The One That I Want: A Novel Hardcover – Jun 1 2010
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A Redbook Book Club Pick
One of Cosmo Magazine's Steamy Beach Tomes for the Summer
"[A] novel about the choices we welcome and the choices we resist."
"With a thriller of a conclusion...keeps readers in suspense until the final electrifying pages."
“The real magic is Scotch’s ability to create authentic moments between her characters that push this fast-paced story to the edge and joyfully brings us along with it.”
–The LA Books Examiner
“Well-told . . . a good choice for fans of women's fiction and book clubs. It's fast-paced and feels light yet still packs a satisfying emotional punch.”
"Scotch creates eminently relatable characters, with a particularly excellent understanding of the way sisters interact, and has the ability to craft scenes of real emotional weight."
"[A]n aching, honest look into the death and rebirth of relationships....a wise, absorbing narrative."
"You’ll like this book because it’s not all about a guy. It’s layered with friendships, family ties, heartbreak, and the excitement of a new crush. The One That I Want will call you to reflect on your own life, inspire you to live passionately, and teach you to embrace independence." --Glamour.com
About the Author
ALLISON WINN SCOTCH is the author of the novels Time of My Life and The Department of Lost and Found. She lives in New York.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Suddenly Tilly is having visions of the future, and they aren't pleasant. She sees her father falling off the wagon and getting drunk, she sees her husband packing up a U-Haul despite the fact that she doesn't want to move, and when the visions begin to come true, she feels powerless to stop things.
As Tilly, once again, begins to pick up the pieces of her broken life, she curses the new found clarity that she has, but she also comes to the realization that her life was not as perfect as she once thought that it was. As Tilly tries to control her gift, and her future, she must figure out what it is that she really wants.
"The One That I Want" is a highly enjoyable coming-of-age story. When Tilly was young she lost her mother and had to become a surrogate mother to her two younger sisters, given that her father was in no shape to raise three little girls. The fact that she had to mature so quickly has left Tilly in a suspended state of childhood, determined to cling to the things from her youth despite the fact that she is no longer in high school.Read more ›
The One That I Want had a strong supporting cast of characters, each one well developed and memorable and contributed to Tilly's growth, acting as a catalyst or assisting her along the way. I enjoyed watching Tilly's transformation and seeing her relationships develop with her sisters and her friends. The story moved along seamlessly and although her visions become predictable, the ending definitely wasn't.
The clarity Tilly was given was an interesting twist. What would you do if we were given the ability to see your future? I'm sure we all have something we wished we could have foreseen, but I'm not convinced it was absolutely necessary for the novel. Maybe I'm just envious at not having that power myself several times over, but thought the novel might have packed a bit more of a punch if she had been able to figure it out for herself.
I found Winn-Scotch's writing drew me right into the story, made me nostalgic for high school in a few short strokes and portrayed the small town setting so well that I was able to relate to it, from the parading football stars to the small town gossip, none of which I have ever experienced. Having been the first Winn Scotch novel I read, she's now on my must read list when I'm looking for chick lit with a heavier tone.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Tilly's life is far from perfect. Her mother died to cancer when she was 16, leaving her 2 sisters, her father and herself heartbroken. Tilly managed to cope, but her father succumbed to alcoholism and her younger sister still resents him for it. Now that Tilly has seen the fortune teller, she suddenly has strange episodes where she has visions of the future. When she 'sees' her father getting into his car drunk, then receives the phone call from the police station telling her he is being held for DWI, she begins to wonder how powerful this 'gift of clarity' really is.
Before she knows it, Tilly begins to have other visions of the future, including one where she sees her husband packing his belongings and leaving town. Tilly begins to realize that things aren't what she thought they once were.
I both liked and disliked The One That I Want. The storyline was interesting and I enjoyed the magical realism aspect of it, but for some reason I just could not connect with Tilly's character. She wasn't annoying or anything, I just didn't feel any type of connection to her.
I hate to sound nitpicky, but one thing that bothered me was the language in the story, at times it felt uncalled for and distracting. Don't get me wrong, I'm the first one to drop the 'F' bomb in conversation, but in this story it just distracted me a bit. It felt like it was overdone in some of the conversations. I know Tilly was mad with the situation, but I'd rather have seen her less on the defense.
