Another Taylor Jenkins Reid novel, and I’ve started seeing some cracks in the formula. One thing that Reid likes in her novels are those irrevocable choices and how they might split narratives based on which path was taken. This book takes that idea and runs with it. Hannah is back in town, recently out of a relationship with a married man, and testing the waters on her second night with her high school boyfriend. The novel splits on two fronts: she goes with him or she doesn’t. When she chooses not to go with him, she gets hit by a car in a hit and run and wakes up in a hospital bed being told that among other things, she’s lost a baby. When she chooses her boyfriend, she goes with him and resparks her old relationship, and of course, has not lost the baby.
This one is less good for some writing choice issues. One issue that I have with it is that even though the novel splits the narrative it doesn’t always feel that we’re dealing with exactly the same characters on both paths. The biggest issue that while no one HAS to consider an abortion, I find it really unreasonable and unrealistic that a former “party girl” and chaotic storm of a person who never has stability in her life can’t even explore the possibility of an abortion. She’s not religious and she’s grown up in Los Angeles. It’s a gap and a weird conservatism that doesn’t make sense to me. Like the characters in the novel, this feels like an author trying to have it both ways.