Title: One True Loves
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: contemporary / romance
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Synopsis: 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.
*Thank you to Washington Square Press for providing me with an ARC of this book! (Keep in mind that this does in no way affect affect my opinion on it.)*
I had absolutely no idea that I would love this book so much. I had zero expectations. I expected just your average, slightly boring love story, but boy was I wrong. And I am so, so happy about that.
Going into the book, I expected to find a love story (which, obviously, there was). But what I didn’t expect to find was the fact that it wasn’t just that. It was the story of Emma Blair, a strong, wonderful woman who didn’t feel quite like a character; she felt real.She was imperfect and human, which I really, really appreciated.
One of things that I loved about this story is that I really, really appreciated the beginning of the book. It started by telling the history of Emma and how she got to be where she was, but it didn’t feel like a history. In some books that do this, I feel like I’m being told about history I don’t care to learn or isn’t necessary. I feel like I’m constantly just waiting for the real plot to happen, rather than viewing it as part of the story.
While One True Loves begins by telling the life of Emma Blair, it didn’t feel like I was just being held back from the “real story”. It felt like part of the story, which is exactly how it should have felt. It didn’t tell me useless information; it told me what was part of the story in a fun, engaging way. *Tips hat to Taylor Jenkins Reid for doing a spectacular job on that aspect of the book*
One thing that did bother me a bit was the development of the relationships between Emma and each boy. Obviously, the history between all of the characters is there. We learn the story of how Emma met each of the guys, how she got to know them. However, her relationship with Sam (the second love, after Jesse) felt… a little less flushed out in its beginnings? The author tells us backstory on their years in High School together, but it felt like when the two finally come together 15 years later, there was part of the falling in love that was missing.
That aside, however, the author did a fantastic job with the love triangle. (Yes, a love triangle that was actually done well.) Although yes, at times I was annoyed by Emma, I also appreciated how human she was. I could never imagine myself having to make a decision in her position, and I’m sure she handled it better than I would have.
I also really appreciated the ways the two guys dealt with the situation (well, more one than the other… although I won’t say for the sake of spoilers 😉). Emma’s ending choice of who to be with didn’t feel biased, didn’t feel forced. It felt right, and I really appreciated that.
Probably my favorite moments of the book were these: it was the kind of book that you’re just reading along, la-di-da, and then… there’s a random moment, a line perhaps, that makes you pause, makes you think. Those lines that just make you speechless for a few moments because you’ve realized that what is being said is just so fundamentally true. And that’s a wonderful feeling.
One True Loves was the most unexpectedly lovely book I have read in long time, and it deserves a definite 5 our of five stars. If you’re reading this, I recommend this book to you. It was so, so much more than I thought it would be, and it might surprise you too.