One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid | Book Review

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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.

Publisher: Washington Square Press

Date of Publication: June 7, 2016

Date Read: May 19, 2017

No. of Pages: 327

Setting: Massachusetts | California

Genre: Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Get Your Copy Here: Book Depository | Amazon

 

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“There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

This quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald is One True Loves in a nutshell. I honestly don’t know where I am drawing my strength from. This book had my heart shattered in its rawest form. I feel like a huge part of me is still grieving. I kid you not. I feel like crying every.damn.time I think about it. I had to compose my self every hour or so. But a review has to be made, has to be shared, so here I am trying my best to relive everything, but boy is it hard. One True Loves is the second book I’ve read by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The first one being Maybe In Another Life, you can check my review of it here.  I don’t know why it took me almost a year to pick up another Taylor Jenkins Reid book. Had I known that it would be this good, I would have read it sooner. (Take this as a public service announcement, if you are second guessing if you should read this book or not, do yourself a favor and read it already. Yep, you’re welcome.)

Well, for starters, DON’T READ THE BLURB or do, it’s up to you. This book is best enjoyed if you have the littlest of idea of what’s about to go down. I don’t know why they had to write the blurb like that. (NOTE TO PUBLISHERS don’t give away major details). It may or may not have given away the whole story, but it depends on how you look at it. In my case, I didn’t read the blurb until I was half way through the book – if you already know me by now I seldom read blurbs. I only know small details and take it from there. I always crave the element of surprise. So yes, take my word for it and DON’T READ THE BLURB or at least skim it if you can’t help it. Don’t worry there is so much more in the story that the blurb wasn’t able to ruin, so just read on.

“I am finishing up dinner with my family and my fiancé when my husband calls.”

Note that first sentence, if you’re not in for some emotional ride then I don’t know anymore. That first sentence is enough to send my brain haywire.

One True Loves will bring you immense pain yet come out of it with a profound understanding of what true love really is. It is complicated, yes, but at the same time it was as real as it could get. There was no sugar-coating it, there was no cushioning the blow, there was no beating around the bush, it presented everything in its rawest glory, its ugly head rearing in the surface. Isn’t that how life really is, it was never perfect, and this book made it a point to tell a story that would encompass everything about love and loss – and yes it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, it had ugly parts too. And did I mention I cried buckets? It was literally river of tears, my tear glands have been working like crazy and I can’t seem to pacify myself, I had to pause once in awhile because I feel that gnawing ache in my chest – yep much like feeling of a true blue breakup. I didn’t know how I was able to survive it, but I tell you it was hard, it was a struggle. Not because the book was bad, but because the book was so heartbreakingly beautiful you have to risk your heart to be completely cut open. And you’d be a willing victim.

The characters were painted in a realistic way, they were flawed much like any other human, and that’s what drew me in. TJR didn’t make her characters to be likable, she wrote them to represent real humans with real struggles. Emma for an instance, her character was a very conflicted one but you’d understand where she was coming from. You would get why she acted the way she did, you would get why she made such and such decision. It was simple yet complicated altogether, something you cannot quite explain fully but you get her. And Jesse, after all that he’s been through. You feel for him too. You understand what he was demanding, he saw it in black and white, it is this or that. Then we have Sam, oh boy, Sam. Majority of the book I cried for him. He was everything good and then some. God how selfless he was! I want to hug him! You’ll end up as conflicted as Emma when it comes to choosing between Sam and Jesse. Both are good men! And though I already knew who she’ll end up with because of the subtle hints in the beginning, I still wanted to stick around to see how the author would play out the characters, how everything will come about. And when it did, I was left awestruck and basically broken. I had to compose myself every now and then. It was hard to read through the exchange between the characters. It is as if you feel the pain emanating from them, it is as if the collective pain they are feeling are now induced inside of you. I was inconsolable to say the least.  I also love how Emma and Marie’s relationship grew, I loved that part when Marie explained things to Emma (but I can’t say it because that would be a spoiler). Just ugh, please read this book!

You have to give it to TJR for writing an unrealistic story and making it something that hits home. It may have been too unrealistic but the essence of it is still there, the wisdom and all that realization will hit you without preamble. It is as if Taylor Jenkins Reid had a one on one sit down encounter with you to tell you how things are, how they truly are. Again without sugar-coating or over-analyzing stuff, that it is what it is and you have to accept it even if you don’t want to at first. I love that in a book, it is as if it offers you a brand new perspective towards the real world, and yet it is just there waiting for you to finally acknowledge it, it may have come under different circumstance but the result is all the same. You just have to slightly veer away from what you believe in and take what is offered in front of you. Reading this book is heartbreaking yet it was satisfying. And I don’t know how much more I could give it justice, but all I know is you have to read this even once in your life. And oh this is the first book since a very long while that I’ve finished in a day! So if that doesn’t spell how invested I was then I don’t know what would.

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“Don’t think that true love means your only love.

I think true love means loving truly.

Loving purely. Loving wholly.

Maybe, if you’re the kind of person who’s willing to give all of yourself, the kind of person who is willing to love with all of your heart even though you’ve experienced just how much it can hurt . . . maybe you get lots of true loves, then. Maybe that’s the gift you get for being brave.”
Taylor Jenkins Reid, One True Loves

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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne: Book Review

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Synopsis: Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Date Published: August 9, 2016

Publisher: William Marrow

Date Read: September 23, 2016

No. of Pages: 384

 

REVIEW

FAVORITE BOOK OF 2016!!!

