Hi everyone! It’s an uncharacteristically hot and sunny day here in Scotland and I’ve spent the majority of the day outside basking in it and absolutely devouring All the Paths to You! As soon as I finished it I knew I had to write a review to express just how much I adore this book (and this duology), so here goes! This may include spoilers for the first book, All the Worlds Between Us!
Title: All the Paths to You
Author: Morgan Lee Miller
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, LGBT+
Rating: 5/5 Stars – 9.71 CAWPILE rating
Synopsis: In the sequel to “All the Worlds Between Us,” swimmer Quinn Hughes has given up a lot in order to be an Olympian: her social life, her love life, and everything that comes with being a normal twenty-three-year-old. Just days away from competing in the Tokyo Games, Quinn runs into her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Kennedy Reed. Five years earlier, they’d made a pact that they would try again if their paths ever crossed, and now she can’t shake the feeling that this is a sign.
But Kennedy has a whole life in New York City, and Quinn’s at the opposite end of the country in San Francisco, struggling to redefine who she’ll be after the Olympics. Feeling lonely and lost from everything she’s given up, Quinn finds comfort in reconnecting with Kennedy, and they both discover that time and distance have only fuelled their passion. As Quinn comes to terms with herself and what the future holds, she’s sure of only one thing: she’s not letting the only girl she’s ever loved get away for the third time.
I’m not exactly where to start with this review without absolutely gushing about how much I adored and appreciated this book! I was so lucky to receive an e-Arc of All the Worlds Between Us from Netgalley last year and fell in love with Quinn and Kennedy straight away! To this day it’s still one of my absolute favourite ‘high school f/f romance books’ (if that categorisation makes any sense at all)! Of course, when I saw a sequel was announced I pre-ordered it straight away and I was so kindly approved for a Netgalley e-Arc of the sequel not long after (and subsequently screamed about it on Twitter)! I absolutely loved how the first book ended (despite being a self-proclaimed hater of open endings) so I was so excited to find out what happened to Quinn and Kennedy after they agreed to go their separate ways and I think the fact that I devoured it in a day just shows how much I loved this book!
This book takes place five years after the events of the first, with Quinn having graduated with a psychology degree and training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (strange that it’s become almost an alternate history!) and Kennedy living in New York, studying for a masters degree. The growth of the two main characters throughout the book (and from the first book) was so refreshing to see and I loved that they existed as their own people outside of the relationship (which, unfortunately, I haven’t really seen in romance books recently). I also loved the addition of new side characters, Talia, Lillian, Amira and Taylor, and I loved how Quinn’s mentor-like relationship with Taylor grew after how she saw herself in the younger girl.
Of course, the romance was absolutely chef’s kiss amazing! You could feel the connection and the yearning between Kennedy and Quinn from the first chapter, it was almost palpable. They were each other’s rocks through difficult times and I was rooting for them the whole way through! When I tell you I could not put this book down, I’m not lying – I was speeding through the pages dying to read the next adorable kiss scene (and let’s be real, the sex scenes were amazing!) and their banter was hilarious – sometimes I feel that when I read banter in books it feels so artificial but Morgan Lee Miller has done a fantastic job of making it so realistic! And of course there’s the ending – I screamed!! It was so perfect and so, so adorable – I couldn’t have asked for a better ending!!
Halfway through reading I tweeted that it felt like this book had been written for me, and I think that’s one of the reasons why I loved it so much. So many times I could see myself and my girlfriend, and our relationship, reflected in Quinn and Kennedy. I have played rugby for ten years now and have often felt the same kind of burnout and depression from the sport that Quinn faces in the book, and I am so thankful for how Morgan Lee Miller dealt with the topic in such a true to life and also very sensitive manner, which was both very hopeful and discussed therapy in a very positive light.
I know this has maybe been super rambly and not very detailed but I always find it hardest to (coherently) review books that I adore. I can strongly say that this is one of my new favourite books (and series) and is definitely a contender for my favourite book of the year so far! I’m sad this series has ended (I would give my left arm for another sequel/a spinoff/a novella) but I’m so happy I had the chance to read it and I don’t think I could ever recommend it enough! I can also guarantee that I will be reading anything that Morgan Lee Miller publishes in the future – Hammers, Strings and Broken Things is already on my TBR for next month!