Love the One You're With - Emily Giffin I really got into this one at first. It only started to lose me towards the end. The main character, Ellen (a freelance photographer), felt genuine and pretty dynamic (which is not typical in chick lit, from my experience), and the story/conflict was very intriguing. One day in New York while walking home from work, Ellen bumps into Leo, “the one that got away.” Of course a flood of emotions and memories overwhelm her and after they grab a coffee together, the cogs in Ellen’s brain get to working and she starts to wonder “what if?” Up to this point, Ellen has been a blissfully happy and lucky newlywed who’s been married to the utterly too-perfect Andy for a grand total of 100 days now. Andy seems to have absolutely no flaws (except for maybe playing too much golf) which really bothered me since that’s totally unrealistic. Everyone has flaws, and every single husband has annoyed their wife at some point, even if they are still in the “honeymoon phase.” But somehow Ellen and Andy have been able to evade what (to me anyway) is an inevitability and have never had a single fight – seriously? Does this happen in real life? But anyway, I digress. So while Andy and Ellen have this perfect Norman Rockwell-style all-American life going on and lurrrve each other so much, Ellen starts thinking back to the passionate, torrid relationship she once had with Leo and how different the two men are (and, in turn, how different she was and is with each of them). So, what would Ellen’s life be like if she and Leo had stayed together? Would she be happier or did everything turn out for the best?

The theme of this book – past loves and memories and wondering what might have been – reminded me a lot of [book: Ignorance]. While that book gave me a lot more to think in a philosophical sense and really delved into the subject of the past and how people remember things and how that influences us, this book focused more on the actual romance and feelings and I enjoyed each in a different sense. It would’ve been nice if I could’ve learned how the guys (Leo and Andy) were feeling and what they were thinking so I could’ve compared it to the men of Ignorance felt and acted. But Love the One You’re With is from Ellen’s perspective and I understand that it’s her story and her decision. I really wish Ellen’s supporting cast was way more fleshed out though. Everyone but Ellen felt flat and a bit clichéd to me and I just couldn’t care about any of them, which was disappointing since I really wanted to be able to root for one of the guys. The other thing that bothered me was the ending and while trying not to spoil anything, I’ll just say that that little situation would never happen. It just wouldn’t work out. Other than those few things though, this was still very enjoyable as a chick-lit romance. It’d make for good summer reading on the beach. I will say though that this was some of the best writing I’ve read from the chick-lit section. I never felt like everything was being “dumbed down” for me and delivered in a way that a so-called “chick” would want, with a ridiculous emphasis on fashion and status and omg, hot guys. So I will definitely be reading more Emily Giffin in the future. I just might have to get some more of her books for my vacation to Florida next week, yay!