The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

June 16th, 2015 Kimberly Review 72 Comments

16th Jun
The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
The Night We Said Yes
by Lauren Gibaldi
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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.

About Lauren Gibaldi

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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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw and Howler. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Find @kimbacaffeinate on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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72 Responses to “The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi”

  1. Bruna

    Sounds like the perfect beach read! Your review made me really want to pick this one up.

  2. Olivia

    This generally just sounds like a wonderful book! I feel like I am going to enjoy it because I am someone who takes great pleasure in a book if the secondary characters are realistic and just as fleshed out as the main one. Which is the impression I get after this review!

  3. Julia Anne

    This book has been on my Summer TBR List ever since its release. Thanks for the great review, Kimberly! Hopefully I’ll have the chance to read the book soon.

  4. Michelle

    I really liked this one too. I’m glad you enjoyed it as well. The only thing I didn’t really like was the reason that matt left, but that was minor compared to the overall story, which was really easy for me to get absorbed in.

    Great review!

  5. Cyn

    Definitely sounds like a cute read! Summer time is my favourite time for reading adorable contemporaries, I’ll definitely keep my eyes open for this one!
    Lovely review, Kim!

  6. Trish

    Sounds like a lovely summer read. I love dorky sweet moments and books about friendships too 🙂

  7. Lorna

    Added it to my wish list on Amazon-hopefully the price will go down sooner than later! It sounds like something I would really enjoy 🙂

  8. ShootingStarsMag

    Thanks for sharing – this sounds like a cute, summer read. I like the idea of saying Yes to things – well, CERTAIN things. haha

  9. Katherine

    This sounds like a good read and I especially like the part about low-angst. I know teenagers are generally high angst but even though it can be realistic I don’t enjoy reading it! Definitely adding this to my TBR.

  10. Lanie

    This one sounds great, it reminds me a lot of Dessens books I use to read as a teen. I’m glad you liked it, great review. I’m gonna see if my library has it now^^

  11. Ramona

    I was so curious about your review:) I’ve been on the fence about this one, but it sounds like I should take the plunge. Love second chance romances! And I enjoy laughing behind my palm at all things dorky or awkward 🙂

  12. Heidi

    I caved and got a copy of this as I am reading some brilly reviews. Nick totally loved this one, and Ilike the sound of the romance.

  13. Jenny

    Adorkable. *snort* I love that description Kim! This sounds like the perfect read for me at the moment – something fun and entertaining with little angst. Must add this to the list!

  14. kindlemom1

    I’m glad you liked this Kim, it really was a fun read and for whatever reason, totally pulled me out of my YA contem funk.

  15. Candace

    I enjoy contemporaries like this, especially in the summer time. It sounds like this would bring back some of my own teen memories and stupid decisions. 😉

  16. Sophia Rose

    Ahhh, yes, this does have that special tone of teenage summer love that I enjoy on occasion. Didn’t know about it so thanks for the engaging review, Kimberly.

  17. Keionda

    I’m usually not a fan of “then and nows” I think it’s because I had a bad reading experience with one but I’m interested to see how this one will be. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      These were done by chapters and worked out well. I know sometimes it results in an epic fail though so I understand your concern

  18. Bookworm Brandee

    This sounds like a nice read, Kim. The “dorky and sweet” moments remind me of my ‘romance’ with my hubs. 🙂 And I like that the story is mature and low on angst, too. Glad you enjoyed it!

  19. Nick

    Kim, I’m so happy you loved this one as much as I did! 🙂 It was such a cute story. Definitely one of my favorites!
    And yes! ADORKABLE is the perfect word to describe the romance.
    I hope this means you’ll give more YA contemporaries a chance.
    Lovely review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was done well by chapter which helped keep the reader straight and the more you learned the more you wanted to know how now would work out,

  20. Grace

    I am always in for an adorkable romance 🙂 I also appreciate a realistic view even if I don’t condone it. I will have to check this one out – Great review!

  21. Red Iza

    Looks like a sweet romance perfect for a summer read 🙂

  22. Silvia

    Sometimes a light, sweet romance is all we need . . . I didn’t know about this book, but I’m noting it down! 😉

  23. Lindy

    The Night We Said Yes sounds like a story that I would enjoy. I like when an author came keep their plot realistic in a Y.A. contemporary. It’s fun to read stories that bring me back to my high school years, and remembering first love. Great Review Kim 🙂

  24. Melliane

    You’re right, sometimes it’s nice to have a realistic romance like that even if you don’t agree with all the behavior.