ARC Review: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi!

The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

I realize some of your jaws may have just dropped, that some of you may have just fainted, and the other half of you are probably in the midst of having a heart attack. If this is the case, please call 911 IMMEDIATELY because all of this may lead to serious brain damage by reading what I’m about to say next.

…I read a CONTEMPORARY novel…

WHO AM I?!?!

Okay, now that that’s over, please seriously let me know if you need me to call 911. Nori and Emily, I already have an ambulance on the way. You guys just sit tight and keep trying to breathe, okay?


The Night We Said Yes:


Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: June 16th, 2015

Goodreads Rating: 4.00 stars

Pages: 304


“A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!

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.”

You can buy this book on Amazon here!

You can buy this book on Barnes & Noble here!


About Lauren:

“I’m an author of young adult novels and public librarian. I’ve been, among other things, a magazine editor, high school English teacher, bookseller, and circus aerialist (seriously). I have a BA in Literature and Master’s in Library and Information Studies, both from Florida State University. I currently live in Orlando, Florida with my husband, daughter, and ever-expanding collection of books. (I mean, it comes with the professions, right?)

I love dinosaurs, pasta, musicals, and cheesy jokes.”

This information is from Lauren’s site! You can visit her website here!

Also, she’s the sweetest!!! =)


My Review:

First, I have to say THANK YOU to Wendy at The Midnight Garden for selecting me as the winner of their ARC giveaway and sending my name off to the publisher! Also, I have to thank HarperTeen for donating their ARCs to this giveaway and sending this book to me! YOU’VE OPENED MY EYES! Thank you!

I was hesitant to read this book, just because it was a contemporary. I will repeat that I AM NOT A CONTEMPORARY READER! But I will happily admit that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK! Even though I had a breakdown and a huge crying/pity party in the middle of reading it, it was amazing. =)

1. The main character was extremely relatable.

Ella is a just graduated senior in high school who encounters the love of her life for a second time after he ran away from their relationship. Through this entire book, Ella was a wonderful character to grow with as you saw her struggle with her own morals, emotions, and heart. She reminded me a lot of myself when I was her age, maybe even a little more mature than me, and it really touched home. I felt like I was honestly living through this break up all over again: her pain was my pain, her happiness was my happiness. She’s probably one of the most relatable characters I have yet to meet in YA fiction. Maybe I should start reading contemporary again?! (P.S. I’m currently reading Emmy & Oliver… WHO AM I AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH ME?!)

2. The past and present POVs.

This novel is written in both the past and the present. It tells the story of Ella and Matt when they first met a year ago and when they are meeting again after their bad break up. Going back and forth between the two time periods honestly was a relief on my heart. Through one chapter my heart was getting ripped apart and the next chapter it was gently getting pieced back together again. It gave the reader a really nice relief from being overly emotional in one way or another… The pain in my chest was still there though. I did still cry, though I really don’t want to admit it. 

3. Meg and Ella’s friendship.

Through my life I’ve never had a friend like Meg. I’ve always been more like Ella and I’ve never had someone who has stuck to my side through it all. My heart honestly aches for it and I miss having friends like her. Meg was amazing. She was still flawed, but beautifully so in the way that you can tell she honestly cares for Ella and her well-being. She’s an amazing friend and all I can say is that I’m so jealous of Ella for having such a friend in her bookish life. Their friendship is truly inspirational and touching. 

4. The moral/lesson of this story.

It’s something we all have to learn eventually in relationships. I won’t give it away, because I hate when people spoil the endings for me, but there’s a conversation that happens towards the end that’s just plain beautiful. It gives a perfect moral for the main character and makes you honestly think about what you want in your life as well. I can’t say too much more, but I can say that you just need to read it. 

The one thing I wish there was a little more of was character depth for Matt. Ella is a beautiful character and Meg is an amazingly true friend. You dive into their depths and get to see their inner workings in many ways, but I find myself wishing I could also know a bit more about Matt. I understand why you don’t get as much about him though, which I think many of you will understand as well if you read it. The story isn’t about him; It’s about Ella and her acceptance of her heart. (PSSSTTTTTTT I just found out that Lauren is having Matt’s story published as a novella. Well, THAT SOLVES THAT PROBLEM! It comes out August 8th. Check it out here! Or on Amazon here!)

Overall, I honestly think you need to give this book a try. It is well worth a read and I highly suggest it to contemporary readers who like a light, emotional, and relatable story. It made me cry, it made me rethink my past, it made me laugh, and it made me wish I could have what she has. Not many books can do that…

5 out of 5 hearts for The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi.

Also, HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Deanna Schwartz for winning our ARC copy of The Night We Said Yes! I hope you love it as much as I did! =)


Coming Up:

Reviews that you won’t want to miss:

Tangled Webs by Lee Bross

Henrietta the Dragon Slayer by Beth Barany

The Leveller by Julia Durango (Plus a giveaway!)

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway (Plus a giveaway!)

I hope you all have an amazing rest of June! 

 ❤ Kelly

6 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi!

  1. I’m firmly in the fantasy/sf fiction camp, but ever since I read Everything, Everything yesterday I’ve been wanting to pick up more contemporary fiction. This one sounds excellent, especially with the friendship and relatable characters.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and review 🙂


    • Any time! I’m doing the same exact thing. I’m a strong YA fantasy reader and I am starting to miss it, but I love TNWSY! I’m also reading Emmy & Oliver right now and I’m really liking it. It’s a wonderful slow burn at the moment!!! 🙂 I’ll let you know how I feel by the end! Feel free to throw some recommendations you find you love my way as well!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh thank goodness you knew to send that ambulance my way! Did not think I would make it through that.

    I still have a strong need for this book, and your review made it an even stronger need.


    • I fully support your strong need for this book! I would let you borrow mine, but I unfortunately gave it away!

      Also, I’m glad you’re alive and well and that the heart attack didn’t kill you. You know how much I need you in my life!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I hope so as well!! I really did love it. I know it didn’t work for some people, but it hit excruciatingly close to home for me. It’s beautifully written and to top it off, Lauren is the biggest sweetheart! ENJOY!!! Let me know what you think when you finish!!! =)


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