Book Talk: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

Book Talk: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren GibaldiThe Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
Published by HarperTeen on June 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Source: For Review

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



Ella and Matt, the new bass player in her friend’s band, meet the summer before her senior year after she’s just been dumped by her boyfriend months before. The night they meet deviates from what it ought have been and turns into a fun and crazy night of “saying yes” with Matt and her best friends. Six months later Matt leaves town and none of them hear from him….until he’s back and standing in front of Ella wanting to explain why he disappeared and wanting to recreate the night they met to show her he’s worth a second chance — something Ella isn’t sure can happen after he broke her heart and just left them all.

a2SUPER CUTE! Also, it would be really fun to have a night of saying yes like they do in the book but I’d be careful who I choose to partake in that hahah

a4This book was so cute & such an enjoyable summer read! I absolutely devoured it!

Here’s what worked for me:

1. The fact that it’s set in that summer after graduation and before freshman year of college: I remember that summer being such a BIG summer for me. It held all these infinite possibilities and your head got carried away with dreaming and planning and imagining. But it also produced so much nostalgia within — even though you hadn’t left already things were starting to look and feel different to you. Everything felt SO significant — this is the last time we would all be here together and doing this before everything changed. There was also fear and anxiety of the unknown. All of this that I can remember so clearly these 11ish years later? This is what Lauren Gibaldi wrote SO well in The Night We Said Yes. I could feel all that pulsing through these characters.

2. The juxtaposition of the romance storyline: Every other chapter alternates from the present (in which she is still missing Matt, who she never heard from again after he moved, and is now confronted with him when he returns to town) and the first night she MET Matt that sparked their relationship and is charged with so much of that energy that comes with crushing and falling for someone. Because of the alternating chapters, there is this constant tugging of emotions — okay, sometimes it felt like an explosion — as you feel that giddy first night as they fall for each other juxtaposed by the hurt/betrayal/confusion that’s laced with a longing that hasn’t stopped since he left. You feel that push and pull of her confusing feelings towards him intensely because we are getting the ups right next to the downs rather than in a linear way. This book was so sweet and romantic but MAN did my heart hurt for her through this whole thing.

3. The short time frame & how fun their night of saying yes to things played a part: Sometimes I love books that take place in a day and sometimes they fall flat for me. This one DEFINITELY worked for me. I loved that each storyline (the past and present one) took place in one night — the night they meet and the night they are reunited. Both nights have this theme of “saying yes” to anything that is proposed — which could be dangerous and a bad idea but was totally fun! It had that carefree feeling of being young and it kind of inspired me to tap into my teen spirit a little bit as I approach 30 in October and say yes a little more & push the limits like I feel like I used to be totally up for more often than I am now.

4. Excellent friendships: I loved Ella and her best friend Meg but I also loved the whole group of friends they had and all the complexities within it! I will say I honestly felt more depth with their friend group than maybe the individuals themselves? Like I liked the characters but THEY didn’t necessarily stand out to me individually as much as the group did.

There was an element that prevented it from ever getting to a LOVED IT type read BUT SPOILERS:

View Spoiler »


factors+PLUS+ how adorbs it was, the romance,  the writing, the FEELINGS
-MINUS-  the depth of Matt’s disappearing act, the characters didn’t themselves really stand out to me even though I still related to them if that makes sense?


a5contemporary YA lovers, people looking for a book set between high school and college, readers looking for a cute romance

a8The Night We Said Yes was a perfect read for a summer day — it had the sort of plot that kept the pages turning furiously and the romance that just was so unbelievably cute yet complex. The whole book was just hella fun while at the same time giving me a little kick of inspiration and nostalgia as I related to the story personally.



a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
What did you think about Matt’s disappearance? (label spoilers please!)



The Perpetual Page-Turner

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I have to agree about the part of Matt’s disappearance. I still think that there should be a lot more explaining to it, because it doesn’t really justify as to why he totally disappeared and even worse, why he did not even bothered to keep in contact. But yes, I absolutely love this book!

    • YES I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt like that. Like I enjoyed the book but that just felt off to me and I kept hoping through the book it would be talked about more in depth.

  2. I completely agree with this! We were reading this one at the same time too 😛 Matt leaving (and the lame-ish reason for it) didn’t really click for me. I think the timeline of her “forgiving” him for it was reasonable – she didn’t let it happen right away – but it was kind of a silly reason. He should have opened up to her, because clearly they had major feelings for each other. I was also disconnected from the characters; I feel like I definitely related to and enjoyed them, but they felt a LITTLE flat. I wasn’t attached to them really. The THEN/NOW thing was definitely my favorite part of the book. The summer before college is so huge and this book captured a lot of what that feels like. Love this review and totally agreeee

    • Too funny that we were buddy reading without even knowing!! YES I so agree with you. I was really pleased about the timeline of her forgiving him and how realistic it seemed — like okay the stuff he was going through was legit but his reason was ugh and I think she had to think through that like if she could trust him and work through the hurt of him NOT telling her, etc.

  3. I’ve seen this around a bit but hadn’t considered picking it up. I don’t see many summer before college books (or at least I can’t think of any off the top of my head!), so maybe I’ll pick up a copy sometime. It seems like it’s worth the read!

  4. Great review, Jamie! I’ve been seeing this book everywhere and it has been on my TBR for a while so I think I’ll give it a go!

  5. I read this one and I LOVED it. I love books that take place the summer before college, because like you said, there’s infinite plans and anything is really possible.

    I’m really kicking myself for waiting so long to read it. I just had a feeling I would love it. I thought pretty similarly to you! I loved that it took place in the summer and the alternating chapters a ton. I’m not really sure if the characters stood out to me. As for Matt…I wish that had been fleshed out a LOT more. It was weird really… On the bright side, there’s “Matt’s Story” so maybe we’ll hear a bit more about his disappearance!

    Other than that, I totally loved it! I’m glad you enjoyed it too. 🙂

  6. This isn’t the first review that mentioned Matt’s disappearance being a weak point in the book. I like the idea of this one although it never quite caught my attention enough to add it to my to read list. I weirdly feel like my summer reading has been over-saturated with summer before college reads (some better than others) so it’s interesting to see this one falling into that too. My all-time favorite book about the summer before college (and taking place over the course of a night) is definitely The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando.