You’re The One That I Want Book Review

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing You’re The One That I Want by Simon James Green.

Rating: ✯✯✯✯

You’re The One That I Want follows the protagonist, Freddie, as he starts the next chapter of his life – sixth form. After embarrassing himself at his TV producer mum’s party (in front of new talent Jasper, no less) Freddie decides that it’s time for a change… And that begins with saying yes to things. Soon Freddie finds himself auditioning for the school musical (Grease), flirting with hot new boy Zach and attending parties. But will Freddie learn to accept himself as who he really is, or will he continue changing himself in a bid to be better?

Honestly, my favourite thing about You’re The One That I Want would have to be the character development. Freddie went through an incredible journey throughout the book, and it was really great to see him learning to accept and embrace himself as he was rather than trying to change. It’s such an important lesson that everyone has to learn at some point so I really appreciated the fact it was covered here – I definitely think it could help those on the younger spectrum on YA start to feel more confident in themselves.

The friendship was also amazing! I loved Freddie, Ruby and Sam’s relationship – they were incredibly close and I loved the bond the three of them shared. The one between Freddie and Ruby in particular really stood out to me (their interactions always left me smiling), and Ruby was incredibly wise and always gave Freddie such sound advice. Ruby and Sam themselves also further highlighted the theme of being confident in yourself, as well as sometimes changing your mind about what you want – and that being completely okay.

Of course, the romance was also super cute. I don’t want to say too much as there are two love interests but I definitely agreed with the final choice. I think the characters really brought out the best each other and really helped each other embrace themselves, and it was lovely reading such a healthy relationship, which can sometimes be really rare in YA.

I also really liked the fact that this book had some really important discussions surrounding homophobia within schools, which was mainly explored through Zach. What he went through at his old school was awful and it was great seeing the author begin to explore this. I definitely agree that every school should have a LGBTQ+ support group – I can only imagine how helpful that would be!

Of course, I can’t review You’re The One That I Want without mentioning the musical! I loved reading the rehearsals and I think the tension between the some of the characters added some great humour in there. It was great seeing them all come together at the end and I really enjoyed the final performance too – all of the characters came so far and it was lovely to read.

However, that’s not to say that I loved everything about this book. I think my main issue was definitely the love triangle, which I’ve talked about in previous reviews for other books too. I felt like the love triangle here was just inserted for the sake of conflict for the main couple to resolve as well as just to add some extra length to the book, and wasn’t executed as well as I would’ve liked… In my opinion this would’ve been better with just the one love interest.

It also didn’t rest on Grease as much as I wanted. After reading Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales, I was desperate to get my hands on more Grease retellings, and this… Wasn’t it. I had it in my head that Grease would play a much bigger role in this and, although it was the school musical, it just wasn’t quite what I was expecting, which was a bit of a let down.

Overall, I would recommend You’re The One That I Want to any fan of contemporaries, as this was a great addition to the genre, with some amazing lessons as well as some great friendships and romance. I’d also recommend it to any fan of Grease as, although it wasn’t strictly a Grease retelling, I really enjoyed reading the characters’ rehearsal of one of my favourite films.

Have you read You’re The One That I Want yet? Will you be adding it to your tbr? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed this review!


46 thoughts on “You’re The One That I Want Book Review

  1. Great review! I love great character development and personal growth and this one sounds as though it would be a joy to read. Thanks for sharing about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ouuh; gonna add this one to my list, thank you!
    Apart ofcourse knowing the song the title is taken from… I haven’t watched now know much about grease 😅 so that works perfectly for me that it’s not as heavy on that point ahah

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve heard mix reviews on this book already and I think after reading your review, I may give this a pass. I was hoping for it to be very set around grease and the fact it wasn’t, is such a shame. Thank you so much for sharing such an in-depth review lovely, I always appreciate them Xo

    Elle –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear that I could help! I definitely would’ve liked to see more of Grease too, I feel like it was marketed as a really big part of it but unfortunately for me at least it wasn’t there enough. Thank you so much for reading and commenting xx


  4. Love the reference to Grease! And love a love story! But disappointing about the love triangle being forced! I might leave this one off my book list in that case 😊 thanks for sharing.

    Jade MumLifeandMe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed, Grease is the best and I can never resist a good contemporary! Yes it definitely is, especially for those who don’t enjoy them anyway. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!


  5. Wonderful review Ceri! I love the sound of this book. Character development is so important and I love that Freddie learned to accept himself. It’s great that the author also explored important topics. Thank you for sharing! I hope you have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that, and agreed, the character development here was really special! Thank you so much for reading and commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend too!


  6. I love the title of this book. I knew straightaway that there would be a Grease connection. Your review explains some really good points about what the book delivers and, I am sure, it will gain more readers as a result. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t be the only one who sang the title before reading what it was about, right?
    This sounds like a book I would definitely read. I will make a note of this, so that when I finish all the books I have, it can be the next one I purchase. Thank you for sharing!

    Lauren x

    Liked by 1 person

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