One True Loves wrecked me in the very best way. I loved Daisy Jones and The Six, but I wasn’t sure if any other books from Taylor Jenkins Reid would click with me, since I picked up the aforementioned book solely because it was about musicians. I am so very happy that I was wrong. There’s just something about the way Reid writes that entrances me. I don’t know what drew me to this particular book, because that cover looks like it houses a light, fluffy romance, which is exactly the opposite of what I’m currently craving in my reading life. While there is a lot of sweetness, there was nothing light and fluffy about this story, and I’m so very glad I read it.
“You can’t be loyal to two people.
You can’t yearn for two dreams.”
Imagine marrying your high school sweetheart, only to lose him right before your first wedding anniversary. Imagine spending years grieving that loss before finally picking up the pieces of your life and trying to move forward and start living again. Imagine finding a new love and building a life together, only to be wrecked in a completely different way when you find out that the love who thought was dead had been found alive. Suddenly the three of you find yourselves in an impossible situation where none of you did anything wrong. What on earth do you do? These might seem like spoilers, but all of this information is in the synopsis and the first chapter of the book. From there, we get inside glimpses into Emma’s relationships and history with both men in her life before we find ourselves once more in the present as she faces her heart-shattering choice.
“What else could you want in a person other than kindness and humor? I’m not sure anything else really matters to me.”
I relate so hard to the relationship between Emma and Jesse. That’s exactly my relationship with my husband. High school sweethearts who grew up together and whose relationship actually made it. But we’re also Emma and Sam, adults who find a childlike joy in one another’s company. We’re just that level of sappy. We’re musical and silly and madly in love. Chris is both of these men for me. While I read this book I was overwhelmed by my love for him and how insanely thankful I am to have him in my life. He’s who I laugh through life with. He sings with me in the car at the top of his lungs. He makes puns and song references and cheesy jokes, all with the sole intent of making me laugh. He’s’ the most helpful person on the planet. His is the last face I see at night and the first I see every morning. He’s my sous chef and my best friend and absolutely the love of my life. I can’t envision my life without him.
“When you love someone, it seeps out of everything you do, it bleeds into everything you say, it becomes so ever-present, that eventually it becomes ordinary to hear, no matter how extraordinary it is to feel.”
Reid did an amazing job at conveying true and honest grief in all of its painful steps. For this particular part of the book she swapped from third person storytelling to second person, and it was incredibly affective. I could so easily put myself in Emma’s shoes as she grieved, and I felt that this grief was incredibly believable. If I was to lose Chris, I feel like my phases of grief would closely mirror Emma’s. However, I don’t know that I could move into a new romance like she did. I don’t blame her a bit for finding a new love. The fact that a heart can hold two such powerful loves is absolutely amazing. But I don’t think my heart has that capacity. Chris is it for me.
“I don’t think that true love means your only love.
I think true love means loving truly.
Loving purely. Loving wholly.
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.”
I’m not going to go any further into the plot, but I can honestly say that I had no idea how things were going to pan out. There were so many philosophical questions about love conveyed in this story that really made me stop and think. Reid’s characters were incredibly well-developed and believable, and I cared so deeply about the outcome that I felt heartsick in my real life. All in all, even though this isn’t exactly my genre and I didn’t agree with every decision made, I loved this book so much. I’m really excited to dive deeper into Reid’s back catalogue.