Monday, June 15, 2015

The Night We Said Yes - Review

The Night We Said Yes

By: Lauren Gibaldi

Expected Publication: June 16th 2015 by Harper Teen

304 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

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Goodreads description--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.

The Night We Said Yes is another one of those books where I feel like the description is slightly off. I’ve never read Sarah Dessen or Susane Colasanti so I can’t speak to the comparison there. But the next paragraph says that “Before Matt, Ella had a plan.” Um…not really. Sure, “Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend” maybe have been a thought in her head, but it didn’t really seem like there was much of a plan there. But “Graduate without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Floriday, where’s she’s lived her entire life,” didn’t really appear in the form of a plan until “After Matt.” This big “plan” that the description speaks of just didn’t really exist. Yeah, Ella’s more low-key and laid-back than her best friend, Meg, but Ella and Meg seem to regularly go out to parties and such. Most of those parties don’t get broken up by the cops, but it’s not like Ella was this cookie-cutter, organized, plan follower at this point.

One things the description does have right is that The Night We Said Yes basically takes place in the span of two nights. There’s the “then” night when Ella and Matt meet. Ella, Meg, Meg’s on-again-off-again boyfriend Jake, and Matt spend the night saying “yes” to just about anything that’s suggested. And then there’s the “now” night when Matt shows back up in town and he wants to relive the night that he and Ella met in hopes of reconnecting with her. What the description fails to indicate is that there was a length of time between when Matt comes to town and he and Ella develop a relationship and when he leaves thus breaking her heart. I think the description is a little misleading and might have some readers worried about insta-love. While there is insta-attraction, Ella and Matt definitely start a relationship the first night they meet, there’s also a span of about 6 months that they have to continue to learn about each other and grow their feelings and their relationship before Matt leaves.

I’ve often commented in reviews that books that bounce back and forth chronologically aren’t usually my favorites. In the case of The Night We Said Yes the two events that book bounces back and forth between are so paralleled since Matt is attempting to relive that first night that I didn’t feel like I was getting jerked in and out of two different storylines. The two nights were different enough that I didn’t feel like I was re-reading the same events really, but they were similar enough to feel cohesive and were really about reaching one end goal.

I felt like each of the main characters were really well created. Jake and Meg have a relationship that only they understand. I’m like Ella. I don’t think I could ever be in a relationship like that myself, but yet I found myself rooting for them to work things out. Ella’s trying to get over her heartbreak over Matt leaving. And really it wasn’t so much that he left as that he didn’t make any effort to stay in contact after he left. And he didn’t even have the courage to break up with her before he left. She’s not sure that she can open her heart to him again. Matt is put in the position of a rock and a hard place. I don’t want to give anything about his situation or his reasons away. I don’t know if I fully agree with his choices either way, but I guess I can understand them. In the end, it feels like what matters is that he came back.

Favorite quotes:

-Meg still kind of hates me for my decision, in that best friend sort of way that makes me feel loved.

-Unofficially she may be in charge of protecting me from bullies, but I’m in charge of protecting her from herself.

-I can feel the air between us, both pushing us apart and pulling us in.

The Night We Said Yes was deeper and more enjoyable than I expected it to be. I did actually tear up at one part, but I know for a fact that it was because of the hormones. Sure, it was an emotional scene, but I would have never cried or even teared up over that if I weren’t pregnant. This was a cute, fast, and fun read. The Night We Said Yes gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read The Night We Said Yes? What did you think? Let me know!

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