As some of you who follow me on twitter may already know, I’m on a New Adult kick lately and of course topping my TBR list is going to be those titles hitting the NYT e-book list because obviously those are all well liked and many are self-published and I’m constantly on the search for great YA/NA books that are selling for $2.99/$3.99.
Not to mention the fact that Mark Perini (aka-Model Jackson) and I have finished our New Adult novel, HALFWAY PERFECT and I’ve already got a love for writing characters that are 18+ years old. So NA books have been on my mind a lot lately.
Yesterday, on reddit I did a little analysis on what I believe is the formula found with all the current top NA titles. You can check that out here if you’d like and no this isn’t some genius thing I discovered, it’s just putting what’s already been stated in various articles into accessible, usable terms.
Today I’m talking about WAIT FOR YOU by J. Lynn.
Some things are worth waiting for…
Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.
Some things are worth experiencing…
Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.
Some things should never be kept quiet…
But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?
And some things are worth fighting for…
**review contains mild spoilers!
MY THOUGHTS: At first it took me just a bit to get into it, it was kind of like learning to drive manual transmission and grinding and cranking through those first couple of gears and then suddenly I was in 4th gear, cruising down the high way, 120% invested in the story. I feel like she hit all the main elements of the formula really well. I think I’m going to review the book by laying it against this formula.
1) Since her book is already out we don’t have to worry about this author writing fast enough to catch this NA wave. She’s caught it.
2) It’s got the 3 word fragment title
3) Gorgeous, Gorgeous cover! Zoomed in couple embracing that just says “you’re my soul-mate forever and ever.” It gives me warm fuzzies and it feels dark and epic at the same time like I know I’m about to go on a painful emotional yet rewarding journey with these people.
|“When I see something I like, I gotta… I love it.”–The Notebook|
Girl MC – Avery definitely comes with a hefty load of baggage. *spoiler!* she’s the victim of sexual assault that happened five years previously and there’s a bunch more high school/family drama to add to that baggage too. She’s now 19 and starting college. Even though the weight on her shoulders is heavy, we see inner strength, her potential to fight for what she wants in the fact that she’s moved far away from home against her parent’s wishes and she’s cut her self off from them financially. As far as the innocence goes, Avery’s not been in a relationship before OR been willingly physical with guys before so she’s got that covered perfectly and the best part is, unlike Anastasia Steel, I believed Avery’s innocence 100%. To me, there wasn’t any other way for her to be because of what she’s been through.
Guy MC – Cam oh Cam…Cameron is quite the fictional boy, let me tell you. But just a warning, he’s no Christian Gray so if you’re into that sort of character…you know what? I don’t care if you’re not into nice boys, give Cam a chance maybe you’ll change your mind. Cam is so perfect for Avery. She’s got so much darkness in her past and Cam’s like the cool aloe stuff that you put on after getting a sun burn. And he hits the main formula elements for Guy MCs, mysterious and hot.
|“I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day.”–The Notebook|
Setting – College campus in West Virginia. Totally fits.
Sexual Tension – This is spot on perfect! What’s so beautiful about this particular aspect of WAIT FOR YOU is that Avery has truly feared physical contact for five years and to watch her slowly unravel and finally not just accept but crave these natural human needs is so real. And then to watch her draw back and kinda freak out about these changes in her, it’s raw and emotional and I felt it every step of the way, even when she infuriated me with her resistance, I got it.
|“I could be fun, if you want. I could be pensive. I could be whatever you want. You just tell me what you want, and I’m gonna be that for you.”–The Notebook|
Forward Motion – This aspect of WAIT FOR YOU, making sure that it’s an emotional connection that leads to the resolution of all the sexual tension built in the beginning of the story, is done perfectly. I wanted that for Avery so much by the time we get to that point in the book, but the real genius came *spoiler!* when J. Lynn decided to have Avery explore sexual need on her own before letting Cam really touch her and this, to me, felt safe and appropriate. She thinks about Cam touching while touching herself, which I normally would skim over in a review because it’s dirty talk…lol. But here, in the context of this story, it was almost like therapy, like visualization, getting her to open the door and truly overcome her fears because of the assault that happened 5 years ago. It’s like the opposite of how sexual assault was handled in this other book I reviewed.
Sex – And by sex, I just mean any form of physical love. WAIT FOR YOU has plenty of awesome detail and description and obviously it hits that important point of being a new, and better experience for Avery at least. I think it is for Cam too, he seemed to enjoy it just fine. But it’s all tied to epic love that has layers of depth so it doesn’t feel cheap. It’s beautiful.
|“You’re gonna kill me woman! I need sleep, I need food, to regain my strength!”|
Other Dudes – There’s a boy who gets a little grabby with Avery at a party and that creates tension with Cam and allows him to show his primal, stake-my-claim-on-her side but it’s not over-the-top as I’ve seen if plenty of books in the genre. Also, there’s the guy who assaulted Avery. He might not be on the pages but he’s constantly taking up space in Avery’s mind and he’s always coming between Avery and Cam. But there’s no triangle so don’t worry!
|“If it’s with him, go. Go! I lost you once, I think I can do it again. If I thought that’s what you really wanted. But don’t you take the easy way out.”–The Notebook|
Push The Limits – This element is more subtle in WAIT FOR YOU which suits my personal tastes better. However *spoiler!* Cam does have a temperamental side that he skillfully keeps hidden almost all the time. Normally, I very wary of the temperamental/possessive Christian Gray and Edward Cullen type guy characters, but Cam’s not like that. He’s smart, sweet, charming and Avery comes into the story very uptight and jumpy but Cam makes her relax, she feels safe around him so he’s not intense like Christian and Edward or Travis from Beautiful Disaster. Hearing that Cam had a violent incident of his own in the past actually made me feel relieved. I secretly wanted him to be able to protect Avery and do anything he had to do to make sure she stayed safe. Maybe that’s really not the healthiest thing to hope for their relationship but I can’t help how I feel and that’s why this element of the story, though frowned upon by many is absolutely crucial to giving the story that epic, addicting, page turning feel. We can pretend we’re against the Alfa-Male instinct all we want but the reality is, this flaw in Cam’s past, the potential for him to repeat the behavior if any threatens his family or his one-true love really made the story have that depth it needs.
|“Do you think our love can make miracles?”–The Notebook|
The Wall Between Them – Avery and Cam’s wall is her past and her inability to tell Cam what happened to her. I got so frustrated and pissed off at Avery during several points in the story where Cam just begged her to open up and she refused. She lied, she ran from him. But what made this work is that Cam would get frustrated at the same time as me and I liked that he showed some human insecurity and backed off at times when he’d had enough. But the payoff, the growth, was truly rewarding.
|“What easy way? There is no easy way, no matter what I do, somebody gets hurt.”–The Notebook|
HEA – Happily ever after. I won’t spoil that but I’m sure you can guess. However there’s some really cool and rewarding aspects to the ending that I thoroughly enjoyed.
|“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”–The Notebook|
I’m giving WAIT FOR YOU by J. Lynn 5 out of 5 stars! Highly recommended for those who love Mature YA contemporary and New Adult.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Buy WAIT FOR YOU from Amazon