BOOK REVIEW: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid


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.

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Even with as many books as I’ve read in my lifetime, it still boggles my mind how powerful words can be. Most have the power to transcend you into its pages and live through its characters. Taylor Jenkins Reid, One True Loves, without a doubt did just that to me. This was the sort of book that left me reeling, the kind that requires some healing long after the last page. If you want to talk about “the feels,” One True Loves is undeniably a book that has it all. This has ruined me—it has weighed me down and my heart still aches when I think back to it. Don’t get me wrong, there is a happily ever after and there is closure to this story. However, the realness of such an honest and relatable love story is one that you can’t help but feel to the very marrow of your bones. At the end of the day, this is how I’d best describe this book. It seeps into your entire being and it fully inhabits your heart and your psyche.

As with all love triangles (no spoiler here, as the synopsis says it all), it is inevitable that sides will be taken and as a reader you hope that your guy is the one chosen. During the majority of this book, I found myself dissecting every interaction, every dialogue between the characters; a coward’s way to get a feel for what is to come. And even with all my “scientific” extrapolation, the author still took me by surprise. Does Emma’s future hold the past or the present? How do you move forward to a future when both men who have suddenly come crashing together cannot both be a part of it?

Jesse, whom she fell in love with as a girl, one who she lived out her dreams with as a woman. The same man who suddenly, mysteriously disappears and thought dead. Years after, Emma begins to piece herself back together—healed by time and the love she has found with Sam. Now looking forward to a new beginning with Sam, Jesse miraculously reappears. What should have been a joyous reunion becomes overwhelmingly confusing for Emma instead. I felt extremely bad for her situation and I felt all of the warring feelings that she was going through. There was no easy way out for her and whatever decision she would come to make would ultimately lead to heartbreak for someone. Unfortunately, that someone(s) also included me. I cannot begin to explain just how affected I was by Emma’s story. I had to pick another book right away—one I knew would help ease the ache somehow because I knew that if I didn’t, there would be no way I could fall asleep. That’s how deeply connected I was with this novel. This was genuinely, a literary masochist’s dream come true.

I love how Ms. Jenkins-Reid is able to write such realistic plot lines without making it too real that it becomes almost boring. Instead, she takes pieces of what could be her readers realities and meshes them alongside the dramatic flair, that ever-loved plot twists that could only be found in a work of fiction. This to me makes for one hell of an entertaining read. I am still trying to find comfort, almost trying to persuade myself that the direction the author took was for the sake of Emma’s HEA. That my own fanatic selfishness should be put aside because what was written has been written—see how crazy I sound?! And it is because of this that I have to give this book 5-stars and my bookshelf-worthy stamp of approval. One True Loves lived up to my expectations and ruined me so wonderfully and so completely.

We Like It Big Tunes:

Let It Be Me- Ray LaMontagne

There comes a time
A time in everyone’s life
Where nothing seems to go your way
Where nothing seems to turn out right
There may come a time
You just can’t seem to find your place
And for every door you open
Seems like you get two slammed in your face

That’s when you need someone
Someone that you, you can call
When all your faith is gone
And it feels like you can’t go on
Let it be me
Let it be me
If it’s a friend that you need
Let it be me
Let it be me

Feels like you’re always coming up last
Pockets full of nothing and you got no cash
No matter where you turn you ain’t got no place to stand
You reach out for something and they slap your hand
Now, I remember all too well
Just how it feels to be all alone
You feel like you’d give anything
For just a little place you can call your own

That’s when you need someone
Someone that you, you can call
When all your faith is gone
It feels like you cant go on
Let it be me
Let it be me
If it’s a friend you need
Let it be me
Let it be me
Let it be me
Let it be me
If it’s a friend you need
Let it be me
Let it be me, let it be me

Buy Links:

Amazon US Paperback |Amazon US Kindle

About the Author:


Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author, essayist, and TV writer from Acton, Massachusetts. Her debut novel, Forever, Interrupted, has been optioned with Dakota Johnson attached to star. Her second book, After I Do, was called a “must read” by Kirkus. Her most recent novel, Maybe In Another Life has been featured in People, Cosmo, Bustle, Good Housekeeping, PopSugar, USA Today and more.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and their dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @tjenkinsreid.


One thought on “BOOK REVIEW: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  1. Pingback: Melanie’s Best of 2016 Picks | welikeitbigbookblog

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