By: Larissa | May 13, 2015 | (55) Comments

Review: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren GibaldiThe Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: June 16th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 304
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.

Okay, I’m in a baking mood. So, let me introduce to you today’s recipe: the formulaic and completely forgettable The Night We Said Yes. 

Begin by preheating your contemporary romance trope oven to a mild 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Begin mixing everything into a large glass bowl. For this recipe, you’ll need the very bland Ella™ vanilla flavoring.  The vanilla is the main ingredient and will wow you with its overwhelmingly paper like personality. Ella™ is inseparable from the next ingredient, though it’ll pale in comparison of course in every way shape and form. The next ingredient is Meg™ sugar which will completely overpower the previously mentioned vanilla and always be in the limelight. It’ll be exactly alike another well known and adored recipe (Since You’ve Been Gone) however with the key difference being that the Ella™ will never grow into its own and will forever be in the shadow of Meg™In that way the combination of both the vanilla and the sugar becomes that of a friendship in which one party dominates completely and, without even meaning, to becomes controlling.

The next thing you must add to the bowl is Jake™ ginger which is in a crazy on and off again relationship with Meg™An highly volatile ingredient,  it will constantly bounce between fighting and accentuating the flavor of  Meg™The stress and drama of the two conflicting ingredients will inevitably give you a headache and just add to the recipe’s juvenile tone. Furthermore, the addition of the ginger just on its own is incredibly problematic due to its toxic behavior to those near it. Jake™ ginger has a tendency to be over confident in its ability to satisfy and can come across arrogant. The branding for the ginger is also frankly sexist in nature and often treats women as if they’re nothing more than objects.  All of the other ingredients don’t oppose the negative sides of Jake™ but instead formulate several excuses and try to distract you from the ginger’s overpowering flavor.

We must now add the completely unrealistic underage party eggs to act as a backdrop for our next ingredient. With  cheetah like finesse we can now introduce Matt™ to the recipe. With some encouragement from our bestselling insta-love flour, Ella™ and Matt™ will join harmoniously & cling together in the super romantic backdrop presented by the eggs. It’s like love at first sight everybody, how precious. Then you must add some more ingredients: stereotypical teenage adventure bucket list chocolate chips (again, just like  Since you’ve been gone but done in a way less appealing fashion), previous relationship struggle baking soda, multiple pinches of makeover scenes and predictable and juvenile truth & dare butter. Place the bowl in the fridge to cool over for exactly one night. This one night will clearly be completely magical and be an obvious game changer. Like I’m talking this night will basically be on the level as world peace.


Alright, so that’s as far as I can go with this highly extended metaphor haha. Plus, now I’m really tempted to bake cookies. In short if you didn’t get it the recipe equals this book. Ella is the main character, Meg is the best friend, Jake is dating Meg in an off/on relationship and Matt is the love interest.  I made reference to another book Since You’ve Been Gone as it contained a lot of similarities.

I left off talking about the magical night that this book is titled after. I found it personally to be tame and typical. After this night, Ella and Matt date. We don’t see this really, it’s just told. They break up (isn’t it shocking that one night isn’t enough to form a strong relationship Hah). Anyway, Matt actually leaves Ella in quite the confused gilt as he moves away. Ella mopes a lot and basically becomes Bella Swan 2.0. By this I mean her entire character is based on the relationship she had and so Ella is just a shell of herself. Though when she sees Matt a year later OH MY GOD IT’S LIKE HER ENTIRE LIFE IS COMING BACK IN SCREAMING COLOR. Ugh. I personally don’t think it’s healthy for anybody to be so dependent on their partner that they can’t fully function. Am I alone in this way of thinking?

The rest of the novel is Matt trying to create the magical night that brought him and Ella together. Which isn’t appealing to me because I didn’t find that night that interesting the first time around.

Overall I found myself distant and uncaring about the characters and relationships in the novel. I found the storyline just reminding me of all the other contemporary summer romances I’ve read before. It was formulaic and had a juvenile tone. Unfortunately, I found myself annoyed throughout the entirety of this novel.

