“It’s a scary thought, isn’t it? That every single person on this planet could lose their one true love and live to love again? It means the one you love could love again if they lost you.” – Taylor Jenkins Reid
Normally when it comes to books, the only thing that’ll keep my attention is a juicy murder mystery (note: all of the other books in my Summer Reads series). This book was one that kept me on my toes/guessing/second guessing/needing to know in a completely different way than a murder mystery would. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid was one of my favorites of the summer so far.
In high school, Emma Blair found herself caught between two boys- Sam, who worked with her at her parents’ bookstore & who she turned down for a date (and spent the rest of her high school career regretting it), and Jesse Lerner, the boy Emma had a huge crush on but assumed had no idea that she existed. When Sam leaves for college without saying goodbye, and Emma and Jesse hit it off when hiding from the cops while underaged at a party, it seems as though her path with the two becomes clear. Her and Jesse fall in love and get married, travel the world and and are sure that they will spend forever together- until Jesse disappears on a helicopter on their first wedding anniversary. Emma is devastated & depressed (as expected), but years later finds herself able to move on and redefine who she is. Her path crosses once again with Sam’s, and the two fall in love and have just become engaged to be married when Jesse is found alive off the west coast. Emma then finds herself forced to choose between her two true loves.
This book was a really juicy and thought provoking one, and while I had to pause here and there to stop myself from tearing up in front of hundreds of people on my commuter train, I found it strangely positive and uplifting. Although small, I think one of the best things about this book was the pace. It was divided into several sections corresponding to stages of Emma’s life/emotional place, but each one felt like just the right length and I never felt like it was dragged out so long that I was bored with the anticipation of waiting to figure out who she picked.
Without getting too sappy over here, I will also say that I really like the way that the author approaches the idea of love throughout the story- how it isn’t just necessarily about feelings towards another person, but also how you feel about the person that you are when you are with that person. And how accepting you don’t love someone doesn’t necessarily mean you were never meant to love each or never will. I think it says a lot about gut feelings, and trusting who you really are, and telling yourself it is time to comes to terms with things you don’t want to admit you need to come to terms with because they are really scary. Reid does an awesome job of creating an internal dialogue that reads like a mess of crazy, jumbled thoughts, yet makes perfect sense. The novel was the perfect mix of happy and sad. It felt similar to what you would feel when watching a movie like The Notebook. So many tough emotions, but the story is told in a way that makes you glad to feel them. My vote: it is a must read.
I’ve just started reading The Girl on the Train – I’ll updated you soon about whether or not it lives up to the hype. As always, leave me suggestions of your favorite summer reads!