Saturday, January 17, 2015

Double Review: "What If" by A.J. Pine

Hey bookworms!

We're happy to be doing a DOUBLE review
today of a phenomenal NA Romance by A.J. Pine.
If you're an NA lover then you NEED this one on
your TBR list.


Title: What If

Author: A. J. Pine

Genre: NA Romance

Publication: December 8, 2014

Pages: 342


Sometimes it takes letting go of the past to find out who you want to be.

During his semester abroad, Griffin Reed almost gave his heart to a girl who loved someone else. Lesson learned. Now he’s home, where following in his father’s footsteps may not be what he wants, but it’s what his parents expect. It might be taking the easy road, but he doesn’t see a way out.

Something that could have killed Maggie Kendall took away the person she used to be instead. Her condition makes her dependent on sticky notes, photos, and medication just to get through each day. The last thing she needs is a distraction—or someone new to disappoint.

What they refuse to see is they are perfect for each other. Maggie makes Griffin want to be a better man, and he makes her believe a future is possible. But these two have to find a way to share the secrets ripping them apart, if they’re ever going to have a chance at happiness.

Auggie's Review

Well, WOW! That was a roller coaster ride! Reading Maggie and Griffin's stories was like seeing people I know struggle with their own heartaches and fears. Doubt can be so crippling, and A.J. Pine does a fantastic job of showing just how harrowing giving in and letting go can really be, especially when it involves being vulnerable to another human being.

To be honest, this romance was a bit on the dark side for me, and extremely realistic considering the stuff both Griffin and Maggie are dealing with when they come together. The grittiness of it made the ending even more beautiful,  though. Some of Maggie and Griffin's behavior had me almost flailing in frustration because as a reader I could SEE THE TRUTH and they were both struggling so much, and my heart was aching for them. It truly felt like I was a friend/sister watching from the sidelines and not being able to do a dang thing. And all the while they were mindlessly hurting there was this absurd little voice screaming in my head "WHY CAN THEY NO SEE TWOOTH?!" I mean seriously, the voice was having a cow. And it needs some English lessons.

But that's the beauty of this book, the realness of it, the battle of the heart and the mind, the coming to terms with the fact that loving can be HARD and SCARY and full of ups and downs and wrong turns and right moments... but that it can be oh so good, an oh so worth it too. Sometimes you just have to give in to your "What If"s.

Oh, and I LOVED THE ENDING. Just thought you should know that.

4/5 to "What If" by A.J Pine. A truly moving read.


Auggie is the 28 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk, a part-time Reference Librarian with a degree in Anthropology and a nearly completed Masters in Library Science. A bibliobibuli by nature and a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. One can normally find Auggie neck deep in reading, writing, or daydreaming (sometimes all three at once).  She's also been known to drink too much caffeine and eat too many lemon flavored sweets.

Tori's Review

Heavy, warm sigh. Tender, poignant, exciting, heartbreaking, wonderful…all words to describe the incredible second installment to the If Only series. To be perfectly honest, upon finding out that What If was about Griffin…my sails sizably deflated. I had fallen for Noah so ardently in the first book that I was just convinced that I had no room left for Griffin in my literary boyfriend vault. In spite of this, as I’m sure you have already surmised by my opening statements, I cracked the cover and rapidly swallowed those words. Sorry, Noah…Griffin knocked my socks off.

The story of Griffin and Maggie was entirely different than what I had envisioned. Pine created two characters that were so broken by their own definitions that they didn’t think that love was a possibility. Both viewpoints had me completely invested and I enjoyed how seamlessly the story unfolded – never lagging or rushed. Plenty of books will have at least a few scenes that have you fighting the urge to hardcore skim. Cross my heart, this is not…I repeat…NOT one of them!

Besides, Pine had me grinning like a mad woman with the first Gilmore Girls reference. I’m a softie for my fellow Stars Hollow aficionados and I melted at the first hint of a Jess vs Logan deliberation. After all, in the words of one Lorelai Gilmore, “I’m afraid that once your heart’s involved…it all comes out in moron!”

5 quills to What If! I had no will to put this book down. Period. I might as well have had my fingers glued to the pages because this story thoroughly enticed me. I will be eagerly anticipating more from A.J. Pine!

Until next time my dears,

  Tori is a  24 year old tiny oddball of a woman who ardently loves rainy days and festive repartee. A college graduate, she holds a degree in communications with an emphasis on writing for media. Tori is currently an Assistant librarian working towards getting her Master's in Library Science. You will not find it surprising that this Auggie-Talk Co-Blogger is a passionate devotee of impulsive bookstore perusing and reading far past the point of exhaustion.

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