Monday, 5 September 2016

The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away

by Melissa Pimentel

3 out of 5

Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren't.

Ten years later, Ruby's single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There's barely time for a trip to England for her little sister's wedding. And there's certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can't help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago? Because there's nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past...

Ruby is always on the go, but is forced to stop and face her past, when she attends her sister's wedding. She knows that she will have to see Ethan, the only guy she has ever loved.

I won a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

This is a nice book.
Each chapter is either "Then", slowly revealing how Ruby and Ethan got together and why they broke up ten years ago. Or "Now", with Ruby as a workaholic in New York, trying not to pine over the now-millionaire Ethan.

Ruby's sister is determined to have the perfect wedding, which involves flying their American families over to the North East of England, to a lovely castle setting. Which is quite the contrast to the bustling New York life Ruby has been living.

There are unresolved family problems, that all come to a head and have to be faced. I particularly liked the dynamics between the girls and their step-mother.

The characters are all pleasant enough. They are all quite real and believable, and play their parts. There was no one that stood out as particularly interesting.
I liked that Ruby has spent years toughening herself up so she can be completely independent. It is hard for her to let anyone in, as there's no room in her work-based life.
Ethan is charming and confident and universally liked (well, now that he's a millionaire). He's level-headed and good at controlling his emotions and handling difficult situations. Talents which he had as a poor bartender.

The downside.
Every part of this book has been done before, and done better.
And I don't just mean the original Persuasion, but the numerous books and films that share the tropes, cliches and characters of "The One That Got Away".
Ruby's angst for seeing Ethan again wasn't angsty enough.
Ethan's... whatever Ethan was feeling wasn't apparent enough. I couldn't tell if he was angry, frustrated, depressed... I had to assume that he was indifferent.
There was no conflict in their reunion. Sure, there were distractions, but it was clear it was padding for time.
Madison and Chris were never going to distract Ethan and Ruby.
The "Then" sections were without excitement or surprise. You kinda know what if going to happen all the way. The only big reveal - why Ruby felt she had to break up with Ethan - was dragged out too long, and I felt it was told too late in the story.
I didn't find it particularly witty, funny or dramatic.

So all in all, a nice, light read, but doesn't stand out.

Goodreads link

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