(Review) The Night We Said Yes
The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Pages: 304 (kindle)
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
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 love it when a book can consume my entire day like this one did. Okay, not my entire day because I'm a fairly fast reader and I did other things when I read this, but still.
Ella's story is pretty typical, I guess. She's a teenage girl getting ready to graduate and move on with her life. She wants to get out of Orlando because it holds too many memories for her and she's ready to let go.
Until, that is, the very thing she wants to let go of appears right in front of her.
Matt is cute and talented...but he's also kind of a jerk because he left Ella and their friends high and dry when he moved with his family to Texas.
When they meet again in a similar situation Matt tries to recreate the first night he and Ella met. It's a big gesture, in the sense that the night they met was obviously incredibly special to them. For the most part of this book I went through thinking Matt was an adorable puppy or just a big ol' idiot. I loved the Then chapters because both Matt and Ella seem so innocent and sweet.
Ella had just been broken up with by her jerk boyfriend who offered her a "high five for friendship" when he dumped her and Matt is the perfect distraction. Their moments together are so sweet and light and swoonworthy that I almost hated for those chapters to end.
The Now chapters held a little more angst in them. Matt obviously has some explaining to do to not only Ella, but all of their friends. The group dynamic is interesting, too. I loved Matt and Ella but could have done with less Jake and Meg. To me, their relationship (or non-relationship) only added drama that wasn't really needed. Their fights and snide comments took away from Matt's and Ella's story, but the character added a good enough buffer when needed.
I loved to see Ella be strong about her feelings for Matt and not to take any crap from him. She demanded the truth and she got it, then she decided on her own terms what to do. It's nice to see a story where the girl doesn't drop everything to fix her relationship. Ella was always upfront about what her plans were and she didn't let Matt change that.
Definitely adorable. Definitely worth it.