I received this book for free from Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
Published by HarperCollins on 2015-06-16
Genres: Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Book Depository
A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!
Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.
But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.
And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.
Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.
In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave.
I really enjoyed this book. I went into it without any expectations and that really worked out well for me this time. I didn’t even know what it was about except a bunch of friends hanging out. But I’m really glad I read it and I hope you guys will check this one out and add it to your TBR lists!
Before I started this review, I was trying to figure out how to talk about the book without giving anything away. But then I went back and read the synopsis and saw that pretty much everything is given away there. So now I don’t have to worry about spoiling anything. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t read those before reading the book. So anything that I mention here is already spoiled in the synopsis.
One of my favorite parts of this book was how the story was told in both “then” and “now” chapters. We get to see the relationship between Ella and Matt develop both the first time they meet and when they run into each other after Matt left. The two times mirror each other a bit when Matt tries to recapture some of the magic of the first time they met but diverge when they finally face the hurt they’re feeling and the problems that were left unsolved. I loved how well the two story-lines were written and how parts of their relationship were revealed at just the right times. It really set up the relationship well and I absolutely loved it.
I also really liked the characters in this book. They are flawed and crazy and fun and loyal and I love them. I especially liked the friendships we see and the different romantic relationships in the book. I liked that it showed us that relationships between different people are different and not everyone needs the same things from relationships as other people. Different kinds of relationships can be good, it just depends on the people in them and what is important to them and what they need. I liked getting to see the beginning of Ella and Matt’s relationship as well as her long-standing relationship with her friends. I loved how loyal and close they all were. There were times when I wasn’t happy with the characters and didn’t approve of the things they did, but that only seemed to add to their complexity, not make me hate them.
The only thing I really didn’t like was Matt’s reasons for what happened. I won’t give any of it away but I definitely had a hard time believing him. But I also felt like he was the character that I knew the least about. For part of the book, we loved him and the other part, we hated him. While I still believe the “then” and “now” was done really well, his character was hardest to pin down because of this and the feelings of the rest of the characters towards him were so different because of what had happened that I wasn’t ever entirely sure what to think of him. He was adorable and I loved the scenes he was in, but he was a hard character to really figure out.
In the synopsis, it mentions that this book is for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti. I have read a Colasanti book yet but I do think the Dessen comparison was pretty accurate. This book has romance and drama, character growth and friendships, and boys in a band! I really enjoyed this book and I definitely recommend it to fans of YA contemporary romances.