The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

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The One That Got Away was written by Melissa Pimentel. This is a cute story that bills itself as a modern version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I don’t usually read a great deal of contemporary adult fiction, and I must admit that the Austen connection is what drew me to this book.

Ruby lives and works in NYC, and has dedicated herself wholeheartedly to her career in advertising. As the story begins, she is preparing to travel to England for her little sister’s dream wedding. There’s just one problem- Ruby’s ex-boyfriend is going to be there as well because he’s best friends with the groom.

Ruby and Ethan shared a whirlwind romance during the summer after she graduated from college. Ruby’s father is a real estate mogul, but she had big plans to move to NYC and start her advertising, while he worked at a bar and helped his father in his car repair shop. Despite their different backgrounds, they had a wonderful summer together, but their relationship didn’t last long after she moved away.

Well, ten years later, and Ethan is a tech mogul who is now a multi-millionaire. Ruby is not sure what to expect when they meet again. What can they possibly say to each other after ten years?

This is a cute story. The narrative is divided into chapters that take place “now” and chapters that take place “then”, the latter of which provides the reader with insight into how their relationship formed and subsequently fell apart. These two sets of chapters are interspersed throughout the present-day narrative, which is a bit maddening because I was constantly left wanting to know what happens next.

I would recommend The One That Got Away to fans of contemporary women’s literature. While there are some more serious moments, this book is mostly a romantic comedy. Despite prodding from a friend back in the United States, Ruby’s goal is not solely to win Ethan back. Ten years is a long time, and her main purpose is to support her sister. But Ruby does regret the way things ended with Ethan, and old feelings are hard to stifle. I’m familiar with Persuasion, but I was left wondering if this story would end in the same way as the classic that inspired it. I am looking forward to reading more books by Melissa Pimentel in the future.

I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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