~Thank you HarperCollins Canada for the review copy~

1 Stars
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Larissa was born and still is living in the land of ice, snow and maple syrup. She's 18 years old and really has no idea what to do with her life lately. Larissa's plans are constantly changing--though there’s one thing has remained constant throughout her seventeen years, and that’s reading. It takes her to another world and puts her into impossible situations and that’s why she loves it so much.

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55 Responses to Review: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

  1. JennRenee says:

    I am so sad to hear this, i had high hopes for this book. IT sounded like it had promise. One problem I have with contemporary romances is finding ones that stand out. They are cute and fun or really deep but they have a ton of similarities, just like romantic comedies. So I have to find that totally sounds original or just be in the mood. which sometimes I am…. even at that i still need good character development. Not cookie cutter ones. This sounds like it has cookie cutter characters. So may pass on this one. Great review
    JennRenee recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday Ghostlight by Sonia GenslerMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah my hopes for this one were honestly quite low to start with haha. It seemed like your typical summer read and I found it to be exactly that. I believe your quite correct with that romantic comedies comparison (: This one most definitely did have cookie cutter characters…hence the recipe aspect of this review LOL.

      Thanks girl <33

  2. Oh this makes me sad. The hype surrounding this book is too much. I must say, I was suspicious. Like always when it comes to hyped books. I don’t know if I can handle this when she turns into a Bella 2.0. Great review Larissa! Thanks for the heads up 🙂
    Paula M. @ Her Book Thoughts! recently posted…GUEST POST: A School for Unusual Girls (Stranje House #1) by Kathleen Baldwin, Meet Georgiana Fitzwilliam + GIVEAWAY!!My Profile

  3. Yup, I’ll be skipping this one! Thanks for saving me from this Bella 2.0!
    Christy @ Novel Ink recently posted…Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt | Book ReviewMy Profile

  4. Eep, I’m thinking I’ll skip this one now. =(
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…{WoW #89} A Gathering of Shadow by V.E. SchwabMy Profile

  5. Katie says:

    That sucks that you didn’t like it. I think I’m going to read it anyway because I’ve heard good and bad things, so I want to see whats up with this book!
    Katie recently posted…Review: I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy NelsonMy Profile

  6. I was on the fence about this book – mostly because I figured the whole “repeat the past” thing has never worked out in my experience *coughGatsbycough*. Aaaandd now I think I’ll skip it – Since You’ve Been Gone is ten times better and I’d rather just reread that one 😉
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Saturated Reads: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah OcklerMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      LOL oh my god you’re so right. Can’t believe I didn’t make that Gatsby connection haha. I most definitely preferred Since You’ve Been Gone over The Night We Said Yes.

  7. THAT WAS THE BEST REVIEW EVER. But darn you I’m so hungry now. *thinks copiously about cake and cookies* ohhh, I loved Since You’ve Been Gone, but this seems like a very, um, awful rendition. And characters with no-personality KILL ME. They just do. I can’t. Nope. I get so bored. >.> So definitely skipping this one. (I confess, the cover and title kind of didn’t appeal anyway.x D)
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Me Being Me Is Exactly As Insane As You Being You // told entirely in lists? give it to meMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      WOW THAT’S QUITE THE HONOR [; Thank you Cait <33 Haha after this review I baked cookies. It was inevitable. I quite enjoyed Since You've Been Gone too, which is why the comparisons annoyed me so much I guess. AND YES I DID GET SO BORED. It was like a chore reading which is never a good thing

  8. Oh, this makes me so very sad! I wanted to love this one. I was so excited for it, the premise sounded fabulous, and also, I need to read it next haha. But your review was pretty much genius, so at least something good came out of it, right?
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Bite-Sized Reviews: The Cost of All Things, 5 to 1, What Remains, Made You UpMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, it was quite unfortunate indeed. I wanted to love this one too. But oooooo. Good luck reading this one! I hope you like it better than I did.

