Friday, March 21, 2014

If Only by A J Pine

The Basics:
If Only by A J Pine
Entangled: Embrace
New Adult
Published March 24, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

Sounded like a cute romance.


Sometimes it takes crossing an ocean to figure out where you belong.

It's been two years since twenty-year-old Jordan had a boyfriend—which means it's been forever since she, well, you know. But now she’s off to spend her junior year in Aberdeen, Scotland, the perfect place to stop waiting for Mr. Right and just enjoy Mr. Right Now.

Sexy, sweet (and possible player) Griffin may be her perfect, no-strings-attached match. He’s fun, gorgeous, and makes her laugh. So why can’t she stop thinking about Noah who, minutes after being trapped together outside the train’s loo, kisses Jordan like she’s never been kissed before? Never mind his impossible blue eyes, his weathered, annotated copy of The Great Gatsby (total English-major porn)…oh, and his girlfriend.

Jordan knows everything this year has an expiration date. Aberdeen is supposed to be about fun rather than waiting for life to happen. But E. M. Forster, Shakespeare, and mistletoe on Valentine’s Day make her reconsider what love is and how far she’s willing to go for the right guy.

My thoughts:

If Only got my attention right away. I loved Jordan as narrator, she was (for me) the perfect combination of neurotic and forced-daring. She's a young woman going out of her comfort zone to try to shake things up, figure out her life, and get some direction. Her best friend Sam has challenged her to live in the moment, and Jordan's struggling with that directive.

It may have come to me at the exact right moment for me to appreciate it, but I really loved this book. I wanted good things for Jordan and for everyone else to make it out relatively unscathed. Yes, people made poor choices, but I didn't feel like there was really a bad guy in this story. Instead, it felt pretty honest - people don't always do the right thing but often they act to protect themselves from getting hurt rather than behaving maliciously.

If Only also tapped into my love of books sweet spot with references to E.M. Forster, Shakespeare and The Great Gatsby. I have to love literate characters!

On the slight downside, I could understand but not quite 'get' the many nights of shared sleeping space with hot boys. Maybe it's more that I am in awe of Jordan's restraint? That seems likely.

It's also perhaps a little far-fetched for her to run into two hot Americans who both are interested in her on the same train ride to Aberdeen.

Regardless, I'm glad she did, because I quite enjoyed Jordan's journey through the school year. I'm glad this wasn't a two week rush of a romance, but instead a full school year. It made the story meatier to have it unfold over a lengthier period of time.

Also, this book contains one of the most perfectly romantic lines I've read in a book in recent years. I won't share it because I don't want to spoil anything, but it definitely made my heart melt!

Bottom line:

I loved If Only. I felt for Jordan and was rooting for her to have a happy ending. The story felt plausible, for the most part, and I think that really made it all the more enjoyable.

Definite recommend. Great example of the New Adult genre. At time of this post, available for 99 cents, which is a steal!

4.5 stars
For fans of New Adult, identity stories, romance

1 comment:

  1. This does sound like a fun tale. I agree with you that in real life, you don't find true villains, everyone just has their own reasons for things. I like reading books where there aren't any villains.