I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Taylor Jenkins Reid's newest book, One True Loves, a few months back. I had put off reading it because I knew it was going to be great and I knew I'd be sad once it was over. Finally the perfect reading moment presented itself: the afternoon of my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I read the book in essentially one sitting and I absolutely adored it. Jenkins Reid has written another stunning novel.
Here's the synopsis of One True Loves:
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.
Jenkins Reid always (well, I say always even though I still haven't read her first two novels...I even own them...there are zero excuses) writes about some element of marriage and relationships that I feel other authors shy away from. In her latest book, Emma is put in an impossible situation. How on earth do you even begin to figure out where your head and heart are at when your presumed dead husband shows up a few months before your second wedding? How do you deal with having a husband and a fiancé? I think Emma handles it pretty well. It's messy and pretty much everyone gets hurt...but I think she did the best she could have in that situation. (Vague? Yes. Just read the book.)
I liked how the book was written. Right off the bat you find out that Emma is engaged and then gets a phone call from her husband. Then we go back in time to when Emma was a teen and first meets Jesse. The book moves forward in stages (like, Before: Emma and Jesse, Or how to fall in love and fall to pieces) until you get to a few weeks after the phone call from the start of the novel. I liked that we got the main bombshell right away and then Jenkins Reid pulled back to give context. It drives me bonkers when there's supposed to be a big secret and then it's finally revealed and I'm all, "Yeah. I know. I figured this out 100 pages ago. Move on." (That doesn't always happen of course but there are genres where bombshells work and authors who are better at revealing and concealing. I haven't found many chick lit/contemporary/women's fiction authors who do it well.)
One True Loves took hold of my heart right away and did not let go...not even after I finished the last page. I was so incredibly invested in Emma's life and I wished I could hop into the book and find a way to ease the pain she, Sam, and Jesse were all feeling. I loved that I felt everything the characters were feeling in this book (and yes, I did find myself tearing up a time or two). I loved the story, I love the cover, I love pretty much everything about this book. I think everyone should read it at some point this summer. Either on the beach or in the backyard or at the cottage. Anywhere. Just read it.
*An ARC of this novel was provided by the publisher, Simon & Schuster Canada, in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*