We Came Here to Forget, by Andrea Dunlop***

We Came Here to Forget is a story about an Olympic medalist whose life goes so badly off the rails that she leaves the United States and starts all over again in another country under an assumed name. Thanks to go Atria and Net Galley for the review copy. This book is for sale now.

Katie Cleary is an athlete, an Olympic skier whose life is ascending. A crisis involving her sister, Penny forces Katie out of the world of competitive skiing; her name and face have been in the news for multiple reasons, and she decides a trip abroad will give her the time and space to heal herself. She heads for Buenos Aires and immerses herself in the expat community. She learns to tango and falls in love with her handsome instructor; at the same time we are gradually fed snippets of her past, and so the climax comes when we are finally told the details of the scandal that chased her out of the sport that made her famous.

I have to tell you that this one was rough for me to get through. The last book of Dunlop’s, She Regrets Nothing, was slyly funny, but it took awhile to build so that at the outset, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. This time I remind myself to stick with it, because Dunlop will deliver at the end. I am bored silly for most of the book, and then at the end I learn the big secret, but my main excitement is from being done with it. If I were to rate this according to my own level of engagement, I would go with two stars.

The third star comes in when I consider other readers’ preferences. I have no interest at all in winter sports of any kind. I have never skied and never wanted to. I have never been to Buenos Aires, and if you gave me a free ticket to go there I would immediately try to switch it so I could go somewhere else where it isn’t so warm.  I seldom read romance novels, and I am not interested in dance. So the only draw card for me is that I liked Dunlop’s last book. I had hoped that this one would also be funny, and then instead it’s more of a drama edging toward soap opera, so my one hope went down in flames.

So to be fair, those that have an interest in even one component of this story stand a better chance of engaging with it than I have.  And to be fair, this novel is not promoted as a humorous tale. That was my own expectation based solely on the one other of her books that I’ve read. Not the best match for me, and not necessarily a reasonable expectation on my own part.

Young adult readers whose interests mesh more with these components may find satisfaction here; sadly, this one just isn’t for me.

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