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The Night We Said Yes

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A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti! What happens when Matt and Ella reunite one year after their breakup? Are second chances really possible?

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over her ex-boyfriend and graduate high school—simple as that. But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player—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.

But then Matt leaves town, breaking Ella's heart. And when he shows up a year later—wanting 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.

294 pages, Hardcover

First published June 16, 2015

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About the author

Lauren Gibaldi

8 books314 followers
Public librarian and author of THE NIGHT WE SAID YES, MATT'S STORY (a Night We Said Yes novella), AUTOFOCUS, and THIS TINY PERFECT WORLD, all with HarperTeen / HarperCollins. Fan of dinosaurs and cheesy jokes. And you.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 701 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,946 reviews292k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
May 8, 2015

I only made it to 15% so positive reviews could convince me to try this one again, but so far it seems too silly and immature for me. I felt no connection with the characters and I get the feeling that the MC would just annoy me if I continued, especially because she has that whole Bella Swan-esque "I don't feel alive without my boyfriend to complete me" thing going on:

And since he left, I've simply been living in a cocoon, afraid to put myself out there again. Afraid to be let down again.
I miss that feeling of being alive.

Let me know if I misjudged it.
Profile Image for Ariana.
936 reviews1,303 followers
March 20, 2015

There's something magical about the books that happen during one night and all the possibilities they are filled with. There's something magical about first loves: the spark of a first touch, the uncertainty of a first kiss, the blush on the lover's cheeks.

And there's so much magic in a night when you would only say 'yes' - yes to new beginnings, yes to love, yes to forgiveness, yes to the crazy fun that can bring people together over and over again.

... There's something magical about "The Night We Said Yes".

I love to read books about friendship, books that show one that love can take many-many forms and that it can shape a person into something beautiful. I love books about self-discovery, books that take the characters on a journey that can change them forever. And I have a thing for books that happen during one night, filled with cute romances that flourish and friendships that get stronger with each page.. So many things can happen during such little time, and there’s so much beauty in that alone.

THE NIGHT WE SAID YES is a story about all that and more.

When it all starts (in the past, one year before) Ella is dealing with a breakup, her friend Meg wants to cheer her up by all means, their friend Jake (also Meg’s on and off boyfriend) has a new member in the band (Matt) and the four of them happily decide to fool around saying “yes” to all sort of silly things, just for the fun of it.

It’s a night of new beginnings, one without worries, one that brings them all together in different ways. It’s a night full of hope and love and smiles and (mostly) happiness.

But all great things come to an end and the present finds them in such a different place, filling some of them with regrets and unspoken apologies & unforgivable actions and, as a reader, I was intrigued and I wanted to find out what in the world happened during that year and how (or if) will they be able to make things right again.

One thing that I loved to pieces is the friendship between Ella and Meg. It is honest and relatable and I would love to see many more relationships like this one in YA books. In fact, all characters in this story are amazing and complex and well developed. And because this is a romance I must also confess that I fell in love with Ella and Matt. Not only on the first night, but the second time around just as much. They were cute, a tiny bit shy, but sweet and fun. They were perfect for each other and I deeply enjoyed watching their romance bloom.

What didn’t quite ring true: The motivation behind Matt’s disappearance. But the thing is, I didn’t actually mind it. The story was so sweet and beautiful, I only wanted them to fix their broken relationship and to be that perfect couple all over again.


4.5 stars - A lovely summer story that might steal your heart a bit. Keep an eye on it when it comes out if you are in a mood for a sweet romance and for a reason to smile ;)

…To be honest, I can’t wait to get my hands on a printed copy too!

Happy midnight reading!


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Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,690 reviews1,267 followers
August 31, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“What do you want to do?”
“How about… a night of saying yes.”

free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com

This was an okay YA contemporary romance, but it didn’t hold my attention well.

I didn’t really love the characters in this, they irritated me a bit, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be on a night out with them to be honest. I’d have been catching a bus home and spending the night with my kindle instead.

“Whenever Meg and I have a big night, we make a bracelet to remember the moment. So, each one represents a different experience.”

