It’s so sad when a hyped book that you were sure you’d love ends up disappointing you.
Title: The Night We Said Yes
Author: Lauren Gibaldi
Publisher: Harper Teen
Date of Publication: June 16, 2015
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.
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Thank you to HarperCollins International for the review copy! Receiving one did not affect my views of the novel.
I started The Night We Said Yes after I finished The Start of Me and You because I felt like binging contemporary YA novels. I’ve been hearing great things about it so I dived into it. But by the third chapter, I figured that it wasn’t working for me. I want to love this one so I decided to put it down for a while. Maybe the timing wasn’t right, I thought.
After almost a month, I decided to pick it up again but even though I brought it everywhere I went, I never actually picked it up. I was dreading going back to reading it and that should have been a sign to STOP THE MADNESS, LET GO OF THE GUILT, DROP THIS BOOK. But I’m stubborn so last Saturday, I started reading this again.
Oh boy, I wanted to gouge my eyes out. It wasn’t horrible but that’s the problem. If it was horrible, maybe I would have been entertained. Alas, the writing was fine but ultimately, the characters were a big ol’ MEH. Good lord, I was 20% in and I didn’t want to go further. I couldn’t care less about the characters as they bored me to tears. I didn’t care why Matt left a year ago and I was so annoyed by how Ella (It took me a minute to remember her name…) read like someone whose life isn’t complete because of a boy. I went to Twitter to ask for advice because the need to DNF was soaring. People either loved it or even if they didn’t at the start, they urged me to not quit as it gets better. So I listened and powered through until the end even if it was akin to being tortured. (I do exaggerate.)
Yes, it did get better, I guess, (in that maybe I was desensitized to being annoyed at Ella) but STILL, nothing made me care about Ella and Matt. They could have not patched things up and I WOULDN’T EVEN BAT AN EYELASH. I know, I sound so mean but GAH, I feel frustrated just remembering things and writing this review.
I actually like the secondary characters more! I was more invested in Jake and Meg’s (I had to check my copy as I couldn’t remember Ella’s best friend’s name…) will-they-won’t-they story. Guys, I read this book just a week ago and I couldn’t even remember the names of the characters. Me, who can still remember the name of the duck in The Once and Future King which I read at least six years ago… Guys, isn’t that a GLARING SIGN on how much I wish I didn’t waste my time finishing this? I should have listened to my book conscience telling me to drop this.
It’s not about Ella being a bit of an introvert compared to how vivacious her best friend Meg was that bored me. It was because the characters read like stock characters to me. They don’t have small quirks that made them real to me. All Ella talked about and thought about was Matt and her jerk of a first boyfriend. They were just characters to me so I didn’t feel for them.
Then when the reveal happened on why Matt left town, I just scoffed. The whole conflict was built on that and it didn’t pay off. Then the book glossed over it right away. WHAT GIVES?
It just saddens me that I did not love this one or even remotely like it. I wanted to join the loving party for this one but PASS. It was so reminiscent of how much Love, Lucy irritated and frustrated the hell out of me. I’m in the minority in here though so I’d still say that you should check out The Night We Said Yes for a story of second chances and saying yes to what life has in store for you.
About Lauren Gibaldi
I’m an author of young adult novels and public librarian. I’ve been, among other things, a magazine editor, high school English teacher, bookseller, and circus aerialist (seriously). I have a BA in Literature and Master’s in Library and Information Studies, both from Florida State University. I currently live in Orlando, Florida with my husband, daughter, and ever-expanding collection of books. (I mean, it comes with the professions, right?)
I love dinosaurs, pasta, musicals, and cheesy jokes.
I’m represented by Michelle Andelman with Regal Literary.