth Mathis. After an encounter in the Mathis home that almost literally left Sarah with egg on her face, Seth takes notice of the girl again and is beguiled by everything she is (and everyone else isn't). As the relationship escalates, so too do the stakes, and their romance comes to a catastrophic and heartbreaking end. Time doesn't always heal all wounds, but when the pair becomes reacquainted years later, Sarah and Seth are once more tested in what their love may or may not be able to endure.
Now & Then is a well written young adult novel that does a good job of conveying all the hope and angst that comes with a couple at the apex of their youth. I enjoyed how both Sarah and Seth were characters that felt mostly authentic, even if at times the actions and reactions of those around them seem far fetched. In the context of a YA romance, it works. Sarah is all smart sass and Seth is just as delicious as one would hope...but don't be fooled: Karen A. Leppert has not initiated her new series with a light and fluffy read and lovers of more dramatic fiction will be delighted by this tale. Luckily, the fan base won't have to wait long in order to continue with the saga, as book two of Then & Now, entitled Always, has been released.