One True Loves: a novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Ladywood Book Reviews

Okay, I’m posting this review very late… I read this on vacation at the end of October, but life has been hectic lately, and I have been focusing on editing my book to get back into the query races (more on this in another blog).  

Alright, so let’s get into it. ONE TRUE LOVES is a story about a love lost and a love found. I can’t review this without giving away some *SPOILERS*.

What’s the story?

It starts in high school where our heroine, Emma, works for her family bookstore with her older sister Marie. Emma considers herself the black sheep of the family with her strained relationship with her mother and sister. In a nutshell, she wants nothing to do with her parents’ dreams of running the store after college. She would rather travel and write. Emma develops a huge crush on the captain of the swim team Jessie, but they run in different circles and he’s dating one of the most popular girls in school. Emma puts him out of her mind. When her parents hire Sam as casual help, he and Emma form a friendship of sorts. One final high school party, which they are all attending, gets broken up by the police separating them, leaving Jesse with Emma. That night begins a turn of events that changes her world.

The story then jumps ten years into the future, where Jesse and Emma have been married & have traveled the world. They both have fulfilled their dreams, her as a blogger and journalist and him as a photographer. They have this beautiful love story, but on their one-year anniversary, a tragic turn of events leaves Jesse missing.

Emma is left to pick up the shattered pieces of her heart. She has to journey forward in a life without her great love. Along her journey of healing, she mends her relationship with her sister and finds comfort in moving back home. The life she fought against for so long, was the only thing holding her together.

Three years later, on a stroke of luck, she runs into Sam. The two bond over their life stories, become close friends and begin dating. They fall fast and hard, realizing they had always had a spark. Not feeling like they need to play games and waste time, they build their life together. About a year or so after they are together Sam proposes, and right after that Jesse is found! 

Emma is now faced with a choice between her two great loves, one from her past and the other from her future. 

I want you to know, I’ll never ask you to choose. I’ll never ask you to tell me I’m your one true love.”


 The good, the bad, the meh.

The good: There is so much I loved about the book. It really makes you fall in love with BOTH love stories. The emotional pull is ridiculous. I found a lot of commonalities with this book, so it became a bit of a personal attachment. I sobbed more than once.

The plot line was amazing, and it’s more than a love story. It’s also about changing and evolving as a person. The personal connections and dynamics within the family. And it’s about recognizing the truth about yourself and how your wants and needs change.

The bad-ish: The way it’s written. Now, hear me out. It felt choppy. Weird, right? What I mean by that it was a lot of stated points. For example, there’s a section where it jumps fast in time but only paragraphs apart. It’s told to you instead of experiencing the changes. Like it went from being a story where I was the character, to being narrated to me instead. It took me a bit to adjust to how to read it, as it changed the pace of the book. 

The Meh: The beginning confused me. The first 1/4 of the book was back in high school and it took me longer to get into it. But once it jumped forward, I understood the importance, and I got sucked right into it. I Couldn’t put it down!!

This was phenomenal. A must-read.

100% book club worthy. A great mix between chick-lit, and romance. Low spice.

This was so well crafted. It makes you feel every emotion as it pulls you through an impossible situation. How do you choose between the love you lost and the one you found?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Stephanie says:

    I loved reading your review of this, primarily because I agree with absolutely everything you said about it! The good, the bad, and the meh were all the same thoughts I had while reading One True Loves as well. This was such fun to read!

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