One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Book Review)

Publisher: Washington Square Press
Page Count
: 302

CW: loss of a loved one, suppressed trauma

I’m slowly making my way through Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bibliography, albeit in reverse order. I just wanted to make sure that I read everything before their respective adaptations released (yes, that means The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is next. I will actually get to it. Don’t worry!) and I haven’t been mad at any of her books yet. Quite the opposite – I found everything I’ve read by TJR really human and easy to relate to – even if I did enjoy some stories more than others.
So far, I think I might like One True Loves best!? Malibu Rising hit some great notes for me and you all know that Daisy Jones & The Six won’t ever be my favorite, but I felt strangely connected to Emma’s struggle in this book, despite never having been in anything even remotely similar to her situation.

One True Loves is told with a Before and After, with POV shifts and at quite a fast pace. In the beginning, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to connect to some of the more emotional parts, simply because we were rushing through her love stories at an exorbitant speed, but I massively enjoyed the pace and never felt like I missed out on anything important. When we started, I thought that this woman was faced with an impossible choice and I had no idea who she was going to pick, if she was going to pick any of them, but the conclusion made sense and I loved that for her. This was just a simple “love triangle”, but rather an emotional tornado that held so much truth, honesty and vulnerability. I was in awe of the communication skills of the characters, because bad communication is a pet peeve of mine, but they articulated their needs, wants and fears so well. Of course, sometimes that wasn’t easy and/or well received, but the openness with which this hardship was approached was beautiful and heart-breaking at the same time.

“It’s a scary thought, isn’t it? That every single person on this planet could lose their one true love and live to love again? It means the one you love could love again if they lost you.”

It’s difficult for me to put into words what this book accomplished to evoke in me. It asks the question: What is true love? Something so slippery and hard to define, but something that felt so clear and easy here. It also dealt with change, how we don’t stay the same and therefore our partners and surroundings don’t either. Nothing, if you really think about it, ever does stay the same and this book made it okay. It doesn’t mean that what happened before has to be tarnished or bad somehow, you can still love and cherish it and appreciate it for getting you to where you are and who you are now. Even at the danger of repeating myself, that was such a beautiful gift from this book!

“I have changed over time. That’s what people do. People aren’t stagnant. We evolve in reaction to our pleasures and our pains.”

Lastly, you know how I am when it comes to grief – I seek these books like a bloodhound, relishing in the tears I’m about to shed and One True Loves? Such great grief rep. Obviously losing a loved one is different for everyone and not even my own approach is the same every time something devastating happens, but I felt this was such a good approach to the topic and I really enjoyed the pain that came with diving into the matter.

Big shout out to the family in this book especially, because they did the best they could, which is so hard sometimes.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Highly recommend this if you are into complex love stories and just really human explorations of relationships (not even just romantic ones).

As I’ve mentioned previously, One True Loves has been adapted as a movie, starring Phillipa Soo, Luke Bracey and Simu Liu in the lead roles. There’s unfortunately no trailer yet, but I can already see everything unfold before my inner eye with these cast members. I’m genuinely excited for it and hope that the film will capture the same emotions, vulnerability and torn feeling. Not much more can be said for now, especially since there’s no official release date other than it being in 2022 and only one still has made it onto my timeline so far. I’m genuinely excited though! The cast seems fantastic either way.

One True Loves movie still of Phillipa Soo as Emma and Simu Liu as Sam

UPDATE 02/15/23

We have a trailer folks and while I think the editing for it could have maybe … probably … been a bit better, I’m excited for the movie. Check it out:

Have you read this TJR book? Do you want to? Where would it fall in your ranking? Let’s chat!

11 thoughts on “One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Book Review)

  1. I have loved Reid’s three most recent books (Daisy and The Six was my fav), so I want to give this a book a read too. The movie casting looks great, I look forward to watching it!


    • A couple factors played into why Daisy Jones unfortunately wasn’t for me with the most prominent being that I don’t enjoy stories with a heavy focus on substance abuse. It’s a very me reason. I’m looking forward to reading more of her books though 🙂 I’ve yet to be really disappointed and I hope you’ll like One True Loves as well. I really like the casting too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg, I had no idea it had been adapted but I love Soo and Liu so that makes me even more excited for it… Although I’m not a fan of love triangles because I’m weak when it comes to angsty romance! 😂 Probably why I still haven’t picked this one up despite having bought it ages ago. I still need to work my way through TJR’s backlist too but her books always hit all the emotional buttons for me. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They really haven’t done the best of jobs at promoting this movie so far. I guess their initial marketing plans were disrupted like for so many other movies though.
      It definitely didn’t feel like a traditional love triangle to me. There was no malice and the decisions from all parties made perfect sense to me. That’s kind of rare.


  3. Ok unpopular opinion, but I kinda liked this the least in all of her books. true, it has an amazing grief rep, can’t deny that, but just given her overall trajectory of fictional stories, this just fell flat for me! But also i read it like 4 years ago, so maybe i find it diff this time?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmm I don’t think that’s such an unpopular opinion? This is only my fourth book by TJR (or third if we discount Evidence of the Affair), so I don’t know where it really ranks in her bibliography overall. I just know that I personally couldn’t really get into Daisy Jones and the Six, so that’s my bottom for now.

      Liked by 1 person

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