Review: Wait For You by J. Lynn

Title Wait For You
Author J. Lynn (Otherwise known as Jennifer L. Armentrout)
Published February 26th, 2013 by J. Lynn
Pages 332 Pages
Intended Target Audience New Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Rape
Part of a Series? Yes (Book 1 in the Wait For You series)
Source & Format Purchased from Amazon.com, eBook
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChapters

Synopsis

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…

“The silence was killing me.
And that’s all there ever was. Silence. It was all I knew. Keep quiet. Pretend nothing had happened, that nothing was wrong. And look how well that was turning out.
…Problem was, running away wasn’t working anymore. It never worked in the first place and how long did it take me to figure that out? Five years, almost six? And how many miles? Thousands?”

Nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten is nothing if not a stickler for punctuality. Despite extensive planning and the best of intentions, however, Avery still finds herself running late as she arrives for the first day of her freshmen year of university. Blind to anything around her as she races to class and imagines the scornful looks of her classmates as she walks in ten minutes late, Avery runs into Cameron Hamilton, knocking her right off her feet, both literally and figuratively. Desirous of keeping a relatively low profile after being the source of endless gossip in her former hometown, the last thing Avery needs or wants is to form an attachment with notorious playboy and reformer womanizer, Cameron Hamilton. Initially paired together in order to complete a series of assignments for their astronomy course, soon Avery and Cameron are spending every waking moment together. As their friendship continues to blossom, Cameron pursues Avery romantically at every turn, continually finding new and increasingly creative ways to ask her out. Despite Cam’s persistent pursuit, however, Avery can’t bring herself to believe that Cameron is actually interested in her. All the while the shadow of her past prevents her from ever truly trusting another or imagining a world in which she can be in a normal, healthy relationship. She repeatedly turns him down, the back-and-forth banter now a predictable and familiar part of their relationship. It isn’t long before Avery comes to the rather surprising revelation that Cameron’s feelings for her are anything but part of a game. As Avery struggles to navigate her growing feelings for Cam, she also begins to receive a string of cryptic and increasingly menacing emails and phone calls from an unknown source. All too soon, it becomes clear that despite her best efforts and thousands of miles of distance, the past is anything but behind her.

“I hadn’t let go of the past and there was no future unless I did so. All I’d been doing this entire time was pretending – pretending to be okay, to be completely happy, to be a survivor.
And I wasn’t a survivor. For too many years, I’d been nothing more than a victim on the road.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I was more than a little apprehensive prior to reading this particular novel. My experience with the ‘New Adult’ genre has been unreliable at best. For every wonderful book like Tammara Webber’s Easy and Cora Carmack’s Losing It, there are ten others like Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster that leave a sour taste in my mouth and have me reconsidering my stance of the genre. Having previously read and enjoyed Jennifer L. Armentrout’s independent novel, Cursed, as well as her young adult series, Lux, I was familiar with her work and curious enough to read one of her forays into the New Adult genre. While this novel and I didn’t get off to the best of starts as I was unimpressed by Cameron’s initial proprietary possessive treatment of Avery, referring to her as ‘his girl’ after only a handful of meetings, and his repetitive use of the pet-name ‘Sweetheart’ throughout the course of the novel, which was both saccharine and cloying, I soon found that there was something compulsively readable about Lynn’s writing. After conquering my initial reservations, I found that while Wait For You was hardly the most well-written or elegant romance I had ever read, I couldn’t put this novel down for an instant until it was over.

“Everything okay?” Cam asked, placing his hand on my lower back. Concern pinched his brows.
“Yes.” I dropped my cell back into my bag. Everything was okay. Maybe not perfect, but life wasn’t meant to be. It was messy and sometimes it was a disaster, but there was beauty in the messiness and there could be peace in the disaster.”

Avery Morgansten was a girl after my compulsively neurotic heart. A victim of rape at the age of fourteen who was forced to keep quiet about her assault, Avery seeks comfort in familiar routines and micromanages every aspect of her life in order to establish some semblance of control. Moving thousands of miles away from Texas to West Virginia in order to attend university, Avery makes every attempt to put the past behind her and start a new life away from the toxic influence of her parents and peers. Relishing her newfound anonymity, she looks forward to creating a new identity independent of her past. Still suffering from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of her sexual assault five years prior, trust is hard to come by, and Avery is uninterested in forming any sort of romantic attachment. That is, until she meets Cameron Hamilton, who challenges her at every turn and inspires her to ask for more out of life than mere survival. As much as I liked Avery, I must admit that I found her absolute refusal to confide in Cameron despite all he had done to prove his trustworthiness and sensitivity was more than a little irritating. While I realize that this was in part a result of the non-disclosure agreement she was forced to sign as a child, more often than not it simply seemed like a means of prolonging the ‘dramatic’ conversation between Avery and Cameron until the last possible moment in order to dramatize the denouement to greatest effect.

