All This Time is the captivating fairytale that will open your heart to love again

All This Time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott. Image courtesy Simon & Schuster
All This Time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott. Image courtesy Simon & Schuster /

The authors of Five Feet Apart have taken their affinity for writing fairytales and crafted a page-turning narrative that will return hope to your heart.

Kyle and Kimberly were supposed to be together forever.

Then she broke up with him. Again.

But that’s not the most tragic thing that happens in the first chapter of All This Time, which sends Kyle on a difficult journey of self-discovery, acceptance, and healing.

You know … everything most great YA romances have on their ingredients list. Complete with a manic pixie dream girl who’s far too likable to disappear beneath the weight of the trope that surrounds her name.

If I’m being honest, I fully intended to give myself a week or so to chip away at yet another whimsical romance — I blame 2020’s ongoing quest to snuff out every spark of hope that’s had the potential to rekindle my love life, but I suppose there are much more pressing matters to use a book to escape from …

So when I read the entirety of All This Time in one sitting on an otherwise lonely Friday night — oops? — I knew I’d stumbled headfirst into a story I wouldn’t soon forget.

Perhaps my inevitable attraction to young adult romance stems from my love of John Green novels, arguably some of the most important books to have shaped my own ongoing journey as a writer. Love it or hate it, the manic pixie dream girl trope does one thing right: It almost always creates a narrative that makes you feel like you’re spinning in good kinds of circles as you turn from one page to the next.

After losing Kimberly, Kyle struggles to find his footing. And as you might expect — like magic — Marley appears just when he needs her to materialize before his eyes.

But don’t judge this tale before you make your full way through it. As I discovered sometime around midnight, there’s a twist about three-fourths of the way through that will prompt you to look up from the page and ask, out loud — “What did I just read?” — yes, out loud, to yourself, in the middle of the night.

One measure of a good book is, after all, how often you talk to it as if that will ease all your concerns about the pages to come.

When you read a lot of books, it’s not very often a twist can still surprise and delight you as much as this one did for me.

Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott are brilliant storytellers with a knack for perfectly balancing heartbreak and hope. Every time you think things are finally turning around for each character, lightning strikes. But things always end in a major key — they wouldn’t call them fairytales if they didn’t.

There truly is no better time to escape into a dream-like romance where love can’t break your heart, tragedy can’t steal your joy, and everyone gets the happy ending they deserve.

If you’ve read Five Feet Apart, you already know that a good love story can’t thrive without its fair share of twists and turns. There will be sad moments. There will be happy ones. There will be moments you’ll question whether or not the story might go the way you’re expecting … or somewhere completely off the familiar path.

But the whole time, you’re not thinking about your own lost love or your real-world worries. Which is exactly what a romance novel should accomplish, at the end of it all.

Sometimes it takes a modern-day fairytale to remind you it’s OK to believe in love, in the happily ever afters that some days seem so difficult to find.

We all deserve a happy ending. Even if it comes to us in the form of a book.

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All This Time is available now wherever books are sold.