Book Review: That Thing You Do, by Maria Geraci

Originally reviewed for Chick Lit Central

That Thing You Do combines a not-so-traditional love story with metaphysical elements, creating a phenomenal book that was difficult to let go of! I found myself sneaking in a few pages whenever I could find a moment to do so, because I didn’t want to put it down. I wondered what would happen next for Allie Grant, a freelance journalist who was given a tip on a haunted community center in her hometown. What an interesting and unique plot line!

When Allie heads to Whispering Bay, intent on researching the community center and finding out if it’s indeed haunted, she’s visited by her own ghost from the past, Tom Donalan. Deep down, she’s always felt that he’s the one who got away, before they were ever able to really begin their love story. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t harbor some serious resentment for the way things went down all those years ago. Tom hasn’t been able to let it go, either. When he finds her snooping around the community center, a building he’s purchased in order to tear it down and build a new rec center for Whispering Bay, he’s flooded with emotions, old and new. Will she ever be able to forgive him? Will he ever be able to forgive himself?

Along with the push and pull from Allie and Tom, there’s an undercurrent of unusual phenomena happening around town. Strange sights and sounds, interesting smells and some serious spirit vibrations. Is the town really witnessing a ghost sighting? For Allie, she doesn’t believe in ghosts, not really. Especially not the living ones who suddenly appear like a mirage, like Tom. It’s best to leave the past in the past and move on, so why is she having such a hard time letting him go?

I really enjoyed That Thing You Do. It reminded me of my own teen years. While I don’t feel as though there’s anyone from my past who could be categorized as unrequited love, I can still relate to those incredible highs and roller coaster lows that come with young love, when you feel as though that person you’ve given your heart to is the end all and be all of everything. And, how crushing it can be when they break your heart. In the end, ghost story aside, the big question is: Will Allie and Tom be able to pick up where they left off, and would it be worth it, even if they did?

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