“A flush crawled across my cheeks. “I’m not going out with you, Cam.”
“I didn’t ask you at this moment, now did I?” One side of his lips curved up. “But you will eventually.”
My eyes narrowed. “You’re delusional.”
“I’m determined.”
“More like annoying.”
“Most would say amazing.”

Cameron Hamilton was a pleasant surprise. I must admit I was predisposed to dislike him as much is immediately made of his good looks, charm, and alleged promiscuity. Thankfully, there is more to Cameron than initially meets the eye. Beneath the bravado and arrogance is a sensitive, thoughtful man who exceeded my expectations at every turn. I greatly appreciated that he respected Avery’s autonomy and was extremely patient and understanding as their relationship progressed. How can you not fall in love with a boy who keeps a tortoise named after one of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a pet? One problem that I did have with Cameron’s character, however, was that I couldn’t understand what, if any, purpose Cameron’s reputation as a former womanizer served within the context of the story. His former promiscuity had no bearing on his relationship with Avery apart from inspiring the occasional bout of jealousy. While Avery’s sexual inexperience makes sense given her history of sexual assault, Cameron’s sexual history as a reformed Lothario seemed arbitrary. Given the lack of relevance, I could only assume that this aspect of Cameron’s backstory was added in order to capitalize on the popularity of other literary characters in the New Adult genre who are cast from a similar mould, like Travis Maddox from Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster. Thankfully, that is where the similarities between Cameron and Travis began and ended.

“Sugar and cream, right?” she asked.
I smiled a little. “You remembered.”
“I think the key to the start of any good relationship is to remember how the other person likes their coffee.”

Apart from Cameron’s rather sickening use of pet-names, the relationship between Avery and Cameron was very sweet. As I previously touched on, Cameron’s gentle treatment of Avery was particularly endearing. Sensitive to her needs and boundaries, it was admirable that Cameron allowed Avery to take the lead in their physical relationship, relying on her to determine when they would take the next step in their relationship. His willingness to wait until she was comfortable made it all the more easy to fall in love with him. I also appreciated that Cameron highly prized honesty in their relationship and was entirely open with Avery about his rather checkered past. Readers should be aware that the novel does contain scenes of explicit sexuality, all of which I found quite steamy and well rendered.

“Girl, you got competition.” Jacob folded his arms on the table. “That’s Sally and Susan – belta, delta, boogie-sigma-chi-latte-VPs.”
Brit’s brows lowered. “That’s not even close to a sorority name.”

“Whatever.”

All that said, this novel was not without its fair share of problems. Technically speaking, while there is little doubt that Lynn’s work is compulsively readable (I found myself whipping through this novel a matter of hours) Wait For You was hardly the most well-written story I had ever read. Replete with the usual hallmarks of a stereotypical romance novel, the story is teeming with entire paragraphs waxing eloquent about Cameron’s good looks and charm and is littered with rough, crude colloquial language that sees a number of characters referring to things as being ‘the shit’ (A phrase that absolutely sets my teeth on edge) The secondary characters were woefully one-dimensional, included only to further the development of our protagonist and generate further interaction between Avery and Cameron. Avery’s parents were cast in the stereotypical role of villain, more concerned with preserving their reputation than in the well-being of their own daughter. I was surprised to find that we weren’t treated to a scene in which they twirled their mustaches and cackled with nefarious delight. The portrayal of Avery’s best friends was similarly shallow, with Jacob cast in the now cliché role of the gay best friend.

More importantly, however, I could have happily done without the secondary storyline involving the string of mysterious and abusive phone calls and emails that Avery receives throughout the course of the novel. I couldn’t help but feel as though these messages were unnecessarily melodramatic, distracting from Avery’s personal journey of recovery and only superficially explored once the tormentor’s identity came to light. Moreover, while I sympathized with what Avery’s tormentor had been through, I felt as though this didn’t give them the license to treat Avery as they did. Because we are not privy to their perspective and motivations, Avery’s tormentor seemed entirely unsympathetic and acted as an additional villain in the piece. This made me particularly uncomfortable given that the mysterious stranger is also a rape victim. One should never be made to be in the position to vilify a victim of rape. Both the addition of this storyline and the manner in which it was handled felt cruel and entirely unnecessary.

“Thank you.”
His lips curved up on one side. “For what?”
“For waiting for me.”