      And awww <33 Thank you Shannon, you made me blush (:

  9. Veronika says:

    Oh no, I was extremely excited for this book but based on your review I’m not sure I’ll enjoy it. Haha, I love the baking metaphor, though now, thanks to you I want to eat something sweet. Cupcakes probably haha.
    Lovely review. 🙂
    Veronika recently posted…Kiera Cass – The Heir (The Selection #4)My Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, it didn’t work for me at all sadly. Glad you liked the baking metaphor, and I apologize for the side effect [; LOL I ended up baking cookies myself.

      Thanks Veronika <33

  10. Nara says:

    Dang it Larissa, now I’m hungry haha.
    Well, this is definitely a book I’m going to avoid. To be honest, I wasn’t very interested in it in the first place because it did sound like it could be quite formulaic, but after your review, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to read this at all. Plus if it’s basically a badly done version of Since You’ve Been Gone, there’s probably not too much point in reading it.
    Thanks for the informative review! 🙂

    • Larissa says:

      Hahaha ooops [;

      Yeah, that may be the best for you. It was definitely formulaic and typical in my view. And yeah there’s definitely some parallels between this one and Since You’ve Been Gone. That’s an issue when I found the latter to be much better done.

  11. Kirsty-Marie says:

    Haha, the best gif ever after that. Yay, bad romance trope(I really want to cry at that, and a vanilla MC and well, all the others sound stereotypical and rather annoying and petty, to be honest. They break up (isn’t it shocking that one night isn’t enough to form a strong relationship Hah) Buuuuuuuuut they were going to be together forever, dug. 😉 But seriously though, really? Here I thought it was going to be this big fun profound thing, and I’m like 30% in it so far after starting it last night, and just thought it was meh, and now I want to give up.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Fantasy In Real Life #FantasyIRLTag: Part OneMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Lol glad you liked the gif choice [; And ugh yeah this book felt so formulaic and typical. LOL guess I’m not as up to date on relationships started in a single night like you [; and yeah, no. Good luck finishing this one now. I hope by some miracle you end up enjoying this one more than me.

  12. First off, let me just say that I adore how you started this review. I laughed out loud for real. 😉 This entire review was fabulous and I loved it! Hands down the best review I’ve read in a while.

    Okay, as for the book. I haven’t read Since You’ve Been Gone yet, but I’m afraid of the best friend-overshadowing-the MC trope. Especially if the MC LIKES staying in the shadow of her friend. I’m here to read about your ~growth~, and not your lameness, thanks.

    “Unrealistic underage party eggs”–oh god. You should write a cookbook, Larissa. xD

    *Clears throat* Okay, so, obviously this isn’t my kind of book. As far as I know, I’ve never even added it to my TBR yet. Thanks for the hilarious review, girl! You’re a genius.
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    • Larissa says:

      Awwww Aimee <33 That is such high praise and coming from somebody who admire such as yourself??? Eeeeee. Thank you so much lovely.

      Yeah that trope is very iffy for me. I found it worked in Since You've Been Gone because it was addressed as an issue and rectified. However in this one it's never solved or seen as problematic.

      Hahaha wanna co-write a cook book Aimee? [;

      LOL. Thank you girl! Knowing your reading tastes I don't think you'd enjoy this one at all.

  13. Well, I certainly did not expect this to be insta-love. Sure, the title kind of say it, but I guess (or hope) that it won’t be an insta-love. Also, I didn’t expect that Ella will be Bella Swan 2.0 or she’s overshadowed by her best-friend (there’s a lot that I didn’t expect). Anyway, after reading your review, I’m not sure I want to read this book again, and I’m actually glad that my request was declined 🙂

    By the way, your review is funny! I admit that I was confused at first, but it’s unique. Great review, Larissa <3
    Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought recently posted…Review : Unravel Me by Tahereh MafiMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, I’m actually with you Tiffany. The insta-love came as an unwelcome surprise for me. I guess this one did have a lot of those. Lol guess you perhaps did get lucky with your request getting declined.

