Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Tara Lee

In the sub-genre of children’s fantasy literature called “Choose Your Own Adventure”, the story is written in the second person, and the reader is in the position of deciding the outcome. Each tale starts out normally, but soon the reader is given a choice. Each choice weaves a new storyline, with more choices, and leads to a happy or a sad ending, but reader can start all over and choose a different path and find a different ending. Each path is novella or short story in size, but the point is the ability to go back and re-write.


Doing a contemporary romance in this genre is a very gutsy move, one that readers will, hopefully, take the time and patience to discover. A long-time fan of this children’s genre, it was fascinating to see a contemporary love story unfold, or crash and burn, depending on which path was picked. With 60 possible endings (and most of them not happy ones), there is no shortage on plot lines, which will remind readers vividly of their own dating experiences and how something small and innocuous can lead to blow ups, brush offs, and booty calls instead of an HEA. The fun for readers is that, unlike real life, they can go back, over and over, until they have their happy ending. A handful of links go to the page before, and a few sections require background that may not have been on the path, but overall, this incredibly ambitious book is well worth the frustration of finding a happy ending: the “hero” is actually worth the effort, if you pick the right path.


Julie York