The storyline in this was about 2 separate nights – the night that Ella and Matt first met, and the night they met again, one year later, in the present, after Matt left Ella without explanation. The whole ‘the night we said yes’ was based on the night they originally met, when they played a game, where if someone asked you to do something, the idea was that you had to say ‘yes’.

Anyway, Matt and Ella met and had a relationship, and he then left without explanation. Matt and Ella then met again, and had to decide whether it was worth getting back together or not, and to be honest I didn’t really care all that much. Their night out was fairly dull, and the night they met was fairly dull too.

“Because it is him. Here. Standing in front of me. Looking like he never left. Looking like this is any other night and he’s stopping by to say hi.”

The ending to this was happy, so we did get that at least, but I didn’t really love the story. There wasn’t anything horribly wrong with it, it just didn’t interest me. And what the heck is a ‘bounce house’?
6 out of 10
Profile Image for Laurence R..
617 reviews87 followers
November 11, 2015

I love the entire concept of this book, saying yes. As a predictable person who has a hard time getting out of her comfort zone, I basically need someone to push me like that to make me enjoy life fully. In general, I think most of us, especially readers, since we tend to be more reserved, should say yes more often, to smaller and bigger things. It's the reason why I reached for this book in the first place, because it reminded me of what I should be doing.

I really liked the "Then" and "Now" chapters, since the past is as, or sometimes even more, interesting as the present. Matt and Ella's love story is a beautiful one, at least at first. I loved how confident she felt with him and how she could trust him so much without even knowing him. Being so similar to Ella, I was really happy to see that someone could make her feel this way. Matt's character is really intriguing and I absolutely loved his passion for notes and pictures left behind. Even without knowing someone like him, I felt like I could understand his character really well and I immediately liked him, maybe a little bit too much, actually.

Liking Matt so much made me see the whole "Now" story as repetitive and overly complicated. I was biased, obviously, because I immediately forgave him and I thought Ella was a bit too dramatic. I could understand where she was coming from, but I mostly understood Matt's attitude, even if I wouldn't have acted the way he did. The only reason why I didn't like this story as much as I thought I would was simply because I couldn't really see the point of arguing and hesitating when it was so obvious to me that Ella and Matt would get back together and I just wanted to see it happen.

I would recommend this book to everyone, even to those who aren't fans of dramatic love stories, because I like what the story tells us. Confidence and self-esteem are an important part of this book and it leaves us with a great moral.

Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,323 followers
July 13, 2015
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

---- Anaïs Nin, French-born novelist, passionate eroticist and short story writer

Lauren Gibaldi, an American author, pens her debut YA novel, The Night We Said Yes, which traces the life story of few high school teenagers making history and adventures in a night and is centered around the concept of undying friendships, first love, possibilities, making decisions and being brave and moving on.


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.

The whole book is narrated in a 'Then' and 'Now' format, in the begining it sounded pretty cool, but when same events started happening in the past and present chapters, it simply bored me to death. This book was a mistake for me, since I'm very choosy when it comes to YA. But over-dramatic YA stories are not my thing, even though, I'm a huge fan of contemporary romance. Right from the very begining, the story started revolving around the certainty and uncertainty of the relationships featured in the book, which I believe has no momentum and gravity for the readers to keep on moving forward with the story.

Ella is left heartbroken by a newbie, geeky-yet-charming-bassist, Matt. The night when they meet, they make a lot of histories and adventures (which is not that interesting) and instead of giving pace to Matt and Ella's instant closeness, the author throws Matt out of the picture from Ella's life. The reason is still very unclear to me. One year passes by, Matt is back again with a plan before Ella leaves for college and move on with her life. And predictably, Ella falls back into the same pattern. Oh and not to forget, Ella's friends, Mae and Jack are in the same type of on-and-off relationship drama, which is way too much to handle.

I thought in this book there will be something substantial to hold on to, but unfortunately the book is composed of very bad relationship drama. Moreover, there was no way, I felt connected to Ella or any of her friends. Ella's actions have no justification or whatsoever. Not only Ella, Meg, Jake and Matt, there actions seems to have no solid or proper explanations so as to why.