Like I said, the storyline was interesting. I did enjoy the friendship Tilly has with her best friend Susanna. I liked how the two support each other through thick and thin. There's a scene where Tilly and a few of the girls get together for Susanna's birthday. They have dinner and drink wine and just vent, that felt realistic and I always enjoy female friendships in stories.
There is a plot twist and the end that I thought was good also. All in all, this was an okay read for me. I do recommend it, others might love it. Though I didn't particularly love this book, I would definitely read Allison Winn Scotch again.
Right off the bat, I didn't like Tilly. She's not offensive, or rude in any way, but her nickname 'Silly Tilly' is definitely the best way to describe her. I could not relate AT ALL to someone so desperate to relieve her high-school days, that she would become the school guidance counselor just to be able to be there everyday. Her pathetic excitement at planning the prom year after year...she's 32!! Get over it! No WONDER her husband had one foot out the door!
I did like the flashes of her seeing the future. I thought it was the only thing that made the book somewhat interesting and worth finishing. The whole dynamic between Tilly and her husband Tyler began to wear on me though...as did her relationship with her sister Darcy. I could absolutely understand Tyler wanting to leave little Westlake, to see what else life had to offer him. It infuriated me that Tilly, while not wanting to leave the only place she's ever lived (which I can understand), was so close minded that she couldn't grasp how someone else would want to. She wanted everything to stay just it is was...always. And even though her outlook on life changes through the novel, I never really got over my initial dislike for her.
The 'surprise' at the end, the big secret her father's been keeping for years, felt totally out of place. It's almost like it was thrown in as an after thought just to give the story a bit of shock value. Well, it wasn't shocking, it was sad and unnecessary. Overall, I do NOT recommend this book. It's certainly not the worst book I've ever read, but I definitely wouldn't categorize this as a 'Must Read'. I have Ms. Scotch's two other novels on my wishlist, but I think I'm gonna hold off for awhile before attempting another of her books. I'm not ready to write her off completely, but I won't be expecting so much next time around.
So as the novel begins, Tilly is "blind" in more ways than one. The fact that it took her two hundred pages to recognize that her husband was a poor spouse was aggravating. The way that she makes excuses for her alcoholic father was not helpful. And the way Tilly spent so much of the book telling me everything was perfect made me want to scream. She ignored the issues in her life for too long in the novel for me to truly love it. And it was this slow beginning that made her ultimate discovery-which came very quickly in the end-lose its punch.
The shining spots of this work came in the end. When Tilly finally finds clarity, she is inspirational. She relaxes and lets the other people in her life handle their own problems. She learns to let go, and that her students, her siblings, and her spouse are able to think without her constant guidance and cliched advice. Tilly almost won me back in these last wonderful fifty pages. She further reminded me of our similarities, when she realizes what she has given up for her family. "I abandoned it: for Darcy, for my family, for my father. I lost myself for them, which we all have to do every once in a while but probably shouldn't do forever." What mother, wife, teacher hasn't sacrificed a lot for their family only to occasionally want it back?
Scotch shows she is a good writer in lines like the ones above, but it was too little, too late to win me back entirely. This is the first time that I have ever read her work, and I would like to read Time of My Life-her first novel. Allison's blog, Ask Allison, is always witty and insightful, and although I never comment I always wish I would. The One that I Want is an interesting idea, but I hope that Scotch's other works cuts to the chase a little faster, and that maybe the characters don't have lives so close to mine!
The main character, Tilly, wasn't someone I would hang out with in real life. She is one of those people who loved high school so much she became a guidance counselor at her old high school so she could continue to live in that high school bubble. She had taken on the role of caretaker after her mother passed away and her entire identity is wrapped up in being the one to help everyone. She is married to her high school boyfriend, Tyler, and is so happy inside her bubble she doesn't realize that they are growing apart.
One day at a local fair she runs into her old childhood friend, Ashley, who gives her the "gift of clarity." What this means for Tilly is seeing her life thru new eyes and not necessarily liking what she sees.
I don't want to give away the whole story and ending. I will just say that I am recommending this book to all of my girlfriends.