One True Loves // Taylor Jenkins Reid

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The worst day of Emma’ life was the day her husband, high school sweetheart, and love of her life disappeared in a helicopter accident over the ocean. When Jesse didn’t return that day, she wasn’t sure how’d she build her life back together. A few years later, with the help of a bookstore, her family, and a new love, Sam, Emma was finally beginning to feel normal. Until she received a phone call from a very alive Jesse.

The concept of this book is so juicy. What would you do if your first love came back from the dead, but you had found the second love of your life already? This is a choice Emma graples with throughout One True Loves, and the emotional turmoil makes for a very engrossing story. I really liked Emma as a main character. She never plays the victim, despite this extremely tough situation, and she approaches life with logic and love. I also appreciated both the male protagonists. They were very different people and I commend the author’s ability to keep them distinct and their own person throughout the novel.

As far as the love in this book goes, the romance was really well done. I enjoyed the comfortable familiarity juxtaposed with the excitement of starting a life with someone new, as I think it shone a light on an issue we all face when exploring love. Is it worth something new, exciting, and potentially brief to lose the dependable, steady, deep love of someone who has always been there? Taking this ride with Emma was satisfying both in the ending and along the way.

Finally, I want to point out something I really appreciated about this novel. A plane crash and a survival-esque story can be extremely dramatic and unrealistic, and I could see it absolutely overwhelming the everyday story that is unfolding in the small town of Akron. However, that never happens. Jesse’s backstory didn’t take over the story and TJR made it clear that this book is not about a plane crash or all the mental distress that would come with surviving what Jesse has survived. Instead, the book focuses squarely on Emma and her decision throughout. Snaps for that.

So, in conclusion, the reason I picked up this book from the library is because I am such a giant fan of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, also by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I was hoping that this book would have all the star power of that novel, but unfortunately it did not.

Overall? A very readable, entertaining love story, but doesn’t have the staying power of the formidable Evelyn Hugo.

Purchase One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid here!

PUBLICATION DETAILS: Washington Square Press; June 7, 2016; 352 pp. Fiction -> Romance