Yes, I agree with the idea of featuring flawed characters, but melo-dramatic and tugging on the same string type of characters simply mar the charm of the storyline. Ella is born to be insecure about Meg, Jake is born to be a dickhead, Meg is born to be dominating and Matt is born to be yet another jerk who first breaks up with Ella after their one night introduction, then again comes back for no reason and re-creates the same kind of night when they first met.

The story is not even close to reality, I mean how many people makes their whole universe to be surrounded by the guy that they met and got to know in just one night? Ella is totally dependent in that whatever-relationship with Matt, and it is evident from her demeanor when Matt comes back for the second time.

The writing is easy and fine, but unfortunately the storyline is terrible bland and makes no sense. But if you believe in that insta-love, insta-make-out concepts, then this book perfectly fits your bill.

Verdict: I respect every book, so I'll probably give it two stars just for the writing style and the pacing.

Courtesy: ARC received from the publisher.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
2,991 reviews363 followers
May 22, 2015
4.5 Stars!

I hate to admit this, but when I picked this up, I was in a sort of YA contemporary funk. I was so tired of the same old, same old and I really wasn't all that excited to start this. But, the synopsis looked original and fun and I was hoping like crazy that this debut novel would blow me away, get me out of my own head and most of all be fun. Something I seriously needed in order to get back into the groove of this genre.

Wonderfully written as it goes back and forth from the “now” to the “then” this novel was exactly what I needed and was looking for. A true breath of fresh air in the contemporary genre.

Matt and Ella were two characters that I instantly liked, felt for, and later, fell in love with.

So many moments in this made me stop and think and most of all smile as Matt and El told their story, the story of their past, and their future.

This truly was just what I needed. With amazing side characters that had a story to share every bit as much as Matt and El did, I loved every minute of this read and tried to savor it so it would never end.

A wonderful tale of first love, heart break, growing up, staying strong, and finally becoming that person you are meant to be with the help of those that love you, this was a great coming of age story that will be sure to please even those that are burnt out on the genre, The Night We Said Yes was a stand out novel that I'm so happy I took a chance on.
Profile Image for Rana⚡ .
82 reviews113 followers
June 5, 2018
Actual rating :2.5

Disappointed but not surprised! The writing was horrible, but at least the idea was nice.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,694 reviews702 followers
May 16, 2015
I was a little wary of this premise, but still pretty excited about it. I'm not a fan of the "ILY so let's break up" plot line, which I sort of assumed this was. I'm so happy to have been wrong.

First off, I loved the now and then alternating chapters. It's a clever way to tell the story and show us how everything happened. The emotions of each time frame are so strong and so different, yet the transition is smooth.

Ella and her group of friends are fabulous. I loved the dynamic. I loved how they all band together and support each other. There isn't any cattiness or bitchiness and even when the characters are fighting, it's out of love. It was quite refreshing to see such support.

There are definitely some swoons and sweet moments, but there's also anger and times I wanted to punch someone. The roller coaster is real and it's awesome. I loved every word on every page.

**Huge thanks to Harper Teen and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Larissa.
239 reviews42 followers
May 14, 2015
See this review at YA Midnight Reads

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.
Profile Image for Danielle (Love at First Page).
726 reviews621 followers
December 11, 2015
You know when you read a synopsis and think, "This is totally going to be a 'me' book"? Well, that's how I felt about The Night We Said Yes -- a cute and fluffy contemporary romance, set over the course of two 24-hour periods with alternating "then" and "now" chapters, two teens caught between first love and second chances. Sounds perfect. But, unfortunately, I didn't feel any connection to the story or to the characters. At all. The magic was completely missing. It's such a bummer because most of the reviews are great and I had really high hopes. Alas, Ella and Matt's story (and by extension, Meg and Jake's) failed to click with me.

This review can also be found at Love at First Page.
Profile Image for Caroline.
589 reviews804 followers
October 12, 2015
OKAY so I am actually giving this 2.5/5 stars. I rounded the rating down because three stars felt a little bit too generous and there were quite a few things that bothered me about this book. I was really excited when I got this in my OwlCrate last month because the synopsis sounds adorable and said it was about friendship which is always nice. I enjoyed this book just enough to keep me reading.. I'm just gonna fill this review with the things I found frustrating so here we go.

