Told in alternating timelines between the past and the present, the past tells of Ella meeting Matt and having a crazy night with him and her friends after the party they were at is crashed by the cops. They spend the entire night coming up with wild ideas and saying yes to them all. It was a friendship, a bond, that was strong. Until Matt suddenly left town and broke contact. The present tells of Matt’s return, his wanting a second chance, and of recreating that special night a year ago. But can Ella forgive him for breaking her heart? And if she does forgive him, does he deserve a second chance?
I was a little unsure going into this book of how the two separate timelines would play out. Would the present give away major clues of the past’s plot? Would it be hard to follow? Would the recreating make it feel like I was reading the same thing twice? Turned out it was easy to follow, fun to read, and since each ‘night of yes’ had a different focus, it didn’t feel like it was the same thing repeated.
I really liked Ella. In the past timeline she was still getting over a breakup and hesitant about the feelings she was having toward Matt, but it was impossible not to fall for his shy charm. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences in her between the two timelines. Jake and Meg, Ella’s best friends, were loud and fiery together. They were dysfunctional in a way that worked for them because they could admit they were dysfunctional. The whole group of friends had a great dynamic that was so enjoyable to read.
The whole concept of the ‘night of yes’ game was a lot of fun, and slightly terrifying. Which was the point of it all. To be pushed outside your comfort zone by people you can trust, to be safe, to have fun. And they definitely had fun. I liked that it wasn’t a completely perfect night. There were definitely some bumps, some fights, some close calls, along the way but when they looked back on the night from the present, I could understand why it meant so much to them.
In the present, the night was more complicated. There were a lot of hurt feelings from Matt’s sudden departure and lack of contact. There was a lot of anger and frustration and longing. I loved that Ella stood up for herself and didn’t take Matt back just because he’d returned. She wanted answers, she deserved answers, and she knew she’d deserved better. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to root for Matt’s redemption in the present knowing that he’d disappeared and broke Ella’s heart, but he was sincere and trying to make up for his mistakes.
It was a fun, fast read with great, flawed characters. It had a cute build up to romance and a strong friendship that was present throughout the whole book.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.