Review: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

Title: The Night We Said Yes 
Author: Lauren Gibaldi 
Series: The Night We Said Yes #1 
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, YA 
Publication date: June 16, 2015 
Rating: ★★★ 

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.

It was my favorite part of the night - when the evening's events were still unknown and unpredictable. It was the sense of possibility that I loved, the idea that anything could happen next.

This cover is gorgeous! But that’s about it. There is nothing else remarkable about this book. Everything is mainstream and average. Just okay. It’s not bad. It’s not exactly good either. There is a lot of cheese and “drama”. If you like that, you’ll love this. If not - you’ll probably be as indifferent as me.

The story is split in two. There’s a storyline in the present and one in the past. Main character Ella remembers ‘The Night We Said Yes’. It starts out as any night with her friends, but when she meets the new bassist of the group her friends play in, it is love at first sight. Matt is everything her cheating ex-boyfriend wasn’t. He’s kind, he’s caring, he’s funny… When Ella, her friends and Matt somehow end up on the roof of their High School, they dare each other. Whatever is proposed, the answer should always be yes. At least for the night. So they play. And one things leads to another. Before long Ella and Matt stop resisting the attraction between them and it quickly becomes the most beautiful night of Ella’s life. But that was then. A couple of months later, Matt leaves. He barely says goodbye, he doesn’t give any explanation and he breaks off all contact. This leaves Ella heartbroken and alone. Slowly she mends herself, but it’s clear she won’t get over him easily. Then one night Matt returns. This is the part the present story focuses on. Matt returns and he tries to recreate that perfect first night in an attempt to win Ella back.

Everything had to happen to lead to where are we now.

So basically the story unfolds over the span of two nights. And I love this idea, but it just really doesn’t make any sense when you think about it. We get a really wide range of emotions. There is falling in love (deeply), there is anger, disappointment, hope, rejection, attraction… and most of the development takes place in one evening. The idea serves the story well, but… If you read this book - try to ignore the nagging voice in the back of your head that’s trying to tell you none of it should happen so fast.

The characters were okay. I didn’t really like Ella. I didn’t hate her either. Same for Matt. For Meg. For Jake. I just couldn’t make myself care about them. They were high school graduates, but they felt like fourteen-year-olds. Sometimes they were fun, often they were immature. None of them were explored very profoundly, but well - we only get two days out of their lives after all. Suppose I can’t expect a full character description/development in that kind of set-up. 

The story itself is fast-paced but not very creative. It doesn’t stand out in any way. Girl meets boy. They fall in love in a not very memorable way, they fall out of love, they want to fall in love again. And that’s it. There are some side characters thrown in the mix, some extra love drama in her group of friends et voilà, all the right ingredients for a young adult contemporary. 

There isn’t anything else I could possibly say about it.

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  1. I'm glad I read this review, because I totally would've gotten sucked in by the gorgeous cover. Book that you just feel meh about can be so disappointed. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one more!

    1. Haha, yeah, I'm sorry too. I should know better than to fall for pretty covers. ;D


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