First, it bothered me that this debut novel was marketed as a story of romance and friendship because honestly those elements were meh. The friendship between Meg and Ella was sweet and believable enough, they seemed to really complement each other. That was the only relationship that I found to be authentic; all the others felt forced. The romance of this story was, admittedly, lovely. Having it conveyed through then and now chapters was a really sweet way of telling the story.

The two romantic relationships which are most heavily focussed on (Jake and Meg, and Matt and Ella) both seemed toxic to me. In one you have the stereotypical lead singer of a band who flirts with anything with boobs and the girlfriend who just puts up with it. They break up and then they are back together.. but it's okay because that's how their relationship works. Like no. That's not healthy.

Then there's Matt and Ella who I honestly found so frustrating. I can't deny that they were a cute couple in the 'then' chapters because I think they were adorable. Matt just leaves though and it breaks her heart. It would have been okay if this story was about her other friends helping her get through such a tumultuous time but nope. He comes back and she is so quick to let him back into her life because she is just drawn to him and she missed him. She yells at him a little bit, getting it out of her system and then la-de-fucking-da things are okay again.

This brings me to my second flaw in this book: it was predictable. I know it was meant to just be a cute fluff story but I knew what was going to happen just from reading the blurb which really diminished my enjoyment. When a story is that easy to predict, it becomes boring.

The final thing that annoyed me were some of the cliched analogies that were made. Two in particular stand out:
1. Ella playing a video game and drawing parallels between the character she is playing in the zombie game and herself.
"I watch my video game character get eaten and stabbed. And instead of flinching or mourning, I accept his damage and move on, as I should have half a year ago..."
Like I get that she is reflecting on herself but using a video game to inspire this introspection seems meh.
2. (This one occurs at the very end so obviously don't read if you don't want to know)

Anyway I got that out of my system. This book isn't bad, but I do not think it is great either. It was fun to read because of all the dares and the light-hearted humour but as a whole it felt a little bit too 'high school drama'.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
511 reviews299 followers
July 18, 2016
Mini review:


I had heard about this book a while ago. It didn't catch my interest at the time. I found this book again and decided to put it on hold in my library. I enjoy contemporaries so I was hoping to like this one. Unfortunately this book was not for me.

For one thing Ella acts like Bella from Twilight where she's been depressed since Matt left and hasn't been living her life. She stopped doing the things she liked because of this. I especially did not like the alternating chapters. They were confusing to read about.

I do not recommend this.

Profile Image for Kelly Peterson.
12 reviews55 followers
July 30, 2015
I received this ARC from the publisher. This in no way influences my opinions expressed below.

This review was originally posted on Live, Love, Read.


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!)

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 stars for The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi.
Profile Image for Christy LoveOfBooks.
842 reviews567 followers
June 19, 2015

This started out really good, but got boring about halfway in. Plus, the characters went from likeable and fun, to mostly annoying. I contemplated ditching it a few times, but I reached the point of no return, so I just plowed through to get it over with. Thank goodness it’s a fairly short book.
Profile Image for Kirsty-Marie Jones.
409 reviews45 followers
May 14, 2015
My first thought after reading The Night We Said Yes, apart from thank God that was over while bashing my head against a wall, was what the hell was that actually about? I'm having trouble figuring that out. The whole thing of The Night We Said Yes was supposed to be about dares and not saying no to crazy things, and the NOW, about recreating them, only...that ended rather quickly and then it was just about drama and petty things and blushing and inner dialogue that was both boring and repeating the same damn thing over and over.

The Night We Said Yes, was not for me, at all. The fact that the whole plot of the book is based on the romance is well, boring and annoying, and pretty much pointless, but that wouldn't have annoyed me so much if it wasn't written in Now and Then. Usually, that wouldn't bother me, and I do love Now and Past chapters because you get to see how much the characters grow and change, and when it comes to romance, you get to see the romance start, so why didn't it work for me in this? Simple. It's pointless. Here's the thing, isn't the point of Now and Then chapters to show the difference between Now and Then? It didn't feel like that to me, the first few Now and Then chapters were the exact same chapters. The characters go to a party in Now, and Matt comes back. The characters go to a party in Then and they get introduced to Matt. They go to the same diner in one chapter, and then they're at the same diner in the Then next chapter. It's like creating the same scene twice.

