Author: Emily Giffin
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Year: 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ellen and Andy Graham have the perfect marriage. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo. The one who brought out the worst in her. The one who left her heartbroken nearly a decade ago. The one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she’s living is the one she’s meant to live.
Love the One You’re With starts with Ellen passing someone whom she was never expected at an intersection. It was Leo, her ex-boyfriend. Leo was never just an ex-boyfriend for Ellen. While trying to compose herself and randomly sit in a diner, Leo called her. He asked her to meet him. She told him yes and they talked. Everything was fine until Leo offered her a job to do a photo shoot of Drake Watters, a rock legend and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. It requires her to stay at LA for a night. The job would be a good opportunity for her career, if only Ellen isn’t torn because of the fact that she will be away with an ex-boyfriend and Ellen is actually a married woman. Ellen is married to her best friend’s brother, Andy. Ellen was sure that Andy is the perfect man for her. Now that Leo reappears in her life, she starts questioning her decisions.
Love the One You’re With is written as a letter for those who has faced the dilemma of choosing the one you’re with and the one that got away. The book does a good job in portraying the doubts and all the ‘what-ifs’ that the main character has. It feels personal and I know that those who have gone through the same thing as Ellen can relate to this.
I know that Ellen is not everyone’s favorite; mostly because of her infidelity. But her actions and decisions are understandable to me. I feel sympathy towards her and I knew that if I were her, I would probably do the same thing. Ellen likes to analyze her own choices, even sometimes she tries to justify and rationalize her actions. That’s what I like from her. It makes her realistic and more humane.
Ellen’s character is written thoughtfully. Although the book mostly takes place after she’s married, there are series of flashbacks that will lead us to the present Ellen. Those flashbacks are what make us the reader able to understand Ellen’s background (and Leo too) and the reason why she’s having the dilemma.
It’s also interesting to see that Leo and Andy are so different. It might make you think that it would be easier to choose since they are so different, but it’s not. It’s not the point. It’s not about who’s better than who and I’m glad that this book shows us that.
I love Giffin’s writing in this book. She makes this book such an emotional ride and it’s so close to being realistic. Her writing is simple and I always have a nostalgic feeling every time I read her books. The way her character narrates the story feels like I’m listening to someone telling her experience in the past. All in all, Love the One You’re With is an enjoyable read. For me, Love the One You’re With is so close to Something Borrowed. I recommend this book for those who are asking the same question as Ellen or has gone through the same thing; or maybe for those who just love a good contemporary book.