The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gabaldi
Publisher: Harper Teen on June 16th 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Fiction (YA)
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.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
So, this had promise. It sounded so cute, first loves and some teenagers spending a night only saying yes. Adorable, right? Wrong. At least for me.
This story is told from the past and the present. We first me Ella and her friends in the present. She is still recovering from her breakup with Matt; he left suddenly with no real explanation. Now she’s focused on her friends and moving away to college in three months.
The past takes place the crazy night she met Matt. It was a night that changed her life. It all started with a party being raided by the cops and turned into a night Ella and her friends all said yes to everything suggested. Matt and Ella grow close during the night. It was kind of cute, they tested boundaries and their fears.
But the cute part of the book wasn’t enough to save it in my opinion. I didn’t feel like there was anything between Matt and Ella. In the past, she’s meeting him for the first time and in the present he’s already broken her heart and she’s trying to move on. There was no real relationship for me to feel like Ella was facing an actual loss. Also I felt indifferent to the reason they broke up.
There were other small things like, a college party that ends by 11pm (yea right) and a gay character whose boyfriend is always busy so we never actually meet him. Ella’s constant “I’m so average but I’m the real me” thing was annoying.
This books felt like the bare minimum. I just wish I had felt more. However, the book does feature a great group of friends that do care for each other. And platonic opposite sex friendships, which while common in real life, happens so rarely in YA books. I was very happy to see that!
Overall, lacking in substance but a cute, quick read.