Title: You’re the One that I Want by Giovanna Fletcher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In this charming and exciting women’s fiction novel, You’re the One That I Want, Giovanna Fletcher explores the complicated relationship between three friends—Maddy, her fiancé Rob, and their best friend Ben.
Maddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church. At the end of the aisle is Rob—the man she’s about to marry. Next to Rob is Ben—best man and the best friend anyone could ever have. And that’s the problem. Because if it wasn’t Rob waiting for her at the altar, there’s a strong chance it would be Ben. Loyal and sensitive, Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen? And would he be right?
Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben, and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make, but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it… Romantic, suspenseful, and a whole lot of fun, You’re the One That I Want is a great read about friendship, love, and the decisions that we make.
You’re the One that I Want by Giovanna Fletcher is an endearing novel of friendship.
Thick as thieves from the day they met, Maddy Hurst, Rob Miles and Ben Gilbert have been friends since childhood. Despite their classmates’ speculation that Maddy might harbor feelings for one or both of the boys, their friendship remains platonic until their mid-teens. An unexpected romance springs up between Maddy and one of her friends but the three still remain close although one of the young men ends up suffering from unrequited love. The brokenhearted young man laments his lost opportunity and he never reveals his feelings for Maddy until a pivotal moment in university. On her wedding day a few years later, Maddy cannot help but wonder if she is marrying the right man.
Opening with the Maddy walking down the aisle, the novel then flashes back to the first day Maddy, Rob and Ben met. The chapters alternate between two of the character’s perspective and take readers through the years of their friendship. These chapters are interspersed with brief snippets from the remaining character’s point of view in the present. Maddy, Rob and Ben’s friendship is quite heartwarming and even after she pairs up with one of the boys, the three remain inseparable.
While their childhood exploits are quite entertaining, the novel’s pacing slows down after Maddy, Rob and Ben go off to university. Maddy’s romance takes a bit of a turn and once she is aware of her other friend’s long standing love of her, she is somewhat indecisive about which of the two young men she loves. Even after she seemingly makes her decision, she is still uncertain she made the right choice and this dithering continues to plague her even as she is walking down the aisle. While there is not actually a full blown love triangle between the three, Maddy’s vacillation becomes irritating as does the unrequited lover’s continued feelings for her.
You’re the One that I Want is a light-hearted story of friendship and love. The storyline is entertaining and the cast of characters are appealing. For a good portion of the novel, Giovanna Fletcher keeps readers guessing who Maddy is going to marry but there are enough hints dropped along the way that it is fairly easy to predict whom she chooses in the end. The epilogue is sweet and offers a nice peek into their lives several years after the wedding. A pleasurable, mostly conflict free read that fans of contemporary women’s fiction will enjoy.