REVIEW: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

by - 2:36 PM

’You, my dear, are a rock star,’ she loudly whispered into my ear.
And for once, I actually believed her.”

Back of the book blurb:

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 cold 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.

Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780062302199

Available for Purchase:

A message from the cosmos:

My rating:

Wow. That’s how I have to start this out. Just wow! What a way to make a debut. Bravo to you Lauren Gibaldi! There are so many great things about this novel. I mean, first, let’s talk about that cover! How beautiful, am I right? I can practically smell summer just from the cover. Ahhhh, nostalgia—what a dirty liar. Anyway.

I absolutely love the plot of this book—the entire concept of just saying yes the entire night to anything and everything. I actually want to do this one-day. Maybe I’ll do it when my 21st birthday happens to roll around here soon! Gibaldi executed this concept so effortlessly. And honestly, there’s such a deeper meaning to it, as well. Our protagonist, Ella, through saying yes on both nights that are explored, learns how to finally be brave. Ella said she wanted some of Meg’s—her best friend’s—spotlight. But here’s the thing: Ella didn’t need Meg’s spotlight. She had her own the entire time just waiting for her. And I cried when she finally discovered it.

Speaking of characters, the way Gibaldi constructed these four amazing central friends, with a few background characters, was absolutely phenomenal. Ella and Meg were #FRIENDSHIPGOALS, let’s be real. They were real and funny and I had so much fun with them. I also really enjoyed Jake! He was a mess, of course, but aren’t those the best? I loved the way Jake was also extremely upset when Matt left with no explanation, because Matt and Jake had become so close. It’s rare for men to show emotion in today’s society because of the construct of hyper-masculinity that seems to plague everyone. I was really happy that Gibaldi included this with Jake. Men can show emotions and have meaningful friendships as well. And they can be hurt when those friendships end!

A lot of people hate “instalove” and think it’s so fake and they can’t relate. I disagree with all of those people! I half fall in love with everyone I meet so I can totally understand feeling something strong for someone I just met. I don’t think it invalidates your feelings because you just met them. I’m not saying it’s actually love; it might just be infatuation, but the feelings are still there and they’re real. And I loved exploring these feelings with Ella, both the night she met Matt and the night he came back. Especially because the feelings are so raw both nights. Ella and Matt are #OTPGOALS. I don’t know what my fascination is with hashtags today, but whatever!

THAT ENDING, THOUGH. I don’t want to say too much. Just know it made me FEEL! IT MADE ME FEEL A LOT OF THINGS!

Happy Reading!

The Cosmic Reader

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