The perfect choice for fans of Tammara Webber’s Easy, Wait For You tells the moving story of one girl’s attempt to seek closure, peace and happiness in the wake of unimaginable trauma. Writing under the pseudonym, J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout has constructed a new adult romance that delights and she examines the difficult issue of sexual assault and its aftermath with grace and sensitivity. While many of the secondary characters fall flat and the secondary storyline was entirely unnecessary, there was something about Lynn’s writing that was compulsively engaging and kept me enthralled until the very last page.

Overall Rating

Around The Web

Still not sure this is the right book for you? Why not listen to what some other bloggers had to say about it?

● Tori @ Smexy Books wrote “J. Lynn certainly surpassed my expectations and has written a new adult love story that takes us on a incredible emotional journey filled with love, laughter, growth, and romance.” (Read the rest of the review Here!)

● Rebecca @ Book Chick City wrote “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.” (Read the rest of the review Here!)

● Ann @ Under The Covers Book Blog wrote “Wait For You is an emotional, heartbreaking, but definitely sweet love story that readers will gobble up like candy! After reading this, it only makes me want more!” (Read the rest of the review Here!)

8 responses to “Review: Wait For You by J. Lynn”

  1. Leanna says:

    I have to admit that I’m a little bit over ‘New Adult’ already. I find a lot of the books very samey and I’ve yet to read one that I love. However, this one sounds like one of the better NA reads. I bought a copy when it released, but like a lot of other NA titles, haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.
    Leanna recently posted…Reviewed by Liz: Noble Conflict by Malorie Blackman.My Profile

    • I would have to agree. While there are certainly some exceptions to the rule, there is definitely a certain pattern to the majority of the New Adult novels I’ve read thus far. I’m a bit of a glutton for punishment as I’m endlessly trying new titles in this genre but yielding little success.

      If I’m being entirely honest, I would recommend either Easy or Losing It over Wait For You, but this was certainly a relatively pleasant read and one I was able to get through quite quickly 🙂 Be sure to send me a link to your review once you’ve read it, as I would love to hear what you thought about it!
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonMy Profile

  2. Excellent review! I have this on my TBR, and even if you didn’t completely love it, I think I’ll enjoy it. When I’m in mood for something a little more mature than a YA but not completely ‘adult’ I love diving into a NA novel. The problems are a little different, and that’s partly what I like.

    I’ve added your blog to my bloglovin’ because I love thorough reviews that tell me everything that was good, bad or just meh!

    Have a great day, and happy reading 🙂
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Review: Splintered (Splintered #1) – A. G. HowardMy Profile

    • Thanks, Lexxie! 🙂 If you’re in the right mood for it, this book is certainly quite a bit of fun. Like you, I often search for something in the middle ground between young adult and adult literature when I’m in need of a change of pace. While I haven’t had the highest success rate with the New Adult genre thus far, I keep searching for the perfect book that will hit the spot. I’m holding out hope that the variety in the genre will eventually increase as right now there seems to be a lot of similar themes and overlap in terms of character types.

      Also, thank you so much for adding Pop! Goes The Reader on Bloglovin’! I really appreciate your support 😀
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonMy Profile

  3. Lucy says:

    I bought a copy of this when it came out but still haven’t read it! I don’t know why, since I like this author- too many books competing for my attention I guess. Glad to hear it was unputdownable even though it wasn’t your fave NA book by any means. I like NA but agree it’s hard to find the good ones out there.

    Since you compared this book to Easy I’m more inclined to check it out!
    Lucy recently posted…Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols Book ReviewMy Profile

    • I’ve always enjoyed Jennifer L. Armetrout’s work as well, which is why I was willing to give Wait For You a chance despite my less-than-stellar track record with the New Adult genre thus far. I like the idea of the genre itself and would love to read more novels that examine the difficult transition between high school and college or college and the work force, but I’m still searching for one to truly fall in love with.

      I really hope you enjoy Wait For You, Lucy! I would love to hear what you thought of it once you’re finished, I always enjoy your reviews 🙂
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonMy Profile

  4. Aman says:

    I’ve read and loved every JLA book but for some reason I just can’t pick up her new NA. The story felt very stereotypical to the genre and I didn’t find Wait For Me very original. Though I love NA, so I may end up reading this one sometime later. I’m glad that even though you weren’t a fan of the secondary storyline, you did enjoy up enjoying the main one. Great review, Jen 🙂
    Aman recently posted…Review: Insurgent by Veronica RothMy Profile

    • I certainly understand your hesitation, Aman. I must admit it’s something that often goes through my own mind every time I pick up a novel in the “New Adult” genre. I do find that many of the stories begin to blend together and sound eerily similar, and in some respects Wait For You is no exception. But if you’re looking for something relatively safe, predictable and a bit of fun, I think this novel is a fairly good choice. There’s no denying that there’s something about Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing that makes it almost impossible to leave unfinished.
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Review: Sisters Red by Jackson PearceMy Profile

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