I loved the concept behind You’re (Not) the One by Alexandra Potter, so I was really happy when I was able to get a digital advance reader’s copy from the publisher. This novel completely lived up to my expectations. It’s a really fun read that I think everyone can identify with to one degree or another.
Lucy and Nathaniel met while taking a college summer art history class in Venice. Nate was from the U.S. and Lucy was from the UK, and they bonded immediately. Their affection quickly grew into love. What city could be more romantic for two lovers? They were firmly convinced they were soul mates but worried what the distance might do to their relationship once the summer was over.
One late summer afternoon as they strolled along the canals, they came across a vendor who cut a coin in half and gave them each half threaded on a cord. He told them that if they wore their coins while they rode a gondola underneath the Bridge of Sighs, and kissed underneath it as the sun set and the church bells rang, their love would last forever. They had barely enough time to get there but they made it and kissed to seal their status as soul mates for all eternity.
“He leaned closer, his voice almost a whisper. ‘You will have everlasting and eternal love. You will be together forever and nothing’ – his eyes flick to Nathaniel, then back to me – ‘nothing will ever break you apart…Niente.’ He nods, his face filled with conviction. ‘You are bound together forever, for eternity.’”
Ten years later Lucy has given up on her aspirations to be a professional artist, has moved to New York City, and is working in an art gallery. She has never gotten over Nate but she believes Nate got over her because he got married a few years after they left Venice. One afternoon the gallery owner instructs Lucy to deliver artwork to a penthouse apartment and to work with its new owner to get the paintings hung properly. Lucy is shocked to find that the new owner is Nate.
“And white. Everything’s white, I notice, glancing around..I feel nervous just looking at it, as if I’m going to get this sudden impulse to chuck a glass of red wine somewhere…Not that I’m clumsy, I’m just – Oh, who am I kidding? If I lived here, I’d have to take out shares in OxiClean.”
Long story short, they are each irresistibly drawn to the other and pick up right where they left off after 10 years. Nate is getting a divorce and nothing stands in their way except that they have grown and changed, and are no longer the college students they were in Venice. Lucy realizes she doesn’t want to be with Nate and Nate realizes he doesn’t want to be with her. The only problem is that the universe refuses to let them get away from each other. Every time they try, something happens to literally throw them back together. What are they going to do? They can’t get rid of each other!
Hopefully I haven’t given away too many spoilers. It’s impossible to describe or discuss You’re (Not) the One without giving away some. Also, I realize the story looks very straightforward from my description but it’s not at all. There’s a lot going on here, with plenty of subplots and enough twists and turns to please anyone – even me. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It’s laugh-out-loud funny in a lot of spots and very touching in others, and it contains some real “characters.”
You’re (Not) the One was released today (November 29, 2011), so it should be available from your favorite bookseller below. Just click the button to go there to purchase it.
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