      Thank you girl <33 Glad you found it humorous and it made sense after a bit.

  14. Lily says:

    It seems that a lot of contemporary YA releases all seem to be following the same recipe these days (so I of course loved your baking lesson metaphor today, it was extremely adequate). I’m definitely not a fan of stories that remind me of other books and this one seems like it does. Add in that there was not overwhelmingly amazing about this one to set it apart form so many others and it just doesn’t seem like the right read for me *sigh*.
    Lily recently posted…All the Rage: ReviewMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah! I feel the same way, hence my little baking lesson [; This one definitely takes some of my least favorite tropes in the genre and mixes them to create a not so favorable product.

  15. Benish says:

    LOL at your review xD I actually DNF this which is a bit depressing because I did that for four books back to back, I didn’t expect the insta love. It’s something that makes me automatically dislike the book. Thank you for the honest review 🙂
    Benish recently posted…Staying Organized with your Bookshelf + Bookshelf Tour♥My Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Glad you found it funny [; Oooo, sorry you DNF’ed this one but I can definitely see why you did so. Getting through The Night We Said Yes was quite a chore for me.

  16. HAHA! I couldn’t stop giggling while reading the “recipe.” 😛 It’s so perfect for describing a book like this (as well as quite a few other books with a similar premise, but lackluster execution).
    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted…Review 168: Love, Lucas (Chantele Sedgwick)My Profile

  17. Oh, wow. You really didn’t like this. HAHA, that ginger bit was hilarious! Witty metaphor, Larissa. I approve 🙂 PS I LOVE your new blog design! I’ve been MIA for a while and I;m just now seeing it! The LOVE <3
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    • Larissa says:

      Hahah what gave you that idea? [; LOL.
      Thanks girl! Glad you enjoyed the metaphor, lol I started using it and just couldn’t stop. And awwww glad you love the new design

  18. Oh dear, Jake doesn’t sound like a very good ingredient for this cake. HAHAH unrealistic underage party eggs! Gosh what an incredibly unique and creative review! NO NO Not a Bella Swan 2.0, I had enough with 1.0. Nope, nope, I absolutely hated New Moon and this is giving me flashbacks. Noooo just no. Thanks for allowing me to express my completely ineligible thoughts!
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    • Larissa says:

      Hahaha nope. Jake was honestly such a jerk. And hell yeah you gotta have those Project X like parties. Because they definitely happen everyday in teenage life. And yeah the Bella Swan 2.0 definitely wasn’t appreciated, it was New Moon vibes for sure.

  19. Oh man this REALLY saddens me. I had so been looking forward to reading this. 🙁 But within the last couple of weeks I’ve read a lot of the same criticisms – that it’s very vanilla and juvenile. *sad face* The cover was so pretty too!
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, I was quite excited to have received an ARC of this one myself. It certainly is vanilla to the point where I felt completely detached. I didn’t have as much cover love for this one qas you though

  20. For sure, if you don’t care about the characters, there isn’t much chance for you to enjoy the story. I’ve read in a review that this book would be best on the big screen, do you agree? I think I will read it, only because I have a copy of it, but it does seem like a huge hit or miss so my hopes are not very high. Great review though, Larissa, and, omg, it’s been so long!!
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, that’s definitely for certain. Ooooo, perhaps this one would be better as movie. I feel like they could really make it work with some killer cinematography and soundtrack. I hope you do end up enjoying this one more than I do.


