Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Diary Entry #0033: Book Review—THE NIGHT WE SAID YES by Lauren Gibaldi

Title: The Night We Said Yes
by Lauren Gibaldi
Date of Publication: June 16th 2015
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary

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.

I must admit, my expectation with this book was very low. It was not personal, though. It’s just that YA Contemporary hasn’t been that good lately. I guess, having low expectations with this book was a good thing because I ended up actually liking it.

The Night We Said Yes was a very candid novel. It really portrayed the way teenagers think and talk and how they mature over both good and bad experiences. It was a little slow-going at the start which bored me quite a bit but it picked up before the halfway mark which saved this book for me, otherwise I would have lost interest right away.

Now, I liked the characters because there was a certainty between them—a feeling I can’t really put into words, but I feel in them—which I liked unlike some other books in this genre I’ve read before that just left me hanging and unsatisfied. That translated through the conclusion, one that made me satisfied (most YA Contemporary has flop endings, I observed) despite it still being a little open-ended. These characters were very real and that made them relatable. Their development was easily observed through the then-and-now type of narration that worked pretty well with how the story was supposed to be told.

All in all, The Night We Said Yes is a simple book telling a real story that I think, must be read by everyone so that they’ll have a deeper understanding on how a teenage mind works. It wasn’t perfect but I definitely enjoyed this because it’s one of those YAs that didn’t annoy me.

4/5 Yes Stars

About the Author:

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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