Book Reviews, Romance Novels

Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Is it possible to meet the love of your life twice?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Synopsis: Emma seems to have the perfect life. She marries her high school sweetheart Jesse, travels the world with him, and settles far away from her hometown. But Emma’s world is turned upside down when, on their first wedding anniversary, Jesse’s helicopter goes missing over the pacific.

Emma has to learn to build a life without her one true love. She moves back home and takes a bigger role in the running of her family’s bookshop. Years later, Emma runs into Sam, an old friend from high school. The two fall in love and get engaged. It seems as if Emma has gotten her second chance at true love.

But then Jesse is found. Miraculously, he’s been alive for all these years on a deserted island, and he’s never stopped thinking about Emma. Now Emma has to choose between the man she once married and the one she’s set to marry now. Is it possible to have that one true love twice in one lifetime?

Review: Taylor Jenkins Reid tackles a truly impossible question in One True Loves. If your partner died and was resurrected years later, do you take them back or do you continue with your new life?

This is a love triangle that nobody ever wants to be in. Reid takes readers through the thought process of the struggle to choose, showing Emma interacting with both Jesse and Sam before and after the accident. We’re offered the opportunity to weigh the situation ourselves by learning the origin stories of both loves and witnessing the moments of reconnection.

While the story doesn’t quite match up to Daisy Jones and the Six or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo for me, I did enjoy Reid’s unique use of time in this romantic drama novel. I honestly hoped for a bit more development from the character of Jesse after his big return, but he’s fairly guarded in this story and doesn’t have much opportunity for growth. The same for Sam, who becomes more of a secondary character once Jesse is reintroduced into the story.

I was surprised by the ending of One True Loves mostly because this choice seems so impossible to make that I could not fathom a possible solution. Reid makes sure readers feel how deeply emotional Emma’s analysis is before she inevitably has to choose how she’s going to move on with her life.

One True Loves starts as a romance and ends as a story about grief, guilt, and growth. Readers will be hooked by the premise and heartbroken by the emotional rollercoaster of navigating a life with two true loves.

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