You know, I could deal with that if I liked the characters, which I didn't. Not a single one, because they're so over dramatic and unbelievable, I mean, the dick characters played just that, oblivious dicks, which okay, some are, but one just popped in to say hey, look, I want you back. Then was gone. He done his purpose, which was again, fucking pointless. Ella, our main character is...bland. There was no voice, and it felt more tell than show, she's insecure, which we all are, in our own ways, but that's her characteristic. Insecure. That's it. There's being insecure, and then there's being Ella. And the blushing, fucking hell, I swear, I've never read so many different ways of saying she's blushing, there were three, in one page. Meg, her best friend, is a double standard bitch, and that's her characteristic, and she plays it well, to be honest, because I wanted to strangle the little brat. She's supposed to be her best friend, yet she constantly and subtly puts her down and makes her feel bad, and watch out if you have an opinion and actually voice it, she'll get pissed and blame you for making her be pissed.

This is all I'm saying about the "romance" because, yeah, no. Instalove/Instalust/Instagivemeafuckingbreak.

The Night We Said Yes was everything I hate in a book, overdramatic, petty, pretentious and , annoying bitchy characters that had no character growth whatsoever, no plot, and basically just bland in every way.

Profile Image for l..
491 reviews1,981 followers
September 3, 2020
2 1/2 stars. I feel really conflicted about The Night We Said Yes. On one hand, there are a lot of things I liked about this book, but on the other, also many things that irked me. Even trying to type out a coherent review is proving to be quite difficult right now. I think putting it on my mixed-feelings shelf sums up my feelings about it best.

All in all, it��s a solid book; it’s well-written, it’s got a decent plot, the characters are believable—there’s nothing that I can really criticize per se—but it just never really managed to reel me in. I guess if you're looking for a book that makes you think back to your first love, and reminds you of the butterflies, of following your heart, while leaving your brain behind just a bit, this will appeal to you, because there are a lot of cute, enjoyable scenes showcasing the development of Ella and Matt's relationship—fittingly so, seeing as this book is romance-centered.

However, perhaps the biggest issue I had with The Night We Said Yes, and the reason why I couldn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to, is that there are also problematic parts when it comes to the romance , and many times I felt like important matters requiring proper clarification and communication between the parties involved were glossed over, and Lauren Gibaldi took the easy way out when resolving them—especially the reason surrounding Jake's departure felt to me like I was cheated out of a real explanation.

Overall, Lauren Gibaldi's debut was—despite the issues I had with it—an enjoyable read. I think she shows a lot of potential in the young adult romance genre, and I'm definitely excited to read what she comes up with next.

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Profile Image for Clara  Cheng.
32 reviews58 followers
March 8, 2016
“I've spent my life on the road, trying to find home, when really, you were always home to me.”

I received an ARC of this book from HarperCollins International and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This book is full of love and friendship, and summer. It's the kind of book that will make you smile through flipping pages because the scenes continuously remind you the memories of your own. The characters are easily relatable with weaknesses. In fact, it is their flaws that make them even more lovable.

I especially love how the story was unfolded in both past tense and present tense, and how they were perfectly linked with each other. It's like living through the sweet memories of Matt & Ella, also their oh-so-awesome friendship with Meg & Jake. I absolutely adore the idea - a night of saying yes, whereby they are obliged to follow and agree to take on every challenge that has been decided by anyone of them, which had led to the sparks of Matt & El's relationship.

Matt, the bassist of a band, was very thoughtful, shy and sweet. I was constantly swooned over by his interaction with El, however, the reason behind of his leaving didn't really ring true to me. It could have been better, and I guess for me, that was the only flaw of this book.

Still, high five for a perfect summer, light read. And high five for this author's debut, quite impressive.
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,119 reviews1,336 followers
June 16, 2015

For some very strange reason, I thought The Night We Said Yes was going to be a murder mystery. I think it has to do a lot with the cover. Anyways, that's besides the point. The Night We Said Yes was a complete surprise to me, not only because it wasn't a murder mystery, but also because it was a delightful debut novel that I found myself devouring. It has everything that I enjoy in a great YA contemporary book: swoony romance, realistic characters and most importantly, genuine female friendships.

