Monday, July 11, 2016

Book Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Pages: 352
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Source: Library
Other Books By Author: Maybe in Another Life
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick and a "Best Book of the Summer" by Glamour and USA Today—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."

Emma Blair watched Jesse from afar in high school. It never crossed her mind that they would be high school sweethearts until the one fateful night at a house party their paths cross.  Ever since that moment, they have been inseparable.  They leave their small town in Massachusetts behind for college in Los Angeles and then they pursue adventurous careers.  Emma is a travel writer, which provides her endless entertainment and Jesse's work also bring him to exotic locations. Naturally, Emma and Jesse get married; now their life is perfect. Until it's not. Right before their first anniversary, Jesse leaves for a work trip to Alaska and never returns. His helicopter goes down and the entire crew is declared dead.  Obviously, this rocks Emma's world. She can barely breathe. All the plans they made, her best friend, her life out in's all gone.  Her family helps her to pick up the pieces and return home to Massachusetts. Slowly, she rebuilds her life. Instead of continuing with her travel writing, she helps out at her family's book store, which is where she worked in high school.  Ironically, this is one of the very reasons she left her hometown behind; she didn't want to have to take over her parents' bookstore and yet, here she is.  Surprisingly, she starts to enjoy working there and even starts smiling again.  A few years go by and Emma is finally open to love when she runs into an old friend, Sam. He used to work at the bookstore when they were in high school and she hasn't seen him since he left for college. Sam is the quintessential good guy. Sparks fly and Emma realizes she can open herself up to love again; in fact, they get engaged.  But things take a difficult turn when Emma receives a phone call that Jesse has been found.  He didn't die after all.  What is she going to do? One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid has it all. It is not only beautifully written, but it has romance, drama, and it makes you think.  It's the perfect beach read for the summer and one of my favorite books of the year.

I instantly felt a connection with Emma in One True Loves.  She gets caught up in Jesse's larger than life world and who wouldn't? He's fun, adventurous, and inspires Emma to leave it all behind and peruse her dreams in California.  Their love is the type of all-consuming love and once Jesse's helicopter goes down, he leaves a huge hole in Emma's life.  I thought Reid did an amazing job portraying grief.  I literally could feel the pain right alongside of Emma. It was heartbreaking.

I loved how Reid wrote One True Loves. She gives us glimpses into Emma and Jesse's lives in high school and shares many important memories with us. She also flashes back to memories with Sam; this was effective as I was torn, just like Emma. It was really a neat way to tell this story and I was thoroughly consumed by it. It made me think about how both guys were perfect for Emma depending on where was was in her life. 

One True Loves really tugged on my heartstrings. I can't say enough about it and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a juicy read while on vacation.  What separates this book from other beach reads is the fact that it is so well-written. There were so many lines in One True Loves that really were beautiful and resinated with me.  Here are a few:

“Good things don’t wait until you’re ready. Sometimes they come right before, when you’re almost there. And I figured when that happens, you can let them pass by like a bus not meant for you. Or you can get ready. So I got ready.” 
“You don’t tie yourself to something unless you’re scared you might float away.” 
“You know how every once in a while you look back on your life and you wonder how so much time has passed? You wonder how each moment bled into the next and created the days, months, and years that now all feel like seconds? That’s how I feel. Right now. In this moment. It feels like our entire past together spans eons and the time I’ve spent without him is an insignificant little flash.” 
One True Loves is on my favorite books of 2016 list and I can't wait to read more of Taylor Jenkins Reid's novels in the future. 


  1. I bought this book a month ago, but am too scared to start. The love triangle thing gives me the heebie jeebies. But, oh, does it sound good!

    1. It's really good! I hope you like it! Thanks for visiting, Joy!

  2. One of your favourite books of 2016? I'm sold! Sounds like a great read!

    1. I think you'd like this one, Leanna! Thanks for visiting.

  3. Glad you loved this book too. Fantastic review! I like the quotes you included. I want to read her other books as well.

    1. Thanks, Christina! I do as well. You should check out Maybe in Another Life next! Thanks for visiting!


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