Title : One True Loves
Author : Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre : Adult Romance, Contemporary
Goodreads summary :
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.
If you check out the Goodreads page of this book, you will see people singing praises for this beautiful, heart-touching book, mostly rating it 4-5 stars and overall, how well-loved and cherished this book is by everyone. Honestly, it’s in times like these that I wonder what the hell went wrong with me, because I was so majorly, majorly disappointed with this book. There are definitely aspects I can appreciate, but I just had too many issues with a lot of other things.
Let’s talk about the good first. The plot of the book is fantastic. It is so different from everything I’ve ever read, and it makes me tear up just thinking about how emotional this book could’ve been, had it been well-executed. It’s about Emma Blair, who falls in love with Jesse in her high school and is lucky enough to end up marrying him. However, exactly an year after their marriage, he disappears on a trip that he takes and is assumed to be dead. Emma moves on, finds strength and love in Sam and is just about to marry him when Jesse comes back and throws her in a dilemma. Now she’s stuck with two true loves; whom will she choose? Read One True Loves to find out.
Straight-up, the plot of the book seems emotional and hard-hitting. I’m not an avid reader of Adult contemporary, so I cannot say whether this is a very cliche/famous storyline, but as for me, I’ve never read something which has a story like this. I picked this book up solely based on the story, expecting to read something emotionally challenging and deep.
However, now the problems begin. The writing sucked. It was so so bland and failed to make any kind of an impact. [I always feel that contemporary stories need to have really strong writing because they’re usually not that compelling plot wise (as compared to fantasy) and according to me, the writing in contemporary novels makes or breaks the book.] The writing in One True Loves was boring, bland, unmpactful and choppy. It lacked the depth or sensation which could have made the book a five star for me.
The characters were essentially cardboard characters. I could probably tell you nothing about the characters except for what you already expect them to be when you start reading the book. Emma is your random, average girl who falls for the hot and famous Jesse, and Sam is the cute, nice guy. The characters change; but there’s no development. The process of how they change, that’s what’s lacking in the book.
I did not like the narration. The readers are told what is happening in the story, not shown. That is probably the main reason of why I couldn’t feel a single thing; I could see the love and the pain of the characters, but I couldn’t feel it. And as an author if you fail to make your reader feel, that’s a shortcoming. The narration gave me this sense that we’re simply told what is happening in the story, but nothing to substantiate or make it impactful.
Overall, I was pretty disappointed with this book. I wish it had been longer and the author had taken more time to build and develop her characters well; that could’ve made the book a whole new thing.