My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Past lives, soul mates, and the belief that some connections are strong enough to last multiple lifetimes merge in this spiritual tale of two successful people falling in love and finding out they shared a love in a past life as well.
The story follows Josh and Deanna meeting in current time paired with a WWII-era story of Rivka and David. It explores what it’s like to realize you’ve known this person in a past life and the different emotions such a realization might evoke.
The beginning of DÉJÀ VU was a very slow start for me. I felt like the Third Person Omniscient point of view kept me at arm’s length for all of Josh and Deanna’s romance. Ironically, I didn’t feel the same separation during Rivka and David’s story. I felt much closer to them and much more invested in their story.
Also, I felt like Josh and Deanna’s love felt somewhat clinical in its execution. It just underwhelmed me:
It had been a peaceful, comforting evening that inevitably led them to mutually enjoy another session of the best sex he had ever known.
Josh made me so angry—I felt like he had a lot of growing up to do and I was surprised Deanna was able to overlook some major red flags. He had a tendency to pull away at the slightest discomfort and lash out when he was afraid. I just felt as if those qualities were clearly demonstrated and much more believable than being told of his romantic or sweet tendencies since those were just stated as characteristics but not shown over the course of the story. I also thought it was a little presumptuous of him when he ordered for Deanna and insisted on following her home on their first date. Deanna might not have been ready for him to know where she lived and if this was a hint at how they felt like they already knew each other, I needed it spelled out a little clearer.
I also had a few complaints about some of the minor characters. I thought Faith was rather pushy about performing regression therapy— I would find that off-putting in a friend. I was also a bit surprised that a guy as young as Michael would encourage his friend to bring his grandma out for a visit. That seems like something older people would find fun but not someone so young. It just didn’t seem realistic to me and I didn’t understand why it happened other than that it allowed a segue to D.J. Starling’s other novel, FANTASYLAND.
I truly enjoyed every moment of Rivka and David’s story and as a standalone would rate their story 4 stars. But in David and Rivka’s instance, I enjoyed it not so much as a romance (which is what I was looking for when I picked up this book) but as a Jewish historical fiction novel. People who like the idea of past lives, soul mates, and/or WWII-era historical fiction will enjoy this story.
**Copy provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.
**Reviewed by preppea on I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews.
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