This is the premise of Daniel Gothard’s more-com-than-rom book, Reunited.
Told with a split timeline, we follow 16 year old Ben through his journal, as he deals with bullies, grief, how to be cool and being in love with his best friend. 20 years later, we follow Ben as he is ordered back to his school reunion to cover it in his professional capacity as a journalist.
Mature Ben is having just as many girl-problems as his younger self. Having been complete knob to his fiancé, she has walked out on him, and is now giving him the epic silent treatment. (Reader, don’t hate me, but I was cheering her on and sticking a mental middle finger up at Ben for his behaviour).
I think one of the most interesting elements of Reunited is reading a plot like this written from a boy/man’s (or should that be man-boy?!) perspective, and by a male writer. It made for a unique take on the plot, and an interesting insight into how the opposite sex may have thought and felt in the many cringe-worthy situations Gothard lures his characters into.
Reunited is an interesting look into how much people change and what the practical realities of life can throw at you in the interim. There were times I wanted to slap the older Ben with a wet fish- considering 20 years had passed, he still behaved and reacted to situations very much like his younger self- just with a hint more world-weary sarcasm and a lot less sweetness.
Reunited is an enjoyable read that will get you thinking about your own school days and what has changed, which of your dreams have come true… and which of your worst character traits may have managed to survive across the years. As for checking out what happened to my crushes… I think I’ll stick to social media, thanks!
1992, and Ben Tallis is coming to terms with the recent death of his father. His ability to cope isn't helped by the fact he's secretly in love with one of his best friends. At least keeping a daily journal helps him make sense of events, and he believes it's the perfect preparation for his plan to one day become a successful journalist.
2012 and Ben has achieved his career ambition - he's a highly respected journalist and is engaged to a hardworking and ambitious lawyer. But this seemingly 'perfect' relationship is fraught with problems. Ben mentions in passing to his editor he has received an invitation to a 20 year school reunion but doesn't want to go. His editor however smells a great feature article and insists Ben returns home, faces his past - including his secret teenage yearning - and writes a feature on how much we change, and yet in so many ways stay the same. As Ben reluctantly re-engages with his past he soon comes to realise that we can never run from the truth...or who we truly are.