Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: What You Always Wanted (Kristin Rae)

What You Always Wanted (If Only . . ., #8)
Title: What You Always Wanted
Series: If Only, Book 8
Author: Kristin Rae
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Told: First Person (Maddie), Present Tense
Content Rating: Teen (kissing/making out)
Format Read: ARC (publisher)
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If Only . . . he was the boy she's been dreaming of. The If Only line continues in this fun high school theater-themed romance!

Drama girl Maddie Brooks has always had high standards for guys. But she has yet to find one who can live up to the romantic, classic Hollywood heartthrobs, especially the dreamy song-and-dance man Gene Kelly. When Maddie begins to carpool with Jesse Morales, her new neighbor and star pitcher of the baseball team, she's struck by his wit, good looks, and love for his family--but a guy so into sports is definitely not her style. Then Maddie discovers that Jesse was raised as a dancer and still practices in the community theater dance studio to keep in shape. Perhaps her perfect dream guy exists after all! But when it becomes clear that baseball--not dance--is Jessie's passion, can Maddie find a way to let her dream guy go and appreciate the charms of the amazing guy in front of her?

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Review copy provided by publisher for an honest review. Thank you, Bloomsbury!

In a Sentence: An easy read with a sweet romance and relatable characters.

I quite enjoyed Kristin's debut, Wish You Were Italian (review here), and due to a repressed dream of acting and an affection for old movies I couldn't pass up this theatrical love story!

"Effortless" was the word that continually sprang to mind as I read this book, which here means it was so easy to read I found myself unable to stop. I would determine to put the book down at the end of a chapter and some minutes later discover myself halfway through the next chapter, and before I knew it I'd breezed through the entire book in two days. Also effortless was the playful and witty dialogue, and the minimalist description was just enough, like a good stage setting.

If I'd attended public school instead of being homeschooled, I think I would've turned out a lot like Maddie. I really related with her, from her love of old movies to her dislike of sports, and understood her high romantic expectations. She deals with an abundance of "new" in this book - state, lifestyle, school, friends, romance, family situation - and while both a lot of good and not so good come from all of them, she finds revelation and clarity about her life ahead and discovers some real love for and from those around her. Jesse was sweet and attentive and despite his love of sports came seriously close to my own dream guy, and his romance with Maddie was one of the sweetest I've ever read while still being very realistic.

Conclusion: An easy read that made me smile and sniffle with its sweet story and swoony romance. With this second home run, even better than her first, I have put Kristin Rae on auto-read!

If Only Series: While technically the 8th book in the If Only series, each book in the series is written about completely different characters and stands alone.

Scribble Rating
4 of 5 Scribbles

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