The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
Published: June 16, 2015 by Harper Teen
Source: From the publisher
A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!
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. [goodreads]
I love a story that takes place in the course of 24 hours, or even for just a night. In this contemporary YA from debut author Lauren Gibaldi, the story rotates between past and present spanning one night that happened exactly a year ago. Immediately I was pulled into this novel because of that concept. I really liked the idea of these kids reliving a night they said "yes" to just one year ago. But so much has happened in the course of one year, and not everyone is up to reliving that one night just as it was. The plot for this story was so much fun to follow, and I think that was the main pull to keep me reading.
Ella and Matt met one night and became more than just strangers. They served as catalysts, shifting their own stories forward just when they needed it most. Yes, their attraction was instant, but I felt that was sort of the point. Act now, think later. Their spontaneity complemented each other, just when the moment was right. Though they were the focus of the story, I really enjoyed the supporting characters who were involved as well.
As we're taken back to the first night they met and the crazy twists and turns it took us on, I almost found myself wanting to stay in the past, and not as excited to be thrown back into the present when the chapters would switch. This may have been because I knew what the outcome would be one year later. I tend to enjoy a story more when the future still remains a mystery. It didn't spoil from the fun of reading though.
Matt's story could have been fleshed out a bit more. I felt a little disconnected to his reasons for doing certain things. However, I realized after I finished the novel that there will be a novella told from Matt's POV in the coming months and this made that feeling completely wash away. If you're looking to escape inside a story about a fun-filled night and the aftermath it may have, then I would definitely say YES to picking up this contemporary YA read.