Spoilers Galore Audiobook Review | One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Women’s Fiction

Published on June 7th, 2016


Book Blurb: 

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

| Review |

As the title indicates, this is a review with SPOILERS GALORE, so if you don’t want them, **WARNING: STOP HERE.**

To say that this book was a disappointment would be a massive understatement. I thought for sure going into One True Loves that I was in for a roller coaster of a ride. And to be fair, there were some things I liked about this book. I loved the instant click between high school Emma and Jesse, how they were so quick to bond about getting out of Acton and away from the expectations of their parents when they had different plans for the future. I liked the references to pop culture from their day, like Smashing Pumpkins and Natalie Imbruglia. I also liked Jesse and Sam, Emma’s ‘love interests,’ but my list of likes stops with Emma. I really wanted to like her, and I tried hard not to judge her because her situation was so unique and devastating. But I couldn’t help it. Even though the time she spent making her decision wasn’t long (which is another matter entirely that I had issues with,) I felt like for that short amount of time, she wanted to have her cake and eat it, too. I especially did not care for the way her grief stages were written at all. It was very choppy sounding, and it felt more like a manual than Emma’s actual account of her own grief. I also thought it very odd that she reverted to her maiden name when she came out of her grief. I would have understood if they’d had a rocky marriage, but they were crazy about each other, and in the end, it felt like a plot device used to give them something to argue about later in the story than something authentic to Emma’s character. And then, when Jesse does reappear, it’s almost like she was punishing him for not knowing who she was now. It was all about her, and felt like she gave no consideration for what Jesse went through. I feel like Emma made her decision between Sam and Jesse very hastily, and I don’t feel like she really gave Jesse, her husband, a chance to get to know her, nor did she care to get to know him.

This was a second chance love story in many ways. Emma with Jesse’s reappearance, and Emma with Sam when it was clear he’d had a crush on her so many years before. Sam was so charming with his awkward ways, and Jesse, too, in a more direct way. It was hard to know who to root for, because both men were so kind and adored Emma. Thought I can’t for the life of me figure out why. I hated the thought of either of them being unhappy, but on the other hand, I thought they both deserved someone who had more respect for them than Emma did. I wish both men had taken the choice away from her and left, but that’s not what happened. I found the end incredibly unsatisfying, and with Emma’s characterization, there is nothing that could have saved it for me except a different protagonist. I think the idea of this story was wonderful. The execution, however, was lacking.

Narrator: This book was narrated by Julia Whelan, and I think she did a fantastic job. She even did a decent job with the men’s voices, which can be hit or miss for me with a female performer.

| Rating |


16 thoughts on “Spoilers Galore Audiobook Review | One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Add yours

  1. I just started reading TJR’s books this year and have loved all of them, except this one! It just felt overly sappy, like if I took a shot for every time someone said “I love you,” I’d have alcohol poisoning. I also thought it was a bit unrealistic that Emma met both of her true loves in high school. Most people don’t meet a spouse in HS, let alone two! I actually just finished reading this book, so your post was perfect timing for me to be able to talk about it with someone!


    1. Well I’m your gal if you need someone to talk with. And I agree. What was with all the sap? I thought that was a fall thing… I could have been sold on her having met both Jesse and Sam and loving them if the author had done the story better. But I felt like Emma’s loyalties were wishy-washy, and she just crossed the line with the last hurrah with Jesse. Emma was all about Emma. I didn’t care for that.

      I am glad to see you enjoyed the rest of her books, because there were parts I liked and I did enjoy some of the writing. Maybe I will try another of hers.


  2. Yes, agree with you, Emma reacted poorly especially when Jessy got home. Ohhh it was a mess. I understood her situation but I did feel bad for Jesse and Sam. If only Sam had not been great, I would have wanted her pick her husband. Yes, she sounds so selfish.


    1. Yeah, I had a really hard time with how quickly she made her decision more than anything. And it felt a lot like she was punishing Jesse for being gone as opposed to a decision she came to after careful consideration. Sad all the way around. I can’t help but feel that the man she picked was the one who got the short end of the stick. She has no loyalty.


  3. I didn’t read your review but I really love the sypnosis. I’m braving out this book and I hope I’ll love it, well, like would be enough hehe


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