Monday, September 30, 2013

7 Heart Review: Wait for You by J. Lynn

Wait for You (Wait for You #1)
J. Lynn

Page Count: 384

Release Date: September 3rd 2013 (new paperback edition)
Publisher: William Morrow (Harper Collins)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher, via tour publicist, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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’s 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...
I wasn't sure that I could've gone further. Well, especially now I didn't think so. Cam would eventually move on and I would have an absolutely obliterated heart. Not broken, but completely destroyed, because Cam... he was falling-in-love-with material. And I couldn't let that happen.

With thousands of 5-star reviews all over Goodreads and Amazons and an overhyped fandom, Wait for You was one of new adult novels I was most looking forward to trying. While I did enjoy the book, I don't think—and this might put me on a blacklist with diehard Jennifer Armentrout fans—that it was all that mind-blowing. There is nothing surprising, nothing thrilling, and nothing intricate about this story, but it was, regardless, fun to follow.

Wait for You begins with a collision: the literal, head-on collision of two of the most overused archetypes in NA: the gorgeous-eyed reformed bad boy, Cam Hamilton, and the shy, painfully average new girl in town, Avery Morgansten. This "chance encounter"—as well as the revelation that the two happen to have their next class together, are randomly assigned as lab partners, and are neighbors, for Christ's sake—embodies their entire relationship throughout the novel; it's cheesy, it's contrived, and it's frequently the victim of (un)amused eye-rolling. 

Cam is an absolute dreamboat, but he's too much of a fantasy guy. He's easy to fall in love with, so I loved his humor and swooned over the way he treats Avery, but he's too good to be true, with perfect looks, a perfect family, perfect friends, an unrealistically considerate respect for a woman's body and virtue, etc., which made everything about him hard to believe.

Our narrator Avery is genuine, and likable for the naïve wide-eyed virgin-type, but honestly just doesn't have a fun personality. Humor is often lost on her, she's jumpy as hell, and she's awfully bipolar (i.e. pushes Cam away then throws a fit when he stays away), so I overall found her frustrating. I feel like Lynn intentionally created a huge mess of a character, so I will acknowledge these flaws as character-building, but if Avery was a real-life person, she'd be that weird girl at school who never laughs at jokes, is unnaturally reclusive, and locks herself in her apartment every night to avoid socializing... which she actually does.

Retreating from the rather poorly portrayed main characters, the plot itself is nothing note-worthy. Wait for You has another typical, haunting-past-catches-up-to-present storyline that's all of predictable and starkly unoriginal. I feel like Avery's and Cam's "deep, dark pasts" are supposed to compel and shock—and the issues themselves, are definitely grave and shouldn't be taken lightly—but the way they are revealed is just too simple and straightforward; I wasn't profoundly touched by any of it. But because there are such heavy matters covered, the emotional timbre is poignant; Avery is a sensitive narrator, and all her angsts and desires are easy to relate with.

I fully appreciate the coming-of-age transition, as it's less about Avery's search for identity, and more about Avery reshaping her identity after it's been stripped away. The message of self-empowerment is incredibly potent, although rather two-dimensional—just like the romance. Cam and Avery's sentimental romance can get a little ridiculous at times, but the physical aspect of it hot, and definitely one of the best aspects of the book. It is pretty sexually explicit, but I'm kind of a glutton for that kind of thing.

J. Lynn may not be tremendously skilled with the pen (in fact, her writing is rather elementary and unsophisticated), but she certainly is gifted in transporting readers into a fantasy world, an ideal world where painful pasts can be a topic of intrigue and the hottest boy on campus falls for the troubled, awfully mediocre small-town girl. While Wait for You is a far cry from being a favorite of mine, I enjoyed it the way I admittedly enjoyed Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey: for its ease of style and mindlessness, as well as the saturated fantasy it offers, the overindulgent "perfect" romance. 

Pros


Cam needs to exist in real life // Effortless read that moves quickly // Smokin' hot sex // Draws you into an expanse of emotions // A feel-good story, perfect for a quick escape

Cons


Cam doesn't exist in real life // Plot lacks originality and complexity // Ridiculously idealized relationship // Everything, from the plot, to the characters, to the romance, is cheesy to the max // Style did not blow me away // Avery is indecisive and sometimes really, really stupid—made her a frustrating narrator // Both main and secondary characters are distressingly shallow

Love

"Fuck, Avery. You think I don't want you? ... Don't ever doubt that I want you. That is not what this is about ... But not like this—never like this. You're drunk, Avery, and when we get together—because we will get together—you're going to be fully aware of everything that I do to you."

It took a few moments, but what he said finally sunk in through the liquor haze and confusion and made sense.

Closing my eyes, I turned my head to the side, feeling the way his skin slid alongside mine. "You're a good guy, Cam."

"No, I'm not." He exhaled deeply and his breath was warm against my cheek. "I'm only good with you."

Verdict


J. Lynn draws readers in to a contemporary college setting in West Virginia where two unlikely lovers—each with a dark secret—together, uncover the power in themselves to rekindle the passions they once thought they'd completely lost. Avery and Cam's tense romance is both stormy and starry-eyed, and although I found it to be unrealistic and clichéd, it is a part of a fast-moving, absorbing account that reminds you of what it means to love. Wait for You is a different kind of coming-of-age novel about resilience, taking chances even after being broken, and refusing to let your past define and limit you. It isn't by any means a masterpiece, but I liked it enough to want to try its sequel Americanflag

7 hearts: Not perfect, but overall enjoyable (x)