This is one of those books that wouldn't have been as amazing had it not been for the fabulous cast. I loved each and everyone of these characters, from the main ones to the secondary ones. Lauren Gibaldi is fantastic at characterization. She took her time to really build the characters' personalities in the book, making them unique, but also breathing life into them. The book might take place only over two nights, one in the past and one in the present, but by the end of the book, I felt like the characters were life long friends of mine. That's how good the character development was in The Night We Said Yes. The main character, Ella, was instantly likeable. I think the fact that she was so normal, with her strengths and weaknesses, made it easy to relate to her. I felt like I was an Ella when I was younger. There was nothing particularly special about her; she was a sweet, genuine and kind-hearted girl, nursing a broken heart. Ella didn't wallow, however, which made me like her all the more. Despite how Matt left things with Ella, I found it hard not to fall for him. He was cute, geeky and all kinds of charming. While his reasons for not keeping in touch with Ella were baffling to me, he was a character I thought was swoony. I do wish we would have more good boys like him in YA. The secondary characters, especially Ella's friends Meg and Jake. They were both fiery and were different from Ella and Matt, but were still as well-developed as them.

The romance in The Night We Said Yes was enchanting! I loved it so much because it made me giddy. I wanted nothing more than for Matt and Ella to have their happily ever afters and throughout the whole book, I rooted for them, even through the shakiness. It's a romance that's quick to develop, over a night, but I never for once doubted that they were good together. Theirs was an adorable romance that will have readers squealing in joy, on cloud nine, especially because it was a second chance romance too. While the romance was definitely one of the strongest points of The Night We Said Yes for me, I found the friendships between the characters equally magnetic. Ella and Meg's relationship, especially, was one I absolutely loved. They were both loyal to each other, and supportive to the core. This is the kind of female friendship that needs to be depicted more in YA because it is so positive, devoid of any jealousy or fakeness. Jake also made for an interesting addition. He was the one who brought in the humor in the group. He and Meg also had an on and off relationship and despite how volatile their relationship could be, I also found myself rooting for them. Lauren Gibaldi's writing was so strong. It flows really nicely between the past and present chapters, and I seriously could have read her writing on and on because it's the kind that sucks you in and refuses to let you go.

The Night We Said Yes just might be my favorite YA debuts of the year. If you want a book that will consume your every thought with its gorgeous writing, swoony romance and fantastic characters, then read this book as soon as it comes out tomorrow.
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 18 books2,333 followers
July 24, 2015
This was so. Much. Fun. I read it in one sitting, and there was just nothing I didn't enjoy about it - it's exactly my kind of contemp summer romance. Matt was adorable, and I loved that he got to show a little edge, too. I *loved* that there was a group of friends that was both guys and girls, that they call and text each other because they care about each other and not just to flirt. I love how strong the secondary characters were, and what a strong subplot the romance there was, and I could just see this being a book I pick up again and again when I need something to put me in a good mood instantly.
Profile Image for Neil (or bleed).
957 reviews738 followers
May 26, 2015
So how about . . . a high five for friendship?

I forgot to review this one and now, I don't exactly remember everything about this book. But I thought it is a fun read and I enjoyed reading it so I gave it 3 stars months ago.
Profile Image for Rachel  (APCB Reviews).
331 reviews1,191 followers
June 17, 2017
I had been excited for this book for so long, and I'm happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed it! The characters were lovable, the plot was enticing and fun, the writing was beautiful, the romance was spectacular. I loved every inch of this fun beach read, and I'm happy to say it has some profound themes as well. This book is definitely one to check out! Review to come.
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews738 followers
June 14, 2015
The Night We Said Yes was a book about missed chances and making the best out of the opportunities you’re given. I liked the idea of having one night where you said yes to everything no matter what. Ella hadn’t been through the best few months, the guy that she thought was the love of her life just upped and left with no explanation and no one could get a response out of him either. So when Matt turns up out of the blue, the night we said yes is definitely what Ella needs.

