Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publisher: Washington Press
Pub. Date: June 7th, 2016
Pages: 352


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.

What Did I Think About the Story?

I fell in love with Taylor Jenkins Reid's writing the first time I read her debut novel, Forever, Interrupted, and have since read every book she's written as soon as I can get my hands on them (you can click the titles for links to my reviews: After I Do, Maybe in Another Life). Needless to say, I had her newest, One True Loves, pre-ordered and dove right in as soon as it was delivered. I was once again absolutely delighted with the complex, emotional story she presented, one that had me not only eager to see how the characters would react to the impossible-seeming situation but questioning how I would react given the same.

I think for me the best part of the story (save the interesting dilemma it presented) was the time taken to fully develop these characters. Without it, I don't think I would have cared as much about Emma's love story and, other than still being an entertaining story, it wouldn't have had the emotional impact on me it did (really as all her books do). As it is, Reid crafts these characters that are funny, flawed, emotive, and as relatable as they come. She then takes the time to really develop their relationships and experiences, making everything feel that much more understandable. Giving the reader a clear view into how Emma lived with and loved both men made it that much more complicated when trying to decide (or figure out) who she would end up with. I did, however, know who I wanted her to pick about half way through, and I somewhat surprised myself since it wasn't whom I initially thought I would have selected. I think that just speaks to how much she had me invested in each of their lives.

While this is heavily a story about a woman figuring out which of the two loves of her life she should end up with, that isn't all this story has to provide. There's a complicated relationship between Emma and her sister (which most people with siblings will be able to relate to), a look at how grief and hardship changes people, as well as the idea that you never quite know where your life might take you, which might include going back to the very places you try so hard to get away from. There are a number of interesting threads running through the story, giving plenty to enjoy and ponder as the story progresses and long after it's done.

I'm clearly a huge fan of this author and recommend her all the time. I'm always surprised at the complex situations she puts her characters in and the way they, somehow, find a logical and very satisfying conclusion. I laugh, I get a little misty, and I completely fall for her characters and their dilemmas every time. One True Loves and really all her books are perfect, especially for this time of year, and I can't recommend them enough if you want a thoughtful, satisfying read.

What Did I Think About the Cover?

It's simple yet beautiful in person. I don't think it necessarily represents the book all that well, but it is the sort of cover I enjoy for this sort of novel (don't ask me why but it reminds me of a retro, 70's-style sort of cover. Maybe the writing? Not sure but I love it). The colors are also appealing and it just has an all around beautiful appearance.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

I purchased my copy of One True Loves for my personal collection. You can read more about the book, other reviews, and links to the various places you can purchase a copy on Goodreads HERE.


  1. I'm really, really excited about this one! I love a TJR book for all the reasons you listed! Thanks for the review!

    1. You are very welcome!! I hope you love it as much as I did when you get the chance to read it!

  2. I love books that take the necessary time to really develop the characters. Rarer than one might think!

    1. I agree, it really helps the reader invest in the story and feel for what is going on!