If Only

If OnlyIf Only
by AJ Pine
Published by Entangled: Embrace
260 pages
Genre: Young Adult; teen lit 
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
3 / 5

 

So you’re about to begin your year of studying abroad, and you’re on a train. You meet not the hot European you think you’ll meet (coughPrinceWilliamcough), but an American. Cute, a bit shaggy, and someone who screams “I’m a Man Whore!”

He’s fun and flirty, and when you discover that you’re headed to the same school, you get all tingly and excited.

During a trip to the loo, you wind up locked in said loo with an even hotter American. And this one carries around copies of The Great Gatsby. And he kisses you. And it is faaaabulous.

If only he didn’t seem to run away after you are rescued. If only you had met him first.

If only.

The premise is fun, as is the book. Jordan is twenty and full of the hope of possibility. She’s studying British literature in Scotland and is ready for whatever comes her way. Meeting Griffin is fun and promising, but meeting Noah. Well, that’s a bit more complicated.

The prevailing sentiment I have for this book is that it’s fun. Pine creates a genuine atmosphere of kids at college in a foreign country, and Jordan’s conflicting feelings over Griffin and Noah is something to which we can relate.

The problem is that it felt repetitive. Jordan likes Griffin, but perhaps not in That Way. She does like Noah That Way, but it’s complicated, as Noah himself says. Those two come together then get ripped apart. It becomes variations on a theme, and after a while, I got just a little bored with it all.

If I were sixteen and reading this, I might have been more in its thrall. So much of it is enjoyable, but if you didn’t enjoy it the first time, you’ll get other opportunities when the story cycles around again.

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