Monday 24 March 2014

Book Review/Giveaway - If Only

If Only
Author: A.J. Pine
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult, New Adult
Release Date: 24th March 2014
Publishers: Entangled
No. Pages: 342
Source: Review Copy - Entangled
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
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 ..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 and/or review may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due its use of language, sexual content, drug and alcohol abuse and/or violence. Please bare this in mind before reading.

Previous to reading If Only, I'd only ever really read one New Adult book, and yes, that book was sexually heavy, but at the time that hadn't bothered me much but it came to bother me later, so I'd been wavy of trying another New Adult for a while until I saw this adorable looking book on NetGalley. It attracted me much like a Young Adult book would and after reading the synopsis I had a really good feeling that I would thoroughly enjoy this and by jingo was I right. If Only had the right amount of humour, physical attraction and emotional attraction, as well as a main character I could oh so relate to and two wonderful, charming and unbelievable young men. For a debut author coming out onto the writing scene, If Only was fantastic.

Quite early on in this book I realised that the cover wasn't a fair representation of the leading lady inside and while this originally annoyed me a little, it was quickly forgotten as Jordan travelled to her new home in Scotland, meeting two very irresistible guys on the train and having a nice little smooch with one of them. Now, this may sound like it's set up to be a big explosion of love triangle and leading two men on, but If Only doesn't even think of doing that; A.J. Pine made it clear a third in how she planned to end her story, but that didn't keep me from wanting to devour every page quicker than the last. Both Griffin and Noah were fantastic romantic interests for Jordan and the relationships she formed with the both of them were both believable and honest, highlighting the difference between liking someone a lot and having feelings stronger than that, and what is that makes someone want to take that step from seeing one another to actually dating. Not only that, but the relationships Jordan had with the other characters in this story, her best friend Sam who is one of the bets best friend I've read about in a long time, encouraging Jordan to find herself and supporting her decisions even if that doesn't include her, her flatmate Elaina who is the rock Jordan needs throughout her stay in Scotland, but also becomes one of her closest friends, and some other more minor characters like Duncan and Daniel, who all play their parts in this story. Every single character in this story was relatable in one way or another, whether it be Elaina's new found romantic side, or the risk-taking side of Jordan and I couldn't have not fallen in love with these characters.

On the other hand, there were features that I know for a fact some people might not like or could be classed as irritating, for example, the constant use of Scottish phrases such as 'aye', 'darling' and many more, and I admit, even this was ever so slightly annoying for me, but it was very quickly lost on me throughout all plot twists involved. Another feature that could annoy some people would be the amount of 'angst' involved; there's a lot of 'we need to avoid each other but we can't' or 'I want to be with you but it's complicated' and 'I've jumped to the wrong conclusion and pushed you away' and for some people that would be highly frustrating and would cause people to not even consider this book, and I don't blame them, some people like it, some people don't. Personally, I really don't mind, and I think in If Only it really complimented the story; they had to get to know each other, learn the hard way about trust issues, each others feelings and had to hurt each other just a little to realise what was worth fighting for.

If Only is a very addictive story, it kept me wanting to read on and find out if the characters ever got their act together, and I couldn't help but adore the fluffy moments, be immersed in the steamy scenes and genuinely feel as though Pine was churning and twisting my heart in her hands, my feelings were everywhere. This novel has changed my preconception on New Adult novels, teaching me that not every New Adult read is just going to be sex orientated, some focus on friendships and relationships, on the changes one person goes through and the lessons they learn throughout those changes, and thought of leaving pieces of yourself behind with the places you visit and the people you meet and the thought that sometimes not changing can make the biggest difference of all. I couldn't have loved this book anymore and I would definitely recommend it anyone looking for a meaningful quick read with fantastic characters.

To celebrate the release of If Only, A.J. Pine is giving away a fantastic swag pack or $25 gift card.
To enter, simply fill out the rafflecopter form below and you're in.
For more information on the author, you can find her at her: Website | Twitter | Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I am always on the lookout for a New Adult book that provides something different Amanda, so I'm glad that you had a great success with this book. I was a little wary when I saw to potential love interests being mentioned, but I'm glad to see that the love triangle was resolved quickly. Also I adore books which have strong secondary characters and friendships. Thanks for putting this book on my radar! Lovely review!

    1. You're welcome Jasprit! It's definitely worth looking into, I hope you get it soon. Thank you! :)

  2. I just bought it on Amazon! Can't wait to dive in! :-)

  3. I haven't heard of this one before but it sounds really great. I will definitely need to look into this one, hopefully it's still on Netgalley ;) Thanks for the great review.

    1. Ooo, I don't know if it still will be or not, I think it was taken off, but it's currently 99p on Amazon, absolute bargain!
      It's really sweet, fluffy and there's no real girl or boy drama, so good, and so so worth it hun :)


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