One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid


“You don’t tie yourself to something unless you’re scared you’re going to float away.”

Taylor Jenkins Reid, One True Loves

Emma and Jesse are high school sweethearts who marry and leave their small-town life behind for an adventurous life. When one of those adventures goes wrong on their 1st anniversary, Emma is left alone and devastated. 

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

After moving back home to find a way to put her life back together, she runs into Sam, an old high school friend she worked with in her family’s bookstore. Their relationship turns romantic. Just when Emma has found love and happiness again, Jesse reappears with a harrowing story of survival.

Featuring a classic love triangle, this book explores whether a person has more than one true love. Is it possible to love two people entirely and equally? And, if so, how can you possibly choose between them without losing a piece of yourself?

One of the things I liked most about this book was how quick and easy it was to read. I was able to pick it up and finish it all in one sitting. Early on, I had a pretty clear idea of which man Emma would choose in the end, but I didn’t mind the predictability. It was comforting to get to know Emma well enough as a character to understand and anticipate her choices.

The plot does require you to suspend belief in a few places, particularly around Jesse’s accident and survival. It was also a little unbelievable how mature everyone involved acted as Emma tried to figure out which man she wanted.

The writing in One True Loves is not quite as captivating and observant as in the other TJR books I’ve read, such as Malibu Rising and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. She wrote and released it just before The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which seemed to be a breakthrough in sharpening her storytelling abilities.

Still, One True Loves did capture a few truisms about people falling in love. One of the observations that made me smile: “Flirting is probably just as much about falling in love with yourself as it is with someone else.”

One True Loves is a good romance novel to get you out of a reading slump or to help you fritter away a lazy Saturday afternoon. 

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