Published by Harper Teen on June 16, 2015
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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.
The Night We Said Yes is told in alternating chapters. Both are from Ella’s point of view but one is the night she met Matt and the other is present day, 6 months after he left her and broke her heart. Now he’s back in town and he seems to want to pick up where they left off. The similarities and differences between the two nights are what make this book so perfect. Ella and Matt are so naive and open to anything when they meet. A year later, things are very different but recreating the night they first met brings back old feelings. It also helps them come to terms with who they have become and who they want to be going forward. One night changes everything for them, both for good and bad.
Ella was adorable. She was nerdy and fun and kinda shy and she just reminded me a lot of myself. Her progression throughout the course of the book was intense. Her personality remained the same but she quickly started to take control of her life and decide who and what she wanted in it. Matt was adorable but he made some stupid choices. I had a hard time liking him after finding out what he did to Ella and why but he grew on me. As I learned more and more about his past, I found myself feeling bad for him and wanting Ella to forgive him. He was definitely a flawed character but I liked how he tried to redeem himself.
The secondary characters are what really did it for me though. The friendship between Ella and Meg was so perfect. They fought but they always came back to each other because that is what true friends do. The relationship between Ella and Jake was great too. Sure he was her friend as well as her best friend’s on-again, off-again boyfriend but he was also kinda like a big brother to Ella. He looked out for her and he stood up for her, even when it was his own friend he had to stand up to. Barker and Gaby were cute too but they didn’t have as big a role as Meg and Jake. Also, while Meg and Jake’s relationship may have been a bit toxic, I was definitely rooting for them.
Overall, The Night We Said Yes is perfect for fans of contemporary novels. It’s a quick read that left me with a smile on my face. I can’t wait to see what’s next from Lauren Gibaldi.
What others are saying about The Night We Said Yes:
YA Midnight Reads’ review: “Overall I found myself distant and uncaring about the characters and relationships in the novel.”
Writing My Own Fairy Tale’s review: “I really enjoyed this book and I definitely recommend it to fans of YA contemporary romances.”
Book Nerd Addict’s review: “Her writing style is effortless and enjoyable and would recommend this book to anyone that loves friendships and summer reads.”
“I’ve spent my life on the road, trying to find home, when really, you were always home to me.”
“It was my favorite part of the night – when the evening’s events were still unknown and unpredictable. It was the sense of possibility that I loved, the idea that anything could happen next.”