The time has finally come for Quinn and Kennedy. I guess you could read All the Paths to You as a standalone but don’t. You’ll understand a lot more about Quinn and about the dynamics of her relationship with Kennedy if you read All the Worlds Between Us first.
Which I’m going to have to spoil a little to set the scene of this second book, so you might want to stop reading this review right here.
In All the Worlds Between Us, Quinn and Kennedy were teenagers and they had this amazing second-chance romance, which was both beautiful and heartbreaking. When Quinn left for college, they made this pact that they’d give their relationship another chance (it’s a third-chance romance) if or when their paths crossed again once they were done with college and everything. A few years later, Quinn is about to leave for Tokyo and the Olympics when Kennedy, whom she hasn’t seen in a couple of years, calls to say she’s in San Francisco (where Quinn now lives) and would Quinn want to have dinner? The chemistry is still there, everything they ever felt for each other still very strong and meant to be, except the timing is so bad.
As in book 1, the story is told from Quinn’s point of view. Even though I would have loved to have more insight into Kennedy’s thoughts and feelings, it makes sense, since Quinn is the one struggling (and it’s consistent with the first book). Quinn finds herself dealing with two radically different emotions after the Olympics: elation at finally getting the love of her life and some sort of baby blues about swimming. As much as her feelings for Kennedy are still huge and growing, she’s fallen out of love with swimming and, at twenty-three, grapples with the uncertainty of her future.
The chaos in Quinn’s mind is reflected in the way the story is told, with super exciting highs and dark depressing lows. It’s easy to forget that Quinn is only twenty-three years old and that, in a way, her life is just beginning. While her situation is different from most other young people, she’s not the only twenty-three year old wondering what she’s going to do with her life.
As an aside, it was strange reading about the Olympics that were supposed to take place this summer but have been postponed until next year.
There’s something messy about this book which I can’t pinpoint exactly. Maybe because it’s like life itself, full of conflicting emotions and desires, hopes and fears battling. You don’t have to be an Olympic medalist to understand what Quinn is going through. Her doubts and interrogations on self-worth and purpose are very universal.