Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book Review: If Only by A.J. Pine

If Only
Author:  A.J. Pine
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing
Expected Publication Date:  March 24, 2014
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
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 ofThe 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.

This book is so cute, it will make you smile, but it will also make you want to scream at the characters in frustration.  Jordan Brooks is studying abroad in Scotland for her junior year of college and she meets Noah on the train and they share an incredible moment and then...yeah, he has a girlfriend.  I loved Noah but I also wanted to wring his neck because it was so obvious that he should be with Jordan and it was so hard to understand why he stayed with his girlfriend (although that is explained later).  In that respect, Noah reminded me a lot of St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss.  Actually, a lot of this book reminded me of Anna and the French Kiss.  So if you enjoyed that book, you will enjoy this one.

Jordan was a great relatable character.  She's trying to be a different person in Scotland, to seize the day, live in the moment, that sort of thing, but it really isn't who she is because she's a planner, she thinks about things and analyzes everything way too much, and I completely identified with that.  The secondary characters are well fleshed out (Elaina is hilarious and Griffin...what a good guy), the dialogue is realistic, and I loved the references to A Room With a View, Much Ado About Nothing, The Princess Bride, and The Great Gatsby.  As someone who loves books, I enjoyed reading about two characters who also loved and appreciated books so much.  Jordan and Noah connect over The Great Gatsby and A Room With a View.  How incredible is that?  It was also refreshing to read a New Adult book that wasn't about damaged characters falling in love and helping each other heal.  There were just so many awwww moments in this book...definitely recommend.

Posted by:  Pam


  1. I've pretty much avoided anything that is labeled NA like the plague (I'll read books that follow people in the age group, but they are always labeled chick-lit, literary fiction, or contemporary fiction). I do just connect NA with horribly tragic figures and a lot of gratuitous sex scenes, so this does sound like a nice change of pace. Anna and the French Kiss is one of my all time favs, so I'll have to check this out. Great review!

    1. I feel the same way about NA, which is why this one was such a pleasant surprise. If you liked Anna and the French Kiss, I really do think you'll like this one. ~Pam

  2. This look cute! And I've really been looking for NA that isn't so sexed up and this sounds like it may fit the bill. I may have to give this one a try!

    1. It is really cute, it's one of those books that just makes you smile. ~Pam

  3. Thanks, Pam. Now I have another book to read! ;) I didn't request this one because I'm trying not to request as many (ha!) and I wasn't sure about the content, but it sounds like I will have to read it anyway. On my tbr it goes.

    1. The synopsis sounded so cute, I decided to request it. But I know what you mean about trying not to request so many. I've been having better luck lately with requesting books, so I now have quite a few to read. But that's a good problem to have! ~Pam