(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: Liars, Inc., Girl Against the Universe, This Is How It Happened
on December 20, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Dating & Relationships, Emotions & Feelings, Family Life, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Romance
College senior Oakland Fuller has always believed in signs and soulmates, so when both a therapist and a fortuneteller say that her repeated relationship failures are due to unresolved feelings for her high school boyfriend, Seth, Oakland tries desperately to get back in touch with him. Problem: Seth isn’t responding to her online messages.
To rescue Oakland from a pathetic Christmas break of sitting in front of the computer, her best friend Morgan books the two of them on a guided excursion of Thailand. When the girls meet a pair of American soldiers in Bangkok, Oakland takes Morgan’s advice and engages in a little harmless holiday hooking up. Sergeant Tyson Banks is the perfect mix of sexy and fun. Two weeks with him might just turn out to be the best relationship Oakland has ever had.
Until the day she spots someone familiar across a crowded temple complex—it’s Seth! Somehow the boy she’s been trying to reconnect with is in Bangkok too. If that’s not a sign, then what is?
Filed with friendship, romance, and gorgeous faraway settings,The Key to Everything is a book for anyone who's ever dreamed of finding love when (or where) they least expected it.
I’ve been a fan of Paula Stokes for ages it seems – I really love her YA stuff, so when I heard she was writing an NA title, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
The Key To Everything introduces us to Oakland Fuller. She’s always believed in soulmates, so when the latest in her most recent string of relationships fails, she knows there’s a reason. When both her therapist and a random fortuneteller both confirm that her issues lie in some unresolved feelings for her high school boyfriend, she’s convinced that she needs to reconnect with him. Only he’s not responding to her.
Morgan, her best friend, decides to save her from a lonely Christmas break and whisks her off to Thailand where on the very first day, they meet a pair of soldiers. Morgan, who doesn’t do relationships, convinces Oakland that there is no harm in hooking up over the holidays, especially since Seth hasn’t replied.
But then the unexpected happens… Oakland spies a familiar face in the crowd and sure enough it’s Seth.
First of all, I think you have to go into this story either believing in fate and signs from the universe or with suspended belief. The reason I say that is because seriously, what are the chances that you’d be visiting the same place as a person you haven’t talked to in years… the same temple at the same time in the same country. It would just require all the fates lining up, and as someone who doesn’t really believe in ‘fate’ or the like, I think that was the hardest part for me to swallow about this story. I just kept thinking… really, what are the chances.
Oakland for me was a bit on the annoying side. It was really hard for me to understand why she was holding onto this idealized version of a boy that she knew 4 years ago and thinking he was the solution to all her relationship woes… especially when there was a boy right in front of her who she got along with, who she connected with, and who she enjoyed her time with. It possible that because It’s been a long time since I’ve been her age, I don’t remember thinking in such an immature way, but as someone in her senior year of college, I don’t know, I kind of feel like she could have been a bit more mature in that regard. (Let’s not even go into this harebrained idea of her to leave the tour to try to catch up with this guy in some other part of the country by herself.)
I did really enjoy getting to know Tyson, and I’m glad that despite Oakland’s immaturity, he wasn’t letting her completely ruin his trip.
Ultimately I really enjoyed Stokes exploring the friendship between Oakland and Morgan and showing that friends are there no matter how ridiculous things might get. Though this isn’t my favorite from Stokes, I love that she’s writing in so many different genres and I’m excited to see what she shares next!