As my first foray into the newly created genre of ‘new adult’, Wait for You by J. Lynn didn’t feel like that big of a step away from the young adult fiction I am already accustomed to.
The book has a fairly simple plot, as Avery Morgansten moves away from her home town in Texas and begins her life again at college (university to us Brits!). However, she is nineteen and has never been in a relationship, having suffered something horrific in her past which has made her want to escape Texas forever. Five years ago something happened to Avery to make her friends and everyone at school turn against her and begin calling her terrible names, bullying her until she couldn’t take it anymore – with her still having a scar on her wrist to prove it.
Now she is trying to move on and build a new life for herself, away from the control of her parents and the sneering looks wherever she goes. College life is meant to be her big chance, having got herself an apartment and with it her own space to relax and finally feel free. However, the book begins with her running late on her first day and running headfirst into Cameron Hamilton, the most desirable guy on campus. He is rich, gorgeous and has the body of a god, saving her from falling flat on her face before revealing that they have astronomy class together.
Fearing the looks of her fellow classmates when she walks in late, Avery runs away and seeks solace with her two new friends, Jacob and Brittany. They excitedly tell her how desirable Cam is, but Avery has no desire to become involved with any guys, let alone a popular, womanizing jock. However, she can’t stop running into Cam around campus, and then discovers that he lives in the apartment across the hall from her. He is undoubtedly attracted to her, and claims he won’t give up on asking her out until she says yes. Avery is shocked at his overconfidence, but will any amount of romantic gestures allow her to overcome her past and move on?
As a heroine, I found it hard to connect with Avery at times. I empathised with her over her struggles to move on, but at the same time couldn’t help eye-rolling at her naivety when it came to social situations and relationship dramas. I suppose this was understandable, given the bullying which has followed her from the age of fourteen, but it made her feel more like a sixteen-year-old than her true age of nineteen. When it came to Cam, she was completely cringe-worthy in her reactions, which didn’t give the book that adult feel I was looking for. Avery seemed to be obsessed with Cam’s looks, as we are given frequent descriptions of his muscular chest and how she gets sidetracked whenever she looks at him.
And that was the truest thing ever spoken. I needed to stop staring at his bicep… and chest… and tattoo. Never thought the sun could be so… sexy. Wow. This was awkward.
“You running into me, me almost running over you?” Cam elaborated. “It’s like we’re a catastrophe waiting to happen.”
As clichéd as the description of Cam was, as he seems to fulfil every heartthrob stereotype, I was surprised by his character as I found myself really warming to him. He is relentless in his pursuit of Avery, as he knows what he wants and knows that he will win her over eventually, but at the same time he is caring and sensitive and takes it slow to get to know her. His overconfidence was contagious, with him pulling off some grand gestures which were sweet and funny and totally over the top. He is not the womanizer everyone thinks he is, and has a much softer side he shows to Avery. I couldn’t help but like him, although towards the end he starts calling Avery ‘sweetheart’ all the time, which started to annoy me as it felt overused and out of place.
The stereotypes filled by the main characters were not the only ones present throughout the book, as the entire college system seemed to present the same high school cliques from young adult novels, such as the popular, attractive girl who had once slept with Cam and was now highly jealous of Avery. Even her friends were typecast, as Jacob fills the role of overtly gay best friend, whilst Brit is the more sensible female shoulder to cry on and a voice of reason. I didn’t find these additional characters added much to the plot, and were there more for humour than anything else, as Jacob makes some amusing remarks about Cam and how stupid Avery is to say no.
When it came to Avery’s secret finally being revealed at the end, it felt like it had been drawn out for too long. She begins receiving anonymous emails and texts throughout the book, calling her a lying whore for what happened in Texas, but she deletes every single one without reading them. When the message finally gets through to her, she realises she has to tell the truth before she can turn her life around. I had a guess of what had probably happened to her, and was only slightly wrong, but the little titbits the author feeds us began to annoy me by the end, as it could have been revealed earlier without so much preamble in the plot, as Cam’s gestures began to feel like plot filler.
Avery and Cam’s relationship was well-developed by the author, as it was easy to see her slowly begin to fall for him after everything he does for her. I liked how determined he was and knew he’d never give up on her, as cliché as the whole affair was. However, when the book finally progressed onto intimate scenes, I wasn’t impressed. The eventual sex was steamy, but the lead-up was awkward and embarrassing to read. Avery’s mental reactions feel too teenage, as she gets ridiculously gushy after their first kiss and the descriptions of her masturbation were not pleasant to read.
Although there were several elements about this book which annoyed me, there was something about the writing style which wouldn’t let me put it down and compelled me to keep reading. I had to know what would happen at the end, even though I wasn’t particularly attached to the characters. I don’t know if I’d pick up the next book in the series as I was expecting a more mature read, but as a first foray into new adult fiction I wasn’t overly disappointed and am looking forward to discovering more of this new genre.
I didn’t completely enjoy this book, as I felt there was more young adult than new adult, and it drew on some very teenage clichés, such as stereotypical high school characters as opposed to mature college students. The relationship was also very clichéd, but there was something infectious about the writing style, and about Cam, which kept me hooked and unable to put it down ‘til the close.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- 1. Wait for You
- 1.5. Trust in Me
- 2. Be with Me
BUY YOUR COPY