When this book first came out in February, it had an amazing amount of hype. Praise was thrown around everywhere, this book was apparently just amazing, and one of the best things the New Adult genre had to offer. Soon afterwards it was picked up by HarperCollins to be published for real. All that buzz, all that hype, and the fact that I love Jennifer's Lux series, meant I had to read this one at some point. Ultimately, however, I'm not too impressed. It was good but not great, and I'll probably forget about it before too long.
This was my first foray into the New Adult genre, which many readers have either been praising the crap out of or been extremely skeptical about. I fall under the latter category. I appreciated the somewhat heavier topics covered in this book (rape, suicide, drinking, sex) and the college setting, which was a nice change of pace. But for all intents and purposes this felt very much like a young adult contemporary romance with some erotica thrown in.
At some points it just felt like Wait for You was trying too hard. And what do I mean by that? Something kept me from really being absorbed by the story, and that left me on the outside, looking in, ready to question anything. From pop culture references (Harry Potter, Supernatural, etc) to over-the-top cliché romance. The one thing I may just remember about this book was this really weird scene. Avery had gotten drunk, and Cam was in her apartment taking care of her. She throws up in the bathroom until there's nothing left, and he decides she needs to change her clothes to get into bed. But with the literal excuse of I don't know where you keep your clean clothes he instead takes off HIS SHIRT (so...yay... we can ogle his hot body again) and makes her wear it, cuing this awkward scene of him undressing her, but being modest about it sort of and turning around at points but... seriously? smh.
I appreciated the obvious struggles Avery was going through and her resistance to trusting people considering her past, and that ultimately made her story rather endearing. But in terms of personality, I didn't really connect with her. And Cam chases after her, asking her out almost every day for months. I honestly just didn't understand why and when he tried to explain it himself, the reason was basically that she was different and beautiful. But honestly, you don't chase after someone for so long without a good reason. I am a skeptic, I know, and I don't read pure romance often, but contrived romance like this is the reason why.
While I get some of the hype about Cam, in that he is wonderfully patient and supportive, hot, funny, etc... he bothered me at times too. Not just by how he was so completely smitten with Avery (without good reason), but his insistence on calling her "sweetheart". He first did so around the second or third time that they met. And then it just continued. It didn't sound natural to me, and every time he repeated it, I cringed. I dislike pet names. But in this case it also just clashed with the image I had of him and made the dialogue sound stilted.
Ultimately my frustration with Wait for You stems from how slow it moves. And I don't mean that I wanted to get to the hot, erotic scenes faster, that's not the point. I mean that Avery's resistance to trusting others was believable, but it dragged on for way too long, leading to too many almost-hot scenes before backing off again. It took too long for her to get that reality check she so desperately needed. And while they tried to keep what happened to her a sort of mystery that gradually unraveled, I basically had it figured out in the first quarter of the book. Knowing what happened to her but still waiting for that inevitable confrontation scene where it all comes out is just plain frustrating.
The New Adult genre may not be for me after all. I'm not one to shy away from sexy scenes, no, but I felt like this was just trying too hard. The romance was at times great and at times completely cringe-worthy. I will praise the realism and the effort to tackle some tougher issues, and ultimately I think a lot of readers in college (or later) will like it, as it is rather easy to relate to. But for me, this was purely a one-shot escapism book: entertaining for a while, but I'll forget about it soon. The characters and the romance were not amazing enough to get my praise.
18+ fans of contemporary romance.