(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Also by this author: Autofocus
Published by HarperCollins on June 16th 2015
Genres: Dating & Sex, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti! What happens when Matt and Ella reunite one year after their breakup? Are second chances really possible?Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over her ex-boyfriend and graduate high school—simple as that. But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player—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.But then Matt leaves town, breaking Ella's heart. And when he shows up a year later—wanting 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.
You all know I’m a sucker for a cute, sweet, romantic YA and this one totally hits the mark if that’s what you might be looking for.
We first meet Ella in the “after Matt” period. She’s bound and determined to get over him and graduate and get out of dodge and experience new things.
When her best friend drags her to a party, she certainly doesn’t expect to run into him after he abruptly left town all those months ago.
The story is told in alternating timelines, with every other chapter being one from the past and one from the present. I have to admit, I’m not always a fan of this, but I think Gibaldi definitely pulls it off. It definitely helped to build the history between Ella and Matt and put a frame of reference on the relationship they had prior to him leaving.
It also establishes the perfection of this title. As you might have guessed… the night they meet, Ella, Matt and her best friends Meg and Jake decide that they have to say yes to everything within reason… and so they do. But in the present Ella is left to figure out why Matt left Orlando the way he did and he’s not giving up the story so easily.
So here’s the thing, I thought the relationship between Ella and Matt was just kind of ho hum. I wanted … I don’t’ know… more. I felt bits and pieces of their connection and the sweet, romance of it, but when you finally get to the present chapter where he reveals his secret I just kind felt all blah about it. It didn’t fully work for me as an excuse and reason for his actions.
But let me tell you what I did love and what really kept me hooked on this story. The friendships. I loved Ella’s relationships with each of her friends and I really enjoyed that the secondary characters here played such a big part in the story. I mean I think I was more invested in Meg and Jake and their drama than I was in Matt & Ella.
This was seriously a quick read, the alternating time frames definitely keep the story moving along … it’s almost as if you’re reading two stories that eventually merge and I really thought it was well-done.
If you’re looking for a quick, light summer read, definitely put this one on your list! I think this would be perfect for parking yourself on the beach and devouring!
Thank you to HarperTeen for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts!