Monday, June 1, 2015

The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

Title: The Night We Said Yes
Author: Lauren Gibaldi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Rating: 1/5

The Gist:
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.

No, no, no, no, no. I am so annoyed with this book that I can barely be bothered to write the review.  First of all, the whole premise is flawed from the start.  The characters are supposed to be reliving a magical, romantic night in which they promised to say yes to all suggestions and dares.  In theory, it sounds fun.  In reality, it was a mess of whiny teenagers fighting with each other, punctuated by occasional running from the police.  There were very few dares, and those were lame and boring.  We were treated to the drama of not one, but two couples and one or both of them was constantly bickering.  
The main character managed to be both boring and infuriating.  She showed zero personality and suffered from a serious case of "my life is incomplete without a boyfriend" syndrome.  She didn't seem to have any interests other than tagging along with her friend, Meg, and watching their friend's band play (Note: I always find it incredibly unrealistic when books feature teen bands that a) have actual gigs b) have actual fans and c) are provided enough autonomy by their parents to pull off the shit they do).  The most irritating part was that, after getting a more than reasonable explanation for her ex-boyfriend's disappearance and inability to tell her why (including some serious family issues that his parents did not want him to speak about) she continues to pout, whine, and stamp her feet in some childish temper tantrum because he didn't trust her enough to tell her anyway.  All this, despite the fact that they had dated for only a few months.  It was at this point of the plot (which was pretty early on) that I started to tune out.  

The rest of the story consisted of re-hashing their "one perfect night" and Ella convincing herself that she should give Matt another chance, despite the fact that she was leaving in 3 months.  UGH! whiny teenage crap.  This book was not romantic, it was not exciting, it didn't even have a point.  Leave it on the shelf.

Teaching/Parental Notes:

13 and up
Sex:  Kissing
Violence:  None
Inappropriate Language: Piss, Fuck, Bitch
Substance Use/Abuse: Underage Drinking, Smoking
Other Issues: Drinking and driving


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