  21. I was planning on reading this book simply due to all the hype surrounding it. Unfortunately, it sounds like it did not at all live up to its expectations, which is SUCH a bummer. I enjoyed reading your honest review and especially enjoyed your baking metaphor. Thanks for the awesome review, Larissa!
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, there was quite a bit of hype surrounding this one. Hahaha, think I burst it a bit. I’m glad you enjoyed the metaphor and my review. Thanks so much girl <33

  22. Oh, Larissa, you’re such a genius with your review! I absolutely enjoyed reading that quite formulaic recipe 😉 That said, it annoys me so much when a book doesn’t even try to stand out and when it’s so uninteresting to read. Where are the emotions? Where is the connection?! WHY AREN’T YOU GIVING US FEELS?! Especially for a contemporary book, these are all so important because what you want to reach out to is the “relatability” in order to connect to the reader. Meh.
    Faye le Potato recently posted…Review + PH Giveaway: Vanishing Girls by Lauren OliverMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Awww thank you Faye <33 That's high praise coming from you and your genius. I agree that it sucks when books don't even make an attempt to not be like every other story in the genre. Like remember that vampire phase in YA in which every book was basically a carbon copy of Twilight?? Yeah this one is basically a copy of every typical YA contemporary trope.

  23. Celeste says:

    Incredibly creative review! Great job. Too bad the book is such a bland read. I’m in a contemporary mood, but I now know I don’t have to pick this one up.

    Thank you.
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  24. Ella says:

    Uh-oh. That bad? This might sound silly, but I have this little inclination to read books that has characters with the same name as I do 😛 But.. This sounds meh. So yeah, not reading this. :/
    Love your “formulaic recipe” Larissa! HAHA! Great review!
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah unfortunately I didn’t feel it at all. And no, that’s not strange in the least! LOL I’d definitely read a book if the MC had the same name as me. I have yet to find a book that’s met that requirement though [;

      Thank you Ella <33

  25. Valerie says:


    I have yet to read Since You’ve Been Gone, but seeing how that is superior to this book, I think I would rather read that instead of the latter. THANKS FOR THE WARNING LARISSA. This just sounds bland and boring 😛
    Valerie recently posted…Rochester Teen Book Festival!My Profile

    • Larissa says:

      <33 AWW YOU'RE MAKING ME BLUSH VAL. GLAD YOU LIKED THE BAKING ASPECT AND THE REVIEW[; Hahaha your joke about saying 'yes' to the review actually made me laugh~~~

      Yeah, my recommendation for you would just be to read Since You've Been Gone. Because The Night We Said Yes is just a poorly executed copy.

  26. TBH, this book has SO much hype that I was kind of second guessing myself on adding it onto my TBR on Goodreads. Hmmph. I find that I’m always the black sheep when it comes to books that everyone goes crazy about! Like just today, I read Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley and it definitely wasn’t for me. It wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t find it intriguing as it was described as the next TFIOS. BELLA SWAN 2.O? EW. I hated her, and I think we all certainly don’t want another clone of the most mopey female protagonist in the history of YA.

    Haha, I loved your highly extended metaphor! This seriously does sound like a recipe, and I think we all don’t want instalove, either! 🙁 I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one, and thank you so much for giving me a heads-up. I probably won’t go for this one until there’s literally no good contemporary books out there, hah. FANTASTIC review! (Now I’m hungry for real good desserts.)
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  27. Aila says:

    Great review! I really enjoyed your metaphor in the beginning. This sounds like one recipe I won’t be partaking of, haha. I have enough juvenile drama in my own life to read about unrealistic ones in books.
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  28. Splendid review format! Gods. I want cookies! Or caramel cake. Oh fudge. I’m excited for this book! Sorry to hear it frustrated you so much.
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  29. Pingback: Blog Tour: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi | Review + Favorite Quotes + Giveaway -Katie's Book Blog

  30. Lhya says:


    I recently finished this book and even when I write my personal thoughts of each book in Spanish(English isn’t my first language), I couldn’t find a single bad review about this book. And I needed so badly someone that thinks exactly what I think about this book. So I instantly felt in love with you.

    Is such a shame because the author did have a great idea to start with. But the development went to the trash.

    Your blog goes directly to my favorite ones. Thank you for the review!
    Lhya recently posted…The night we said yes, de Lauren GibaldiMy Profile

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