I received this book for free from Thomas Dunne Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on August 22, 2017
Genres: Adult, Chick Lit, Retellings
Source: Thomas Dunne Books
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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 . . .
I’ve always regarded Persuasion as my favorite Jane Austen novel so when I heard about The One That Got Away, I was immediately intrigued. There is something about the angst of a second chance romance that always draws me in and I love seeing the various takes on the classic novel. I dove into The One That Got Away expecting to enjoy it and I am not sure I did? I am also not sure I didn’t.
Retellings don’t have to follow the original storyline word for word but in my opinion a good retelling is at least very aware of the word for word storyline and has a fun take on that story. I felt like The One That Got Away didn’t really do that? It’s biggest tribute to the novel was essentially the second chance romance with a couple of throwaway characters that were parallel to some from the original story.
I think if it wasn’t marketed as a Persuasion retelling, I would have had different expectations and might have enjoyed the book more. To be fair though, my main problem with the book wasn’t even that it doesn’t really do much on the Persuasion end of things, it was that I didn’t really like the main character.
Ruby seems very full of herself and makes lots of odd remarks. Some which are just completely inappropriate and in one instance she makes a jibe at millennials even though she is technically a millennial herself (FYI, not all young people are millennial, 1982-2002 gen are the millennial.) She also has a very weird way of approaching her relationship with Ethan (who is actually a great guy) both in the present and past and I just want her to get her shit together but don’t have much of a desire to cheer her on.
Ethan is definitely the person I would want to cheer on and I really wish we actually got chapters from his perspective in the present. The story would have been much more interesting through his eyes and while I am rambling, can I just say that can we get a gender-swapped Persuasion over here?
Overall, I would not say that The One That Got Away was a terrible read because it wasn’t. I actually read it very quickly and I am trash for second chance romances so I would say there were moments that I actually did enjoy it. I just think it might be much much much more suited for screen than for a book and I would probably enjoy it more on-screen than on-page.
Final Verdict: Don’t read if you want a Persuasion retelling to blow you away, read if you just want a quick and easy chick lit novel to read.
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Amanda @ Vivalabooks
This sounded like a cute read at first, and I always like a good second chance romance. But I feel like I might have the same issues as you did with Ruby. Great review!