Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Series: No

Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction, Romance, Adult Fiction

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Format: e-book

Source: Edelweiss

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


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.

My Thoughts

Warning: Prepare for much gushing because One True Loves has shot to the top of my favorites of 2016.

As soon as I read the synopsis for One True Loves I knew it was one that I had to read. I was instantly intrigued and wanted more. So imagine my delight when I began reading and found that it was even better than I had hoped.

"You are my one true love. I don't even think
I'm capable of loving anyone else." - Emma

Emma had loved Jesse since high school. From her crushing on him from afar in her freshman year, to their first date over two years later, I loved seeing the start of their relationship. Getting to know Emma and Jesse, and being a witness to Emma and Jesse getting to know one another, laid an incredible foundation for the story to come. Ten years of love and laughter - until suddenly it was gone.

I cried for him, and for what I'd lost, and for 
every day left of my life that I had to live without him.

Reid does an amazing job of leading the reader through Emma's very emotional journey. The angst-ridden adolescence when she yearns for more from her life, the heady excitement of first love and the contentment in a relationship she cherishes, the shock and devastation over Jesse's apparent death, the overwhelming grief, the acceptance and eventually the willingness to move forward - and then the feeling that her entire world has shifted yet again when she learns Jesse is alive. Through every event, every phase of Emma's life, I was completely invested and felt such an emotional connection with her. 

I don't think that true love means your only love.
I think true love means loving truly. Loving purely. Loving wholly.

With Jesse's return, after Emma has finally found her footing in her new life and also found love again, Reid created a situation with no easy answers. There was no bad guy and no matter what choices were made, everyone involved was hurting. About halfway through the book I knew what I wanted to happen. I knew what choice I hoped Emma would make. The fact that it didn't happen that way (was, in fact, the exact opposite) and that I was still so completely satisfied with the ending is a testament to Reid's amazing storytelling.

One True Loves wasn't just the next book I picked up - it was a reading experience. One that was bittersweet but completely worth the journey. And I hope you'll experience it for yourself. Because in case it isn't obvious, I highly recommend reading this amazing story. It moved me, it bruised and battered my heart, it made me laugh and cry, and it provided such an incredible message of healing and hope that it was impossible not to put the book down feeling like I had just read something unforgettable.

This was the first novel I've read from Taylor Jenkins Reid but it won't be the last. I'm ready to dive into every novel she's written and hope that every single one will be as exceptional as One True Loves. Because this was an absolute gem. 

5/5 Stars 
Have you read anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid?
What was the last 5-star book you read? 


  1. I loved this one too. But I think we were on different teams!!! I figured I was in the minority :) I do agree there were no bad guys here and I just felt for everyone involved. Her stories are amazing! Great review!!

    1. Thanks Grace! I loved how I was hoping for one outcome but by the time the opposite happened I was totally on-board with it. It was just... right. I can't wait to read more from her!

  2. Great review, Tanya! Much more thought out than mine. Lol!
    I am on the other side, Emma's choice was the one I wanted. Like you said, she was in an impossible situation. But I saw her new person as being right with that person. Not to discount the other love she shared, but I didn't see them being right for each other anymore.
    Definitely a book that was thought provoking and compelling. I also can't wait to get into another of her books. New favourite author, yay!

    1. Well I doubt that! I'm about to head over to your blog shortly to read up on what you had to say about it.
      I was definitely caught up in the heartache and nostalgia of the past. But by the time the ending came around I was totally happy with it. It was the right thing.
      Hooray for new favorite authors!

  3. I have one of her other books on my TBR but I now can't remember the name. Sheesh. I just keep hearing how great her books are. I cannot wait to dive. Love this review!

    1. Thanks Jazmen! I tell ya, this one book has me totally sold on Taylor Jenkins Reid. Instant new favorite author. And I'm dying to read her other books now!

  4. Oh my goodness, Tanya. I can tell this was an emotional read and one that deeply touched you. I think I'd like the way you get to follow Emma, grow up with her. I can see it'd make for a stronger connection with her. And I'm very curious as to how it all happens and how it all works out. Lovely, lovely review, my friend. :)

    1. Thank you so much, Brandee. Yep, this one definitely had an impact on me. Not something that happens often but when it does... wow. I am beyond impressed with any author that can create such realistic characters and make me have such a visceral reaction to what they are going through. I'll be reading everything from TJR!

  5. THIS sounds fantastic! I love that you mentioned there were no bad guys in this situation, especially because of Jesse's return after all those years. Not his fault! Poor guy, he was just trying to get back to her!
    Great review Tanya! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
    Emily @

    1. Thanks Emily! This one really was so, so good. One of those books that you finish and think "I am SO glad I read this. This was special." I can't wait to read more from her!