TITLE: The One that Got Away
AUTHORS: Melissa Pimentel
PUBLISHING: Thomas Dunne Books
RELEASE DATE: August 22nd 2017
GENRE(S): Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Chick LIt
STAR RATING: 3.5 ***
“MOVIE” RATING: R – Language
The cover INSTANTLY caught my eye and the rest is history. I needed to read this book. After I read through the synopsis and found out that it was a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, I needed to read this book even more. Since Jane Austen is one of my favorite writers, as well as many others, I was so happy that I was able to receive a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Ethan was probably my favorite character simply because he was such a gentleman and he grew to great heights in the face of adversity. Ethan wasn’t always rich and successful, he had put in the hours and worked hard to achieve this position and it seemed that he definitely earned it.
JUST KIDDING, I’ve decided that Ruby’s step-mother, Candace, is my real favorite. I think she was so raw and real, even though she wasn’t exactly a main character, but I really admired her and loved the chapters she was in. That’s all I’ll say for now though. Loved her.
Ruby was a fun character to read with, though I found out quickly that she was also a bit annoying. Maybe that’s why I kept going with this book. I couldn’t stop yelling at her in my head!
Ruby changes a lot throughout the book and I was rooting for her (or yelling at her) to finally find herself again before she moved to New York and began her life in such a different atmosphere than she was raised in. Though I admired that she could also work hard for what she wanted in the big city, she wasn’t being herself.
One thing that makes Ethan and Ruby so different from each other, I just realized, is that Ethan doesn’t have to prove anything to anybody. He does his work because he enjoys it and he’s smart enough to be a success. Ruby, on the other hand, feels that she has something to prove to her parents, Ethan, and maybe a little bit herself as well. When she leaves for New York, this is especially evident. Near the end, it’s really neat to see herself FINALLY realize that all her time in in New York was spent trying to prove to others that she could do it, she could accomplish her long-time dream; but forgetting herself in the process.
The book did a lot of flipping back and forth between Ruby and Ethan’s point of view AS WELL AS flipping back and forth between “then” and “now”. It was a little difficult to follow. There were many times while I was reading that I had to backtrack – especially if I had stopped reading one day and then picked it back up a few days later – to a point in the book that I remembered and then I could figure out which point of view I was reading from.
I don’t want to include spoilers in this review so I’ll just say that the time frame of REALISTIC problem solving at the end of the book was perhaps too quick for me. When a problem is presented, especially at the end, there doesn’t seem to be enough work put in for the outcome to be really what it would be. Does that make sense??? It sounds a bit confusing, even to myself, but I would have liked something that didn’t have such a rushed ending.
I realized that the similarities between Persuasion and The One that Got Away came down to this: Ruby and Ethan were in love with each other, broke up, and then 10 years later they get the opportunity to come back together again. That’s about where the similarities stop, unfortunately. I was SO looking forward to reading a real Persuasion retelling and this just was not quite what it is advertised to be.
But when it comes down to the writing, I thought this was well-written and a fun (sometimes funny!) novel to read! It was something light that I picked up and once I was reading, I couldn’t put it down. Sure, there were things that weren’t perfect for me, as the reader, but it was a fun, easy read. Maybe just not one to read if you’re sensitive to language because there definitely is enough potty words in this book.
ABOUT Melissa Pimentel:
Melissa Pimentel grew up in a small town in Massachusetts in a house without cable and therefore much of her childhood was spent watching 1970s British comedy on PBS.
At twenty-two, she made the move to London to do an MA in Modern Literature at University College London. She has lived there happily for ten years, though she still adamantly refuses to eat a scotch egg. Before meeting her fiancé, she spent much of her time trawling the London dating scene for clean, non-sociopathic sexual partners and blogging about it, which became the inspiration for her first novel.
These days, she spends much of her time reading in the various pubs of Stoke Newington and engaging in a long-standing emotional feud with their disgruntled cat, Welles. She works in publishing.
Love by the Book is her debut novel.