I received this book via Edelweiss, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
Published by HarperTEEN on 2015-06-16
Length: 305 pages
Reviewing eARC from Edelweiss, Publisher
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.
How I felt reading this book:
The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi reminded me of all the reasons why I do NOT read young adult contemporary but also reminded me of all the things I actually like about it as well. This story follows Ella and her friends on a one-time adventure, a night where they have to say yes to everything. It alternates between present and past, something I really enjoyed, telling the story of the characters through a very unique perspective. As the synopsis says, Ella’s ex Matt is back after disappearing for six months, and this is the catalyst for the adventure as it is what they did on the night they met. (Hence the back and forth between past and present) Ultimately the question is will Ella forgive Matt?
What I Liked:
I loved the alternating past and present chapters. This was unique and brought something that the story would otherwise have been missing. As the reader you get a chance to see through Ella’s eyes how she fell for Matt on that first night which makes her animosity towards him in the present that much more heartbreaking.
I liked Matt 😀 He’s this sweet, average, run-of-the-mill guy. He’s nothing extraordinary, nothing too terribly bad. He has this sweet boy next door feel to him, which makes his disappearance that much harder to understand. I found myself siding with him throughout the book though, despite Ella’s hurt.
What I Didn’t Like:
Bear with me, because there was a lot I didn’t care for. However, just because I didn’t care for it doesn’t mean you won’t like it. I think I’m realizing to just stay away from YA contemporary all together 😉
I didn’t care for Ella, which was a shame considering she is the main character. I thought she was immature, whiny and a bit on the annoying side.
Her friends Meg and Jake were not winners either. Meg was shallow, self-absorbed, and I just didn’t get the whole BFF thing they had going. Jake was a dick, there’s just no other word for it. He had the whole rock star mentality.
Then there was the whole absentee parents. Ella’s parents are mentioned briefly when Ella and Meg find out they told their parents they were staying at the other’s house for the night. First, how did they get away with this? Where were their parents to NOT KNOW that their children were out all night long? This really bothered me. Maybe I had an overprotective mom or something but my mom always called to make sure I got where I was supposed to be, there was none of this sneaking around because she would find out!
Overall I just wasn’t all that impressed with the book. Yes it’s a sweet story about first love and what not, but it had a lot of what I dislike about young adult contemporary: partying, underage drinking, absentee parents. But beyond that, I felt like what the kids did in the book was a bit unbelievable. What bar in this day and age doesn’t card? What good parent (as Ella’s are described) wouldn’t know that their child snuck out? I just didn’t care for it. If you enjoy young adult contemporary than give it go. If you do, come back and tell me what you think 😀
Review in a Gif: