by Lauren Gibaldi
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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 was in the mood for a light, sweet romance and The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi really hit the spot. Fun, realistic, and set in balmy Orlando Florida I quickly became swept up in the then, and now romance of Matt and Ella.
Five reasons to grab The Night We Said Yes and head to the beach
- The Night We Said Yes is a second chance romance that includes fleshed out secondary characters, and a summer night reliving the night, they said yes. The tale is realistic but be warned it portrays underage drinking and is filled with dorky, sweet moments and friendship.
- I loved how the tale unfolded using alternate chapters of then and now. The “then” tells the story of the first night Matt and Ella or “El” met. Gibaldi shows us those first moments of a budding romance, of the getting to know that special someone. She gives us all a glimpse at the chemistry, that awkwardness and adorableness as it unfolds. We also met El’s best friend Meg and her volatile relationship with Jake. The “now” chapters take place almost a year later. Matt moved away six months early without any closure and has returned hoping for a second chance not just with El but their friends too. He tries to recapture that first night. It was sweet and had me shaking my head, feeling for both of them and laughing aloud.
- While I certainly cannot condone some of their behavior from trespassing to underage drinking, Gibaldi kept it realistic and still managed to impart common sense such as not drinking and driving or vandalism. It evoked memories of high school years.
- Matt and El’s romance is adorkable and reminded me of first love. I became a caught up in wondering whether El would forgive Matt and take chance. Surprisingly mature and low on angst the “now” chapters filled us in on everything that happen between “then” and “now”. We get a secondary romance between Jake and Meg. It is volatile and exposes their rocky relationship.
- The friendship between Meg and El was perhaps my favorite part of the story from memory bracelets to having each other’s back it truly captured those magical friendships that are a part of our childhood.
The Night We Said Yes was a refreshing second chance romance. It is a standalone and offers an ending that will make readers smile.
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