(Note: This post was made pre-layout update.
The formats may be wonky.)
Title: IF ONLY
Author: A.J. Pine
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Pub. Date: March 24, 2014
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
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.
When she’s not writing, AJ is sneaking off to her day job as a high school English teacher or hanging with her husband and kids in the Chicago burbs.
AJ’s debut NA novel, IF ONLY, releases with Entangled’s Embrace line on March 24!
But dang. "If Only" was the best friend smacking you upside the head. Reading this book was like meeting someone who experienced all the same angst of your college days. If this book were a person we would have talked and laughed all night over a glass (or 5) of wine. I appreciated right away Jordan's conflict and I appreciated even more that she remained true to herself, in many ways, by not just throwing herself into bed with the first guy that offered. Jordan believed in love but, as many 20-somethings girls do, discovered that getting to know a person and learning to trust isn't as easy as Disney makes it out to be.
Jordan is an average girl. In the case of "If Only" this is extremely important because MANY college-aged girls have studied abroad and have experienced that sort of "Anything can happen" mentality, NOT just the super gorgeous, highly flirty, or overly lux. Study abroad can happen to anyone (and should).
I think A.J. Pine captured well the psyche of young college women who find themselves frustrated, tired, and just plain confused when it comes to living life, being true to yourself, and learning to trust others in love. It's difficult. Sometimes it's just a MESS.
There was certainly some juvenile drama going on throughout, especially between Jordan and the two man-boys she became entangled with during her trip abroad. When I started to get frustrated with how things were progressing towards the "Stop acting like a child" realm, however, I conveniently remembered the structure of my relationships back in my early 20s. Then I just sighed. Flashbacks can be extraordinarily sobering. I don't miss my early 20s.
I believe that A.J. Pine has done an extraordinary job of capturing that sort of turmoil that comes with being a "new" adult, which I think is the entire point of the NA genre. If there were more NA books like this out there then I would definitely be a fan.
Well penned, Ms. Pine!