One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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“Maybe, if you’re the kind of person who’s willing to give all of yourself, the kind of person who is willing to love with all of your heart even though you’ve experienced just how much it can hurt . . . maybe you get lots of true loves, then. Maybe that’s the gift you get for being brave.”

One True LovesAllow me to have this moment of high fiving myself for picking amazing books to read lately. If you know me, I’m always, ALWAYS on the lookout for new-to-me authors and this time, I picked Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Let me correct that. I actually finished this book more than a month ago and I’m writing a review just now. Let’s just say that I was completely overwhelmed by what I have read and I had to let it sink in before gathering my final thoughts on it.

The premise of this story sounds a lot like this Pinoy afternoon drama series on TV but I picked this up mainly to know how you could ever pick between two loves?

I just got married recently and being my old fashioned self, I take my vows seriously. My vows were words I said that I truly felt and promised to live by.

However, One True Loves introduced us to Emma, Sam and Jesse. To make the story short, Emma married her high school sweetheart, Jesse who went missing on a helicopter accident on their first wedding anniversary. That part alone gutted me. I could feel the devastation, the depression and the helplessness. How Taylor managed to make those emotions come alive is beyond me. The pain is raw and gripping. I felt Emma’s pain and loss. It was all consuming and I could understand how it seemed like the world became a black abyss after the tragedy.

It was a painful process but slowly, Emma picked up the pieces of her life back and started to question what she really wants. By this time, I felt empowerment. I felt motivated and inspired. In my mind, I was saying “Go Emma!” because she was being bold and brave. She became alive again. It was a beautiful resurrection of sorts because she started reevaluating her life and what she wants out of it. She started reinventing herself and discovered a different side to her.

As she took control of her life back, she reconnected with Sam – former schoolmate and employee of her parents’ business. It was friendship and finding love all over again.

(Let it be known that I already prematurely picked a favorite between the two boys. As lovable as they both are, there was one who stood out more for me and made my heart really happy.)

This is a story of strength, acceptance and growth. It’s a story of finding love, losing it and finding love all over again. However, this time around – she found that her seemingly late husband is very much alive and instead of finding one love, she found two.

I fell in love with this book. But just the same, I hurt for the characters in this story. There’s no way you could wrap this one up without one or two hurting along the way. But I guess that is the beautiful yet painful thing that the author is teaching us – that love comes in all forms, it’s in staying but it can also be in letting go.

To be honest, I had a hard time accepting the ending but I understood it. In my heart, I knew that it was right. My mind was telling me that it was wrong but you cannot fight what you feel. It took a while for me to come to terms that the ending is logical, based on pure love and not forced. But in reality, I think I would be disappointed if the ending were otherwise.

You cannot fault Emma for her actions and decisions unless you have walked her shoes. It’s easy to judge and make quick decisions but if you really digest and think it through, Emma’s situation was a terribly tough one. You cannot salvage both hearts. You only have to choose one and in letting go of the other, you also lose a part of yourself. How could that be easy?

Taylor’s writing style is so flawless and beautiful. It just flows and touches your heart. It’s very easy to read despite her premise being very hard to digest. Being new to her work, I swear that this will not be the last TJR book that I will devour this year. And with that, I’m also positive that this is one of the few books that I will revisit and maybe reconsider my thoughts on.

Great book.

Beautiful characters.

Just get ready for the avalanche of feels.

Stars - 5


Review Headings -  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.

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