Published: July 7th, 2015
Synopsis: Hannah goes back to LA after roaming the country after college. On a night out with her friends, she has two choices: go home with her friend, or stay out with her high school ex-boyfriend. Alternating chapters show her life after each decision.
I will have a spoilers section of this review! This is one of those books that I think it is good to go into kind of blind, so I will try to be as vague as possible.
I LOVED The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, so I did not want to be disappointed by this book, and I am happy to say that I wasn’t! I love how Taylor Jenkins Reid puts interesting twists on stories by using new formats and I think she has just an overall interesting writing style.
One problem that I noticed was that this book is advertised as a romance. It definitely isn’t a romance in a traditional sense, although there is romance, so I think many people could be disappointed if they were expecting something else.
I absolutely loved how the two stories diverged. When I heard about the premise, I didn’t really think a simple choice could effect so much, but it really does. It was really interesting to get information from one plotline that hadn’t come into play yet in the other plotline. I have seen reviews where people have thought this is repetitive, but I didn’t really get annoyed by it until the very end.
I definitely found myself rooting for one plotline over the other. I won’t say which, but in the one I liked, I just felt like Hannah accomplished her original goal more. She moved back to LA to basically find purpose and change her life, and I think she did that much more than in the other plotline.
Without getting too much into spoilers yet, I think this book has so many important themes and messages that I took away from it. I loved the friendship aspect of this book so much, and even more so because we get to see it twice. I think the book really questions fate, soulmates, and the power of our choices.
The one thing I didn’t love about this book was that at times, the format was confusing. There was no way to distinguish between which chapter was which plotline, so sometimes I got confused. They were alternating, but if I just picked the book up, then I would have to take a second to orient myself.
Overall, I really loved this book. I definitely want to check out most of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books because they leaving me feeling some kind of way.
Oh man, I liked the Henry plotline! I didn’t think anything was wrong with Ethan, but we as readers didn’t get to see their relationship develop, so I wasn’t very invested in it. I also liked Henry’s plotline because of what I said above about Hannah accomplishing her goals, as well as it challenged the idea that you could be fated to end up with someone.
I absolutely adored Hannah and Gabby’s friendship. When Hannah said that her home was with Gabby, I lost it. I think that Gabby is Hannah’s soulmate, because I don’t think soulmates have to be romantic. Going into the book, I thought that Ethan was going to be Hannah’s endgame, no matter the plotline, but it was Gabby.