One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid | Book Review

Capture

imageedit_1_3468234889

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

 

imageedit_13_7735683809

“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.

imageedit_11_3991205606

 

“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

phonto

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: Book Review

12317619_729510720517305_102748655_n

Synopsis: One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Inspired by A Thousand and One NightsThe Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end

 

Date Published: May 12, 2015

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books

No. of Pages: 388

Date Read: December 2015

Source: I bought it

 

REVIEW

Warning: Will cause you a book hangover. You’ve been warned.

Sucks when you have to wait for the sequel. The agony is so real. So I just finished the book, and honestly this is my third attempt to write a coherent review. (read: subject to revision) So I decided to write whatever comes to mind, because I might lose it all if I stall any longer.

So first off. I have high expectations. I know it is wrong to expect so much, because more often than not you’ll end up disappointed. But because of the hype surrounding this book, one could not resist but expect. I have literally heard nothing but good things. So when I picked this one amongst the pile of my unread books (insert a hundred of them) I whispered to it “don’t disappoint me”, haha I really did! This is my first read since 6 months of hiatus, and I wanted  to start with a book that would wow me. I wanted something that would take me to the edge of my seat, and let me stay awake in the wee hours of the night, over eager to know what will happen next. Did this book meet my expectation? Yes and no. But mostly yes.

Let’s talk about the setting, I loved the setting. It was something I have not read a lot of. And I am starting to fall in love with settings alike. The plot as we all know is based off of A Thousand and One Nights, which to be honest I have not read before, but I know what it is about. So I’m not lost to where the book was taking me. I love retellings, so much so that I would read any retelling and not be bored by it even when I know what will be the ending of it. This book was no exception. I was eager to know what will unfold and how it will bring out the wow factor I was so craving for. The characters were not as unique as I hoped them to be, I have read these kind of characters from another fantasy books. Like Shazi who is all sassy and determined. Khalid who hides his true self when in truth and in fact is beyond broken inside. I mean these are not unfamiliar characters, we could all agree that we have read their kind from other books. I am not saying this is a bad thing, it what was the book called for, but I wanted more depth, I wanted more complexity I guess, I want them to stand out amongst all the characters I have learned to love. Don’t get me wrong, I love Shazi and Khalid, and their undeniable chemistry which by the way is my favorite part of all. I love how their emotions toward each other is too palpable they can hardly ignore it. I soooo loved the romance in this book, it was well played out, except the existence of love triangle, but it is something I have to deal with (you see I am not really a fan of love triangles, but what else could a meager reader do?). I had a hard time memorizing the characters, especially their names! At the beginning I was so lost who is who add the fact that there are unfamiliar words that are sometimes hard to pronounce. I cross reference it to the glossary and it really helped a lot. I loved how the author really went the extra mile to do the proper research. Making the book all the more beautiful and enthralling. It is like you are really in their world. So speaking of world building, I found it short of what I expected, but still all good. Also I had an issue with foreshadowing and the lack of backstory of Shazi and Shiva or the backstory of it all, I mean it is like I was thrown in a middle of conversation of two people catching up all the lost times and you have to decipher who is who, which is which, why this happened, what led to this and that, all on your own. I wished the author took the time to lay out the foundation of the story.

There are a lot of loose ends, I was left with so much questions in need of quick answers. I was left with too much speculations, I remember ranting to my friend after I finished the book, I remember pulling my hair because of frustration on how it had to end in such a manner. Well I guess every good book had to end like it, so the reader would be left craving for more, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking forward to the next book. I say great job  guys. So despite the fact that I am only giving this one a four-star rating, it still became an instant favorite read of 2015. And I wish May would come already so I could get a hold of The Rose and The Dagger.  All in all, I still highly recommend this book, if you are a sucker for good romance, this right here is for you. So now excuse me, while I try to get over this book. Which I think will be impossible.

RATING: 

rating_4stars.png 4/5

“I know love is fragile. And loving someone like you is near impossible. Like holding something shattered through a raging sandstorm. If you want her to love you, shelter her from that storm…And make certain that storm isn’t you.”

12120253_536964739787232_1594232519_n