ARC Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: June 7th 2016
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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.

I’m a little bummed right now because I really, really wanted to love this one more. One True Loves sounded absolutely amazing, and I hadn’t read Taylor Jenkins Reid before, but I’d heard great things about her books. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t connect well enough with the story and characters. It was as if I was reading this book from a distance – watching everything happen, but not emotionally connecting with anything. It sucks! I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t really love it either, so it ended up being an okay read. The writing is stunning though, and I am more than likely to pick up another book of the author’s just for the writing.

Years ago, Emma’s high school sweetheart-turned-husband went missing while flying over the Pacific for a job. She and Jesse hadn’t even made it one year in their marriage before everything fell apart and Emma lost the love of her life. Now, in her thirties, she’s been able to pick herself up and move on. She reunites with an old friend, Sam, who contributes a big part to her healing and moving on, and she eventually falls in love with him. Now engaged to the new love of her life, Emma is finally happy again… until she receives a phone call telling her that Jesse is alive. The past and present collide as her old love and new want her to choose what life she wants to live, and with whom. But how can she choose between two loves and two lives? Is there such thing as only ONE true love?

By loving the two of them, I am no longer sure about either. And by being unsure, I might just lose them both.
Romantic love is a beautiful thing under the right circumstances. But those circumstances are so specific and rare, aren’t they?
It’s rare that you love the person who loves you, that you love only the person who loves only you. Otherwise, somebody’s heartbroken.
But I guess that’s why true love is so alluring in the first place. It’s hard to find and hold on to, like all beautiful things. Like gold, saffron, or aurora borealis.

The premise of One True Loves hooked me in, I’ll admit. I was dying to see how things would play out, who Emma would choose. Sadly, the way the story was organized really put me off. We are told the stories of two completely different relationships at different times in Emma’s life in a normal-sized book, and the length of the separate romances wasn’t long or developed enough for me to connect with. I never loved Jesse, I never loved Sam, so I didn’t really care about who Emma would choose in the end. Maybe if the book were longer, I’d be able to connect with the men more, but throughout the book, I never really became invested in any of the romance.

It breaks my heart to be loved like this, to be loved so purely that I’m capable of breaking a heart.

I also got annoyed at the choices Emma made during her hesitation about who to choose. I was a little disgusted at how she went from Jesse to Sam, then Sam to Jesse, and then all over again, without caring about how they feel. She constantly hurts these two men who would do anything for her, and I just couldn’t like a heroine who knows she’s hurting the men she loves, and does it anyway. And in the end, things wrapped up too neatly and nicely – I’m happy with who she chose, but I would’ve really liked to see Emma work to deserve the love of the man she ended up with.

TJR’s writing, however, is phenomenal. A little formal, yes, but it’s a unique style and very different from what I’m used to reading. I just wish she’d structured the story in a better way that could’ve made me connect more. The moral of the book though, comes across very, very well, and I appreciated that there was a deeper meaning to OTL than just a simple love triangle. Overall, this book just didn’t work that well for me, but others might enjoy it more than I did!

3 hearts

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Also by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Maybe in Another Life: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
After I Do: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Forever, Interrupted: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads


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