Monday, March 24, 2014

ARC Review: If only by A. J. Pine

General information:
Title: If Only
Author: A.J. Pine (Amy Pine)
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Embrace)
Release Date: March 24th 2014
Pages: 250
 photo add-to-goodreads-button31_zps5f93c0ab.pngGenre: New Adult
Series?: Stand Alone
Ending: HEA

Blurb: 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.

"There is a little known truth that a two-year dry spell can earn a girl her virginity back" 
The story starts with Jordan on a train to Scotland for a semester abroad. I really liked that this book takes place in Europe for once. You jump right into the story and honestly, I was hooked from the start.
I liked Jordan. She seems normal and down to earth and it was fun to see her struggle to talk to boys and to try and open herself up a little more.
“I regain my composure, ready for my wittiest retort. “I’ll keep that in mind.” Or, maybe I’ll opt for not even close to witty…”
Anyhoo, back to the train. Just as she is settling in for a long ride, she suddenly get's company from 'man whore' Griffin. Conversation and jokes fly around and I really liked Griffin. He truly is who he says he is, is honest and doesn't play games with anybody - including Jordan herself. Jordan is happy with her newly found company. But then she needs to go to the bathroom and literally runs into other hottie, Noah.
The way it's written, you could really feel the chemistry between them and the scene that they meet is probably one of my favorite scenes from the book. Personally, I was on team Noah from the start.

Jordan is sent to Scotland with some advice from her best friend Sam:
“Picture this year like an alternate reality. A parallel universe. Your instinct has always been to wait, to be careful, to be sure. You don’t have time for that in Scotland. You only have time to enjoy, to live. See what it would be like to go against your instinct. Live a little, Brooks. You might enjoy it.” 
And that is exactly what she sets out to do. I'm not going to say anything more about the plot as I don't want to ruin it. But I'll guarantee you, after a very short period of time you will be in love with both Noah and Griffin.

This book is a debut novel for author Amy Pine and what a debut it is! I really enjoyed this book. The setting is different from most NAs, the writing is good and witty, the characters are well-rounded but not perfect. The book does involve a certain amount of heart ache and does hold great potential to make you cry. It's isn't a perfect love story. It's story about people who make very real mistakes. One thing I loved about this book is that neither of them has some deep dark past that they are running away from and when they meet each other everything is fixed - it's just a story about regular people who are growing up and finding their true self. The book is moderately sexy and leans to angsty for a large part of the story.

The secondary characters in this book were nice. I liked Jordan's roommate - Elaina. Though they did seem to immediately jump into a friendship that's like they've known each other since birth and sometimes she was a bit too 'hard on' Jordan for my taste. There's also Samm her best friend from back home, who doesn't really feature in the book outside of the occasional phone call.

All in all, it was a really entertaining read and definitely a book I would recommend to any reader who enjoys NA books. This was one of my favorite books from the genre I've read so far. I'm just a sucker for these stories that don't evolve around abuse or death or other things that most NA books seem to contain and have a happy ending. If you do to, than this is a must-read!

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