“There’s only so long you can live in a fantasy world before the reality comes along to sharply put you back in your place.” – Giovanna Fletcher.
I am so pleased to have finally read Giovanna’s second novel. The first novel, Billy and Me, I enjoyed immensely, so ever since this book I had been itching to read it, but as always, other books kept getting in the way. However, I’ve finally read it and considering I did just mention her previous book, I want to put it out there that I appreciated the Billy reference in You’re the One That I Want, haha.
You’re the One That I Want is the story of Maddy, Robert and Ben. Throughout the novel we see from all of their perspectives, but mostly Maddy and Ben’s. This trio have been best friends since childhood and Maddy loves them both, but which one is the right one for her?
From the beginning of the book I was interested to see where it would go. From the blurb we are already aware that Maddy is about to marry Robert, but we are left with the possibility that the marriage might not go ahead because she also loves Ben. As a result of this, I was very intrigued as the first chapter starts how you would expect, Maddy walking down the aisle, but in the next chapter it rewinds back to when the trio are nine years old and become friends for the first time. I really enjoyed this because it was lovely reading about them all growing up and seeing all their memories as they happened. It also really helped with characterisation, so as I read on I was getting more and more attached to these three characters.
Not only was this approach brilliant for creating a connection between the reader and characters, but I found it encouraged me to keep reading because I knew that all these moments were going to lead to Maddy and Robert’s engagement, but I didn’t know if they would actually go through with the wedding or not. I also really enjoyed seeing how they had gotten to where they are now in life through past events.
In books and on-screen, when there are love triangles the audience usually has a tendency to side with one of them. For this book, the decision is Robert or Ben. I am someone who doesn’t often end up siding with someone; for me the decision is as difficult as it is for the third character, stuck in the middle, as I’ve grown to love the characters too and see all their amazing qualities. In fact, there are only two series’ I have ever actually sided with a character in a love triangle (Twilight, yikes, and The Vampire Diaries; I would include The Hunger Games, but for me, Gale never seemed to be an option, you just know that it’s going to end with Peeta, and it was kind of similar with The Mortal Instruments, it would always be Jace). As a result of this, I have no idea what I would have done in Maddy’s position, but I was still left very happy and satisfied with the ending.
Whilst on the topic of picking a character to support, a lovely touch Giovanna added to the end of this novel – I’m talking after the Acknowledgements end – was a little quiz so that undecided people could take it to find out which character would be more suited to them. Obviously, I took the quiz (I love personality-type quizzes!) and my result was Rob! I mean I loved Ben, but except for an incident in their university years, I think I love Rob more… Oh, it’s difficult!
I mentioned earlier how the perspectives change. It consistently goes from Maddy to Ben’s perspective, so we spend a rather even amount of time in each character’s head. However, I noticed how Ben’s sections often appeared to be a bit shorter, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Robert’s sections popped up occasionally throughout the book and I was actually quite happy we didn’t hear from him as much because I think going round and round each character could have gotten confusing and slightly repetitive. Plus, we were able to get to know Rob very well through Maddy and Ben anyway, so he was hardly left out.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t enjoy the plot as much as Billy and Me, but we all have our preferences, don’t we? I still very much look forward to reading Giovanna’s third novel, Dream a Little Dream.
Also, Giovanna creates videos on YouTube so I always eagerly look out for news on a new book and she is working on her fourth which I cannot wait to hear more about!
You’re the One That I Want was a delightful read, something romance lovers are likely to enjoy and I rate it 4/5.
Have you read this book, or any of Giovanna Fletcher’s other ones? What were your thoughts?
Also, let me know in the comments whether you’re team Rob, or team Ben?