Review: You’re (Not) the One by Alexandra Potter

Title: You’re (Not) the One

Author: Alexandra Potter

Genre/Pages: Fiction/384

Publisher: Plume

Publish Date: November 29, 2011

Rating: 1 Bookmark (not my cup of cocoa)

Source: unsolicited from the publisher

Natalie’s 1-Sentence Synopsis: According to the legend, the kiss at sunset under a Venetian bridge will bind Lucy and Nat together for eternity, which turns out to be about a lifetime longer than either of them can tolerate.

This confection is chick-lit in its purest form–an indulgence I wouldn’t typically pick up.  While there are many readers who love the genre, I generally read more middle-of-the-road fiction (not too literary, not too frothy).  I received You’re (Not) the One unsolicited but gave it a shot because it was (initially) set in Venice, Italy.

While I’m generally onboard with the whole suspension of disbelief, in this novel I found much of the plot too implausible and the coincidences farcical.  It’s been ten years since Lucy and Nat shared the magical summer in Venice and now both are in New York and find themselves reunited…over and over and over again.

Initially, the reunion rekindles the passion and spark of their summer in Venice but in time, the two realize that they aren’t the same people they once were.  The plot grows increasingly more outlandish–Lucy and Nat can’t escape each other–and I found myself wishing I could escape them both.

There’s a host of quirky supporting characters, a sub-plot dealing with insecure Lucy’s untapped artistic potential, a hidden masterpiece, and the guy that might be the one for her, but the magic of this story was just lost on a cynical, black-hearted crone like me.

Additionally, I wasn’t wowed by the cover.  My pal Meg (from Write Meg!) and I spoke about it briefly on Twitter, and she was in the opposing camp.  She liked the Venice ‘skyline’, while it brought to mind an underwater ocean scene for me–I never even saw the ‘skyline’!

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t relish writing less-than-glowing reviews and debated writing this one at all, but feel if I post only great reviews that I’m doing a disservice to myself and other readers.  Reading is subjective–just because I didn’t like this book doesn’t mean another reader won’t love it to pieces.  The whole book blogger-author negative review/baiting debate that’s been raging gave me pause, but I stand by my review.

If you’ve read this one, did you enjoy it or was it too far fetched for you?  Do you have a review?  Let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to link to your post.


  1. I don’t think it would be my cup of cocoa either so I probably won’t give it a go.

  2. I do enjoy chick lit from time to time, but not if it’s too outlandish. I do like the cover of this book and may give it a try one day.

  3. I can’t stand chick-lit. But, the cover did catch my eye and doesn’t scream chick-lit like most others do. I don’t see an underwater world. I see fireworks in the skyline.

  4. Too bad this one was a bummer. I don’t read much chick lit, but I admit that this one sounds kind of fun. Then again, I do tend to have a high tolerance for magical/fantastical elements in otherwise realistic fiction, so that could be my own biases at work.

    Also, I think that it’s totally fair to right less than glowing reviews if that’s how you felt about a book. I always feel like I gain more insight into bloggers when I know not just what books they love but what books they didn’t.

  5. I do like the cover, but it doesn’t sound like a book I’d want to read. I’d have never guessed it was chick-lit from the cover.

  6. After 120 pages or so, I’m taking a break on this one. While I do enjoy chick lit (lots of it!), I’m not able to suspend my disbelief well enough to really enjoy the story. I love the idea of first love gone awry, especially since many of us (myself included) have rose-colored glasses about this early relationships.

    I think it’s an excellent premise to be reunited with someone you were once so hung up on — only to realize that things have changed enough to move forward. That’s sort of how I got over my first love, too — seeing him again after five years made me realize that, though he’s a great guy, he’s not the great guy for me. I was hoping to see a little more of that in You’re (Not) The One, but so far it’s been dragging.

    Oh, and I do like the cover 🙂 It’s sort of fun and whimsical to me!

  7. I am not a chick-lit kind of gal, myself. Every now and then I will pick up one if I am looking for something light hearted and there has been some buzz about it. I don’t think this will be one of them. I did like your honest review. Not all books are for everybody.

    Now, the cover doesn’t say chick-lit to me. I like it but not for that genre.

  8. I got this one, too and I may just have to pass it on. It certainly doesn’t sound like my cup of cocoa either! Although I’m with Meg, I like the cover.

  9. Not my kind of book either, but I LOVED the cover. I would have picked that one up in a bookstore on the strength of that cover.

    Which just shows you how subjective this whole book thing is.

  10. I like Chick Lit a lot but I am not a huge fan of “suspension of disbelief” so this is probably not for me. I struggle with negative reviews too – I feel like a do very few of them but not because I am being dishonest about the books but because I seem to be better at choosing the types of books I enjoy. With that said, I think an honest less than positive review on a blog from time to time adds credibility.

    Thanks for the honesty!

  11. I saw this when I was at ALA Midwinter and almost picked it up because of the cover. It looked sorta Europa in style. Once I read the back, though, it sounded too chick-lity for my tastes. Glad to hear my instinct seemed to be accurate.

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