Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Review: The One That Got Away

By Melissa Amster

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have that one who got away. Even if it was a crush we never acted upon. So we're all bound to relate to Sarina Mahler, the heroine of Bethany Chase's debut novel, in one way or another. That's what makes her so lovable.

Sarina Mahler thinks she has her life all nailed down: a growing architecture practice in Austin, Texas, and an any-day-now proposal from her loving boyfriend, Noah. She’s well on her way to having the family she’s hoped for since her mother’s death ten years ago. But with Noah on a temporary assignment abroad and retired Olympic swimmer—and former flame—Eamon Roy back in town asking her to renovate his new fixer-upper, Sarina’s life takes an unexpected turn. Eamon proves to be Sarina’s dream client, someone who instinctively trusts every one of her choices—and Sarina is reminded of all the reasons she was first drawn to him back in the day. Suddenly her carefully planned future with Noah seems a little less than perfect. And when tragedy strikes, Sarina is left reeling. With her world completely upended, she is forced to question what she truly wants in life—and in love. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Bethany Chase has a natural and genuine voice for writing. I can easily see why so many authors are already singing her praises. While I don't normally gravitate toward novels about girls pining for guys they liked a long time ago, I had been keeping up with Bethany on Facebook and knew I had to read anything she produced. After all, she and I are both chick lit lovin' Weird Al fans!

The One That Got Away is a charming novel wrapped in a deceiving cover. (I look at the cover and think of something I would be required to read in high school. Of course, if this novel were on the inside back then, I would have been in for a major treat. Maybe high schoolers can use the cover to throw off their teachers by letting them think they're reading a classic piece of literature while secretly dishing over who Sarina is going to end up with.)

While I felt it was hard to agree with what Sarina was doing by flirting with a past flame even though she was in a serious relationship, I was also secretly rooting for her to be with Eamon because they just had so much chemistry and sexual tension between them. And then I'd feel bad because Noah seemed like a good guy overall and he was serious about his relationship with Sarina. So complex, right?!? This led to lots of twists and turns in the story and made the book very hard to put down. In fact, the only thing that I had trouble wrapping my head around was the pronunciation of Eamon's name. (I thought it was E-min and later learned it was AY-min. That "E" at the beginning threw me off, even though I did the same thing with my son's name. I'm saving you all from my confusion!)

Bethany Chase has a winner on her hands and I am already excited to read her next novel, which features Sarina in a secondary role and gives a new narrator a chance to shine. (Just don't be like me and look past the final chapter before finishing this book or you'll find a spoiler in the way the relationships of the new characters are presented.)

I was casting this in my head for a while, but it took me the longest time to choose someone to play Sarina because I kept picturing Bethany. (I hope my choice of actress does justice to both Sarina and Bethany....)

Sarina: Jordana Brewster
Eamon: Harry Lloyd
Noah: Eric Winter
John: Fred Ward
Danny: Andrew Rannells

Thanks to Penguin Random House for the book in exchange for an honest review.


Janine said...

Great review

Angleterre71 said...

I just finished this book and LOVED it! I'm definitely reading her next.

Book Worm said...

This is such a great review. I have wanted to read this book for some time now. Actually, ever since I first heard about it. Thank you so much for making me need to read this book now.