I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre
Published by Mira Books on August 1st 2015
Amazon・ Good Books・Book Depository
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother.
Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can't pinpoint exactly what's missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he's the guy who women love and leave & not the one who makes them think of forever
Though she's terrified of opening up, Lauren's ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
I was struggling to come up with a review today and I wondered why until I took the lazy way out by realising that it wasn’t my fault. There’s literally nothing to talk about for this book. Because it’s good enough to be enjoyable and average enough to be forgettable.
The story follows college dropout Lauren as she moves back to her home town and onto her best friend’s brother, a boy she’s had a crush on since she was thirteen. He’s in a relationship already, but sparks fly for the shy Rob with a low self-esteem and pretty soon he’s dropping his honey to get it on with Lauren who bolsters his ego.
The truth is, I keep coming back to New Adult books even though we rarely mesh. I didn’t have much of a New Adult life. If you’ve ever seen the hashtag for NewAdultIRL then you’ll see an array of interesting stories and vivid experiences. My own were pretty lacklustre. Leaving me desperately wanting to like these books, to read a life I never really got to have.
Yet there’s a certain formula to New Adult books, and Ann Aguirre does it well. Girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, girl and boy have hot sex, drama, mayhem, girl and boy ride off into the sunset together. It’s not Ann Aguirre’s fault that this plot appeals to me on one level (hot sex is a go-go) and bores me on another (superficial drama is superficial).
Because that’s what she’s allowed to write and how she does it is fairly satisfactory. If this were a school report than I really couldn’t fault her. But this isn’t and I found myself disappointed because I felt like Ann Aguirre could have done better. Because this is of course, Ann Aguirre, author of Enclave which won a RITA award and Mortal Danger which I think I rated 3 stars for being pretty damn good, even if it wasn’t the best thing I’d ever read.
This is merely passable for a New Adult novel. Good but not great, readable but not rave-able. It follows the formula well with likable characters, though not particularly deep or well fleshed out. Yet I wanted to like this book more. It felt like the kind of book that an awarding winning author like Ann Aguirre could write in her sleep, and maybe she did because it made me pretty sleepy at times.
This book paraphrases heavily, because there are long stretches where nothing really happens. Most everything except for the main drama happens early in the novel and any stumbling blocks they may have are easily overcome without much originality or tension. This leaves the reader feeling like Aguirre is sumurising the story to them from one boring day together to the next.
Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, DRAMA. The lovers are separated, perhaps…forever? Any competent reader of the New Adult genre would know the answer to that. This story made my wistful for the more nuanced Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler or the more infinitely more readable Easy by Tamara Webber.
So basically, I wanted more. More tension, more romance, deeper character development, but I wasn’t necessarily too disappointed with what I got. It certainly didn’t do the genre any disproportionate shame, it just failed to stand out.
If you want to see what else Harlequin has to offer, you can check it out here.