I really felt for Ella, she had the magical perfect sort of relationship with Matt that all girls dream of, but then when he unexpectedly skips town, Ella is left heartbroken. So when she finally sees him after what seems like ages later, Ella of course demands to know what happened. I’m glad that Ella was one of those girls that stood her ground, she had been treated in the worst possible worse way and so of course deserved answers. Also the Gibaldi flipped between chapters; between the here and now it was obvious that their relationship was one that just couldn’t be forgotten. And also I needed to know what Matt’s reason was, why did he think it was okay to leave town and Ella behind? To be honest I didn’t really buy Matt’s reason for leaving town, yes a lot of things had gone downhill for his family and their reputation, but he could have left some sort of explanation for Ella instead of coded messages which didn’t even make sense. But after getting to know Matt’s character more as the book progressed, I could understand why Ella fell for him in the first place and why she couldn’t switch her feelings for him either after everything that she’d been put through.

I adored learning about Ella and Matt’s relationship through the alternative here and now chapters, to be honest I loved the after chapters more, but at the same time I was dying to find out how things were going to go down in the now. Ella’s friends Jake and Meg also brought a lot of fun to the story too; they were more outgoing characters than Ella, so you never knew what you were getting when they would be around. Overall The Night We Said Yes, made me want to go out and live life to the fullest and to make the most of whatever life throws at me.

This review can be found on: The Readers Den
Profile Image for Lauren.
518 reviews80 followers
September 17, 2015
"So how about a high-five for friendship?"

*sigh* I did really enjoy this book. I love contemporary novels that are unique in their own way as this one was. I absolutely loved the writing and I liked that it alternated from present to past each chapter.

I liked the characters, but I wish we would have gotten to see more of them. And that's really my one complaint, we didn't get to witness enough of the group and their story and everything in between. We got little glimpses and we got the two main nights, but I feel like it could have been an absolutely phenomenal 5-star book had it gone on a bit more and really delved into more of their story.

That aside, I loved Matt and Ella. I loved that she wasn't immediately back in his arms, and that it was a process, albeit a short one, there was hesitancy. But I feel like she's in a good spot now and learned a lot in a very short period of time.

All in all, a quick, amazing read full of truths, first loves, and genuine friendship.
Profile Image for Mel González.
464 reviews64 followers
December 29, 2015
“It was my favorite part of the night - when the evening's events were still unknown and unpredictable. It was the sense of possibility that I loved, the idea that anything could happen next.”

This was really, really cute. I didn't have a lot of problems with it, it's just very simple. I really enjoyed that both perspectives took place in just one night, the writing was very fun but not outstanding, the characters annoyed me sometimes because they were super dramatic over things that weren't a big deal and they fought a lot over stupid things and it felt like the author used those moments only to keep the plot moving. But other than that, I enjoyed this, it was funny and romantic and a fast read. I would recommend it as a summer contemporary, fast paced read.
Profile Image for Ashley Reid.
149 reviews115 followers
July 6, 2015
I kept trying to like this, I really did, But I just couldn't get into it. I think it was more Juvenile as opposed to Young Adult.

I like a lot of Juvenile books, but I couldn't really connect with any of the characters in this and the whole thing was annoying me, which is why I kept putting it off and hoping it would get better.
Profile Image for Anabel.
287 reviews926 followers
June 14, 2015
3.5/5 stars.
A cute and fun summer read!
Profile Image for Book Riot Community.
953 reviews108k followers
June 18, 2015
I’ll be honest, Book Riot readers. I’m probably going to be talking about The Night We Said Yes a lot in the coming months. One of the reasons I read Young Adult fiction is for the nostalgia factor, remembering the ups and downs of being an angst-filled teenager, believing I knew everything. And my goodness, Lauren Gibaldi’s debut really brings in the nostalgia factor, with sweet and awkward romance, exciting misadventures, and those complicated friendships that really defined being a growing, teenager-and-almost-but-not-quite-yet-adult. Alternating between the past and the present, The Night We Said Yes tells the story of a group of friends, a lot of dares, and the aftershocks of a breakup and friend-gone-astray. It’s a lovely, breezy contemporary romance that I’m certain teens everywhere will relate to, while simultaneously challenging one another to similar nights full of memories, laughter, and the drama we pretended to dislike, but deep down, seriously loved. — Eric Smith

from The Best Books We Read In May: http://bookriot.com/2015/06/02/riot-r...
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