The Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge was Romance for September and one of our beloved authors, Ann Aguirre, just happened to be trying her hand at New Adult Romance. It was kismet!
I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre
Book #1 in 2B Trilogy
Genres: New Adult Romance
Publication Date: August 26th 2014
ARC Provided by Netgalley and Harlequin HQN
AH and Christal’s Review
Ann Aguirre is better known for her speculative fiction – Razorland, a YA dystopia; Sirantha Jax, an adult science fiction, and Corine Solomon, an urban fantasy. With the 2B Trilogy, she steps more firmly into romance territory and the result will please some readers though it is very different from her other writings.
Christal: I’ve had the Backstreet Boys running through my head ever since I picked this book up. Grrrrr to you, Ann Aguirre! 😉 On to the book though, I liked it but I didn’t love it. I think it did avoid a lot of the clichés and tropes that most new adult romances tend to fall into though.
AH: I Want It That Way is an example of New Adult done right. The main characters, Nadia and Ty, have real life issues. Both are full-time students and both work crazy work hours so that they can finish their degrees. In addition, Ty is the father of 4-year-old Sam, so most of his free time is taken up by child care. Sam has got to be the cutest 4-year-old ever –my memories of 4 year olds include much tantrumming. Nadia and Ty don’t really engage in any of the angst that plagues this genre. Nadia had a nice circle of friends around her. Her roommates were supportive and got along great with each other.
Christal: See, I thought this could have used a little more angst. I actually got a little bored with the day-to-day stuff and the Nadia hanging out with her roommates parts. A lot of it didn’t seem to matter for anything more than page count. The times when Nadia was meaningfully connecting with the other characters though, that I did love. I felt Angus was a throwaway character, but I loved Nadia and Max’s friendship. I would have loved to see that developed more, especially more towards the end of the book. The little that we got was great! I thought Lauren was okay, but I guess since this story started with their friendship in a rocky patch, I never got a real best friends vibe from her and Nadia. I actually enjoyed Courtney much more and thought she and Nadia had a nice friendship starting. Ty was actually a weak spot in this book for me. I loved Nadia and being in her head gave us such insight into her as a character. Ty was not as fully formed for me. He seemed to run very hot and cold and his manner and personality could change at the drop of a hat. I understand he was protective of his child, but it seemed overdone at times. I thought he and Nadia were cute together, but I could have done with the conflict being moved up in the book so there was more time to flesh it out. It just seemed to resolve very abruptly.
AH: I liked how Nadia and Ty were friends first. Yes, there was a definite chemistry between the two, but Nadia let Ty lead the relationship. Ty worried about his young son and he did not want Nadia to become an insta-mom at such a young age. Nadia and Ty got to know each other first. Nadia never really pressed Ty for details about Sam’s mother. Instead, she asks him about his dreams. I also loved the balcony moments when Nadia sent a basket of goodies down. So sweet.
Christal: I liked that they were friends first as well, though I still think Nadia fell into insta-love too fast; the book only avoid that cliché because of the maturity and strength that Ann Aguirre gave her characters. I felt like Ty suggesting a “friends with benefits” relationship was out of character for him, but Nadia accepting made sense — even if I didn’t like it for her. Ty was so careful with other women, keeping them completely separate from Sam; I just don’t see how he could have ever thought things would work out. Also, I don’t know why he thought he had to keep Nadia so separate since she already knew Sam from day care. She wasn’t some random stranger; there were actually probably days were she was around him more than Ty. I did like the balcony scenes though and the basket was an enormously cute idea. I wasn’t blown away with the pacing of Nadia and Ty’s story, and I’m not a super fan of Lauren, but I do think I will give the rest of this series a try since it is only three books.
Thank you to Harlequin HQN and Netgalley for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Be sure to join us next month for our science fiction read!
Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge Schedule:
January – Young Adult
February – Contemporary
March – Urban Fantasy
April – Middle Grade
May – Dystopian
June – High Fantasy
July – Adult
August – Paranormal
September – Romance
October – Sci-Fi
November – Historical Fiction
December – New Adult
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