I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
Okay, imagine