Via Netgalley + Publisher
September 30, 2014
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons; missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But 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's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever; until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.
Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
So basically there are people who were meant to make the world more beautiful. They might have been torn down by the ones who are meant to protect them: unconsciously marring their future greatness. Rob is one of these people. Y’all, his soul is beautiful. No- his soul is freaking gorgeous. There’s this whole air of sadness and innocence to him, and to him it’s unconscious. He wants to be the brother his sister remembers when she was eight and skinned her knees and he made her feel better. Back when he was still smarter than her. Back when his grandmother didn’t whisper “at least he’s handsome” (which by the way, the way his family acted towards him made my soul ache. It made me mad. I bet he had a learning disability that was never looked into or something. Because that boy is not dumb. Okay?) and his dad didn’t call him a wussy daily. Everyone say him as something that needed fixing, even his girlfriend. *scoffs* Not Lauren. Nope. He was her something perfect. Rob was her dream guy. And their story is beautiful, y’all.
After Lauren comes home after flunking out of college, she moves into her mom’s house. She tries to pick herself up by the bootstraps. She tries to get her anxiety issues under control. She uses Rob as a safety net. After him and his girlfriend breakup, he and Lauren get together. They help each other. Rob helps her find herself, more like re discover, and helps her settle back into small town life. Lauren helps Rob with his self-esteem issues. Or tries to. As well as setting up his own furniture building company.
For me, I was mostly focused on Rob’s adorableness, and trying not to jump through the kindle screen and strangle his family for how much they had unknowingly broke him by comparing him to Nadia and focusing on her accomplishments and letting her have the full extent of the spotlight. I mean, come on! Just because school isn’t his things doesn’t mean he’s not worth something. HAVE Y’ALL EVEN ADKNOWLEGED HOW GOOD OF A CARPENTER HE IS?! *takes a deep breath* It just pisses me off. Okay. Okay. I’m fine. *seethes*
This was a story about learning to love yourself. I mean, straight to the bone and past all that pesky flesh and blood and all those veins, this is a book about accepting who you are. I really don’t have much else to say. Lauren’s character is amazing. She’s self-conscious and confident. She’s anxiety ridden but strong and fearless, at least when it comes to the people she loves. She’ll do anything, even sacrificing her own happiness in turn for them having theirs.
The reason this isn’t getting a higher rating is because despite my love for the characters and the unraveling of it all, not much really happened. I mean it was gorgeous and the small town feel really was there, but I like a little cinnamon in my hot chocolate, if you know what I mean.
Overall, with I WANT IT THAT WAY as a first book and this one as a second, I cannot wait to get my hands on THE SHAPE OF MY HEART!
Well the Backstreet Boys are awesome inspiration.