Thursday, June 30, 2016

Review: One True Loves

One True Loves
By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published: June 7, 2016

From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

My review:

Emma Blair grew up feeling like she didn't quite fit in with her family of readers. Her parents owned a bookstore and their dream was for their daughters to one day take over the store but Emma longs to travel and see the world instead of reading about it in a book. Her boyfriend Jesse felt the same way so they moved to California for college and never looked back. Emma and Jesse built a happy and exciting life together but it came to a halt when Jesse's helicopter crashed in the ocean. Emma falls apart and can no longer bear the memories everywhere she looks so she moves back home with her parents. 

While at home, Emma begins to read more and more and take an interest in the store, eventually running it. She also reconnects with Sam who had worked for her parents and had a crush on Emma as a teen. As Emma heals, she and Sam fall in love and get engaged. Then she finds out Jesse is still alive and she is torn between not just two men she loves but two very different lives she lived with them. Can she go back to being the adventurous girl Jesse married or has she changed too much?. How can she walk away from what she has with Sam? What does she want to do with her life?

I thought One True Loves was well written and Emma's emotions and struggles felt authentic. Emma changes a lot over the course of the story, going from a young woman who can't wait to escape her family and small town life and hopping from place to place to becoming someone who settles down to run the family bookstore. Losing Jesse changed her fundamentally but she also matured through her life experiences, even developing a closer relationship with her older sister Marie. With a new fiance and a future planned out, things are thrown into turmoil when Jesse returns. 

Jesse has also been changed by what happened so the two have to decide if they can rebuild because while they loved each other before, they have changed so much and have to figure out if there is still something worth saving. Then there is Sam who is a wonderful and caring and patient guy with whom Emma has built a very different kind of life from what she had with Jesse. I really appreciated how Emma's decision was not just between two different men. It was more about what she wanted from her life and what made her happy. Her family is supportive but it isn't an easy decision to make and I thought the author handled it well. 

One True Loves is about falling in love, love that evolves and survives challenges and love for your family and yourself. There are no easy answers and that's what makes it feel so real and true to life. I would suggest this novel to fans of Jojo Moyes, Liane Moriarty and Cecelia Ahern. It is the first book by Taylor Jenkins Reid that I've read but I have a feeling it will make my list of top 2016 books and I definitely plan to pick up her other novels. If you are looking for a good contemporary summer read, consider giving One True Loves a try.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss

1 comment:

  1. Yay! So glad you enjoyed this one as well. It is definitely one of my favorite books of the year. I read Maybe in Another Life a few months ago and enjoyed it. I definitely want to read her other novels, too. This book really tugged on my heartstrings. I am glad you felt the same way!


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