The Night We Said Yes
by Lauren Gibaldi
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: June 16th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rate: 4.5-5 STARS
A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!
Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.
But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.
And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.
Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.
In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave.
Adorable and fun, The Night We Said Yes surprised me with how much I loved this book and all the feels I got. I loved the Then/Now back to back chapters because it really helped to connect the characters and the stories better. And I love that this whole book literally takes place in a day but you feel like you've been with characters for the entire year. It was perfectly paced and it flowed really well. The main thing I loved about this book was all the characters and the friendship between all of them that was emphasized. We learn just as much about Jake and Meg's crazy relationship as we do about Matt's and Ella's. We see the strong friendship between Meg and Ella, Matt and Jake, and even Jake and Ella.
Ella was a character I was first iffy about. I wasn't sure if I would like her but then as the story developed I instantly loved how honest she was in her thoughts and it was easy to see where she was coming from about her feelings about everything. And while it did take time for her to stand up for herself she was nevertheless a strong and amazing friend and person. I loved reading and seeing how her and Meg's friendship worked. It was one of those "She shines, and I would rather not to be in the spotlight all the time" kind of relationship. But even though Ella might have seen it that way, it didn't degrade or put her in a position/rank lower than Meg's. Both girls depended on each other and it was just so nice seeing a friendship like theirs.
Matt is the cutest thing ever. I'm all for Ella's type (excluding Nick of course). Ok the thing was Matt and Ella from Then/Now is that it was real. There were awkward silences but it was also easy to fall back into place with each other. And I see both sides of the situation from why Matt left and didn't keep in touch with his friends but also why Ella and her friends believed he should have. Ella has this thing about wanting to know everything and I get that she's told Matt everything but I don't think Matt didn't trust her but just wanted to keep her out of some parts of his life that he should have shared with her through time. Seeing them during the first time they met was adorable and I love how the Then/Now connected together in a way that was the same yet totally different.
I also love that Jake wasn't as excluded from the story as I thought he would be in the beginning. It was great seeing all 4 of them connected through friendship and not only through relationships. Jake and Matt=awesome bromance chemistry. We got to see how Jake was also affected and it made me happy to see that brotherly attitude over Ella. And then comes the crazy crazy relationship of Jake and Meg. My god they go through so much and I feel exactly as Ella feels about them. They're great for each other but sometimes it's so easy to want more or better for them. It's not the kind of relationship I could ever stand but it seemed to work out for them .
A beautifully story told about friendships and relationships during two different nights, The Night We Said Yes melted me into feels without being a gritty and super depressing story. A definite must read for contemporary lovers! From finding notes to playing a game of saying yes, it's not one to be missed :) Happy Readings!
Public librarian and author of THE NIGHT WE SAID YES (HarperCollins / HarperTeen, June 16, 2015) and MATT'S STORY (a The Night We Said Yes Novella, out August 2015). Fan of dinosaurs and cheesy jokes. And you.
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