I was really looking forward to reading Can't Go Back by Marie Meyer. I had really enjoyed reading Across the Distance by her, and was excited to get Griffin's POV which is the one thing I felt had been missing from that book. Can't Go Back is Griffin's side of the story told from his POV, and while I knew that I also expected to get some new content. There was some content that was new here since it was from his POV and he and Jillian were separated for so long. But I have to say that I didn't really feel as though we got much else here. This wasn't what I had expected at all and I was mostly disappointed with this book.
Since Can't Go Back is the exact same story as Across the Distance, I feel like going into too many details about this book would be pretty pointless. If you read my review of that book, the only difference here is more Griffin and less Jillian. If you are unfamiliar with either of these books, Griffin and Jillian are childhood best friends. Jillian heads off to college thousands of miles away. Both Griffin and Jillian have feelings for one another, but they aren't together. The distance only makes them want to be together more, yet there are reasons why they aren't. (I'm looking at you Griffin) So here is where things get tricky for me. If you are against spoilers, I would go ahead and stop paying attention now. For those not opposed, continue reading. (Although to call them spoilers almost feels wrong to me since it is no mystery what happens in this story if you have read ATD, but I digress.)
I honestly thought that I would like Griffin more here, but sadly that wasn't the case. I felt like he had absolutely no reason to be with Erin. He pined for Jillian the entire time they were together, and repeatedly tried to convince himself that he should be with Erin. First off, that wasn't okay to do to Erin. How she wanted to stay friends when everything played out was beyond me! Second though, I didn't honestly get it! Even if he didn't want to be with Jillian for his weak excuses (and believe me they were weak!), that didn't mean that he had to be with anyone else! He didn't seem to really like her (beyond kissing her) and when things started to really go anywhere things always came back around to Jillian. He didn't seem to like spending time with her, he didn't seem to have any kind of connection to her, so the longer things went on the more frustrated with him I became. I didn't get it and quite frankly it made me start to dislike his character. If he wanted Jillian but didn't want to be with her in fear that she would give up her dreams, he should have just been alone.
The biggest issue here though was how repetitive this book was. Not only was it almost word for word the same and the first book, the new parts were just as repetitive. Most of the book was spent talking about how much Griffin missed Jillian and how much he loved her and wanted her, but why he couldn't be with her or tell her. It got old. The new stuff with the band didn't really hold my interest as it wasn't really that exciting, especially considering things would just go right back to him pining for Jillian but being with Erin. This book would skip large portions of time, months would go by and yet none of that was really explored. At the end of this book I was just left feeling pretty disappointed, and I really don't think that there was a need for this book. I think that Across the Distance and Can't Go Back could have easily been combined and written in dual POV, and it would have made for a much more satisfying story. I wanted to really dig deep with Griffin here and see what had happened to him while he was apart from Jillian, but it just seemed to be a rehash of the same story with Griffin constantly missing Jillian. I'm giving this one three stars because I really did like Across the Distance (and this is basically the same story) but I would probably suggest reading one or the other unless you just need to see the exact same thing from both sides. This can easily be read as a standalone.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**