Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

OneTrueLovesOne True Loves
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Washington Square Press, 2016


From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick—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.


One of the things that I love about #bookstagram is that there is so many new books that I’m being introduced to that I might not have come across on my own. There’s just so many great books and great authors that it feel near impossible to read everything.

I was particularly intrigued by One True Loves‘ synopsis and decided to give it a read especially after reading a few reviews on Goodreads. There seems to be a lot of love for the novel and for the author, Taylor Jenkins Reid.

I started and finished the book in 24 hours. Partly because it was not a particularly long read and partly because I was drawn in from the beginning. I absolutely loved going into it and realizing that Emma, Jesse, and Sam actually all know each other from the start. It was different to read about a character who actually doesn’t like to read (oh the horror!) which is quite strange for readers. The romance between Emma and Jesse was what drew me in. Then the heartbreak that Emma feels when Jesse is gone completely takes you in. And when Emma and Sam meet, I was there right with them. Then, Jesse came back and the book kind of lost me.

I was still intrigued because I really wanted to know how Emma was going to decide between the two men that she loved. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone here so I’m going to proceed with the next part as carefully as I can without giving it away. But I read the Q&A with Taylor Jenkins Reid after and she mentions that she knew who Emma would choose at the end when she started writing it. But that she stayed objective throughout it in order to make the choice natural. And while I’m sure that she tried, it seems pretty obvious to me who Emma was going to choose. There were little hints throughout the way. (Ahh! I’m trying not to add spoilers.) Basically it came down to Emma’s little thoughts and monologues about who she was and what she wanted and what she wanted changed. I can’t say more than that without completely giving it away, if I haven’t done so anyways.

So, how did the book lose me? Well it just didn’t make sense. It didn’t make sense the way Emma handled the return of her supposedly-dead husband. And the way she kept kissing and doing more with the two men as a way to show her love for both of them just felt like a betrayal to both of them. The conclusion itself between the couples were unrealistic to me. A single conversation and letter changes their outlook drastically and they part ways amicably. After all the emotional buildup and turmoil, it just didn’t feel right.

And here is where I struggle to the point where I don’t even have a rating on Goodreads for this book. This has never happened before. Ever. I always have an idea of how to rate a book. With One True Loves, I absolutely loved the premise of the novel. I loved everything up to a certain point. So how do I balance my polar opposite feelings towards this novel? Average it out? By the time this review makes it’s way up on the blog, I will have a rating up. You can check out my Goodreads page if you’re curious as to what I finally decided to give it.

Would I recommend this book? It’s hard to say. Yes. It does seem to be quite popular among readers and I did enjoy it. But if you read it, and you find that my review resonated with you, let me know. And if you think that I’m completely wrong in my feelings, well, feel free to share your thoughts. I’m still trying to form my thoughts about it so I’m open to new ideas.


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