It is such a pity that majority of the population of the earth doesn’t know the beauty that is this book. It sucks to know that they could go on with their mundane lives without even knowing that this book exists. I pity them so much, I cry silent tears. It is such a shame that they could actually die without experiencing the pleasure of reading The Hating Game, and this awful sad realization settles at the recesses of my being echoing like a howl of a wolf to the moon because come to think of it, it really IS sad. So you, yes you, if you are reading this review, it’s either one of the two things – 1: You have read the book, and you want to check out what others felt about it, stupid smile on their faces – check! Lost in a love trance – Super Check! Can’t talk about anything else but Lucy and Joshua – a million times check! Thinking of someone to share a Staring Game with – Check, check check! Or 2: You are so intrigued by this book, you have to know what the fuss was all about. Well, be intrigued no more and drop everything else you’re doing and for the love of everything that is holy, pick up this book, find a comfortable place to lie on, and READ THIS BOOK as if your life depends on it. YOU CAN THANK ME LATER.

It is so ridiculously good, it will be all I’ll be thinking for days. A re-read is in order! You have no idea what this book did to me. I was laughing and swooning, and making weird noises of excitement and thrill. I needed a pillow by my side for whenever I feel like screaming against it caused by too much happiness and excitement! My heart is all gooey, and it definitely felt like I’m caged in a room full of marshmallow walls, floor, and ceiling! I was mental! I was flailing. Have you seen a grown woman, actually flail? Yep, that’s me, I was flailing like an animated being, one look and you will lose all the respect you have for me. I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK IT IS NOT FUNNY ANYMORE. I have vowed to shy away from reading romance for a little while, why? Because it feels like I am betraying Josh and Lucy if I start reading another story. I am so attached to this book, I can’t put it into words.  So here’s what’s happening to me, my body is tingling, I’m biting my nails out of pure delight, my eyes probably are forming a heart shape by now, my heart flutters like ain’t nobody’s business. This is what happens to me whenever I finish a ridiculously good book. IT IS MADNESS!!! *insert a picture of me flailing with school girl shrill to match*.

So okay, this is me gathering my composure, let me just catch my breath and arrange my thoughts.

You still there? Okay, good.

The Hating Game will be your next favorite book. I am so confident in saying that! Yes! Not a single soul I have encountered that hated the book, yes even the ones who often are irked by cheesiness and romance loved this book. Even the coldest of hearts swooned over this and maybe flailed like I did. No kidding. This book just brings out all the joy in you like fireworks on New Year’s Eve, it was feel good and heart-warming at best. The perfect companion to almost anything – while stuck in traffic, during a rainy day, or by the beach, whilst running from zombies, during the apocalypse, while under a table during an earthquake, at your home while there’s an asteroid about to hit the earth, or while you’re at the rooftop because there was tsunami about to wash away everything, The Hating Game is the best companion, yes even when you are about to die. At the face of death, I will still be clutching this book like my own child, no exaggeration whatsoever. Have I convinced you yet?

Office romance has always been my go-to story. Instant pick-me-upper if you ask me. The banters, the subtle hints, the love-hate relationship, these are all I look forward to in a chic lit book. I always enjoy the fun and lightness of it. It’s like nibbles of rainbows and sunshines. The Hating Game is like actually seeing a unicorn. Well come to think of it, Sally Thorne is a unicorn for coming up with such amazing story. I have not encountered an author who delighted me completely. Sure, there are authors I admire but Sally Thorne took it to a whole new level. I wanted to hug her right now, I am willing to be her slave. Lucy and Joshua’s relationship isn’t like the typical office romance. It started off on the wrong foot, and everything was a series of laugh-out-loud funny moments, swoon-worthy actions down to serious business. I loved how the story developed. I devoured each page like a I was starved for decades. It was the book I never wanted to end. Lucy’s narration is such a delight to read, I really love her character, her determination, her personality. I wanted to be her best friend, or well, who are we kidding, I want to be her, just so I could have Joshua Templeman all to myself! HAHAHAH

Now can we talk about JOSHUA TEMPLEMAN?

I WANT A JOSHUA TEMPLEMAN FOR MYSELF!!! Joshua Templeman has dethroned all the book boyfriends on my list! HE TOOK THE CAKE and he will be pretty much up there for a looooong time, maybe forever. Where are the Joshua Templemans of the world, seriously? Is there a mail-order Joshua Templeman that I could add to my cart? Gaddd, I’m so obsessed. So okay, this review is basically me fangirling incessantly over Joshua Templeman. But please hear me out and read through, I don’t know how much convincing you need, but if it isn’t obvious already that I am practically shoving this book down your throat, then I don’t know anymore.

Let me list the things I loved about this book in bullet form because I can’t seem to formulate a good paragraph, all that my brain is getting is: FANGIRL OVER JOSHUA TEMPLEMAN in big bold letters.

  • Shortcake (Please someone call me that)
  • Robin’s Egg Blue!! Gaddd that partttttt! That’s my most favoriteeeeee!
  • Paint Ball
  • Strawberries
  • Smurfs
  • Hotwheels
  • Elevators! HAHA
  • or Something
  • Lucinda

And anyone from Hollywood, can we like make this into a movie? Pretty please?

And you, enough wasting your time on my review and grab this book already. I demand it!

 

Rating: images

 

“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.
Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are schredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you’re in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you.
Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game – and you háve to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.”
Sally Thorne, The Hating Game

 

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