The building had been demolished, the name of the school was
different; there was now a memorial in the courtyard to those
who had not survived the school shooting twelve years ago;
Liv Arias was amongst THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY. A filmmaker is
making a documentary of the Long Acre High survivors'
reunion, and Liv reconnects with those who had been with her
support group: Rebecca, Kincaid, and Taryn, who had become
friends after the tragedy, although they had not stayed in
contact long after high school. Liv had not expected to see
Finn Dorsey, lauded as one of the heroes of the massacre;
they had been secretly somewhat chastely dating, and Finn
flew off the radar shortly afterwards when his parents moved
out of town. The attraction is still there, but is it
possible to aspire to real happiness after all this?
Very often while reading for a review, I make copious notes,
but I knew almost from page one that this would not be one of
those occasions; THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY is a story I needed to
absorb, to be immersed in, even if my review would
stylistically suffer. Roni Loren has written a very powerful
novel that I simply let the story consume me, envelop me, and
take me along on Finn and Liv's voyage. I was pleasantly
surprised that it was not the "let's finally hook up, add a
few nightmares for good measure and a bit of gore" type of
story. Although there are no notes to this effect, I suspect
Ms. Loren did a considerable amount of research on survivors
because of her insight and sensitivity on tackling this
difficult subject, especially in the context of a romance.
Roni Loren has created unique characters, mesmerizing in
their attempts at reclaiming what was taken from them,
witnessing their triumphs and errors. THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY
is a story of young people wanting to go forward, trying to
live in a present that has been forever altered by a night of
horror. For most of us, it is a situation that is not easy to
identify with, and yet Ms. Loren presents her story in such a
way that is never exploitative; I say this because it felt
like a true story to me, because the characters appear so
genuine, their feelings and actions believable at all times.
I applaud Roni Loren's daring and innovative move in writing
a second chance romance based on a very delicate theme and
succeeding at every level.
I might not sound like I am oohing and aahing, but I am. THE
ONES WHO GOT AWAY deserves the highest praise, but I choose
to praise quietly, in my heart. Thank you, Roni Loren, for
writing this story exactly as it should.
Twelve years ago, Long Acre High School was struck by a
tragedy that still haunts the small Texas town today. On a
cool spring night, two gunmen walked into prom and ended the
lives of many of the senior class. Only a small number of
students survived—a group the media dubbed as The Ones Who
Web designer (and former Goth chick) Liv Arias is ready to
end the decade-long riff with her old flame and move on.
Even though he almost got her killed, she knows it was every
kid for themselves that night. But when her attempt at
closure with former star-athlete Finn Dorsey turns into a
steamy kiss, moving on proves much more difficult than
either of them thought…