I went into Across the Distance by Marie Meyer almost blind. I knew it was a friends to lovers romance, but I didn't know much more than that. I found myself sucked right into the story and read it in one sitting. I enjoyed this story a lot, and I loved the relationship between Griffin and Jillian. I will definitely be looking for more from Marie Meyer in the future.
Jillian has been friends with Griffin since they were kids. Over the years her feelings for him changed from just friendship to wanting more. But when she made a move and kissed him, he pushed her away. Rather than lose him, she went back to just being friends and tried to bury her feelings for him. But when she heads to design school thousands of miles away, they are separated for the first time and she feels him slipping away. As his band takes off and their popularity increases as well as the distance between them, she begins to talk to him less and finds her past demons resurfacing. But when Jillian and Griffin do get to see each other and talk to one another, she finds herself wondering if maybe he is beginning to feel the same way for her.
I really liked Jillian and Griffin. I was worried that this was just going to be another NA story that used 9/11 to garner sympathy for a main character and that the story would spend too much time on that. I was pleasantly surprised though that while that did affect Jillian, it wasn't a huge factor in this story. Jillian had struggled with losing her parents so young and how it changed her relationship with her sister. Jillian's sister was unlikable and she treated Jillian horribly. I was so glad that Jillian had Griffin and his family. They took her in and were always there for her. The friendship she developed with Griffin was so strong, and I really felt like these two were so fantastic for one another. They had so much love and support between them, and I liked that their relationship was always a positive one. They might have disagreed or had some issues with one another, but they never treated each other badly and it was so refreshing. Griffin was such a rock for Jillian, and he was always there for her no matter what. I will admit that Jillian needed Griffin far more than what I would think is necessary for most people, but I honestly didn't think that she was weak and it didn't really bother me. I thought that Griffin brought out the best in her and was a great source of encouragement for her to go after her dreams. He showed her that she could be strong and independent, but that he would always be there for her even if it was by phone rather than in person.
One of the best things about this book is the fact that it showed the growth and change between Jillian and Griffin. Things didn't happen overnight, and I really liked seeing them transition between friendship and being in a relationship. The slow build felt real and believable to me, and I really felt like it was the natural progression of things for these two. When Griffin had turned her down the first time she kissed him, he told her their timing wasn't right and that really felt true to me. It seemed like Jillian had needed the extra time to become stronger and deal with her past and pain before she could really be with Griffin. They were perfect together, and I could tell that things between them would be lasting because of all they had been through together. As much as I really loved Griffin and Jillian, I also really enjoyed the friends that Jillian made and was glad that she was able to open up to others as well as him. The one thing that I felt was missing in this story though was Griffin's POV. I really would have loved to see what he was thinking and feeling rather than just how he interacted with Jillian. I did see that Marie Meyer is releasing a book with Griffin's story, so I am hoping that we get to see more of what he was going through as well. I think if you are a YA or NA fan you will enjoy this book. If you aren't a fan of younger characters and the YA or NA genres though, this might not be for you. This book was sweet and entertaining, and I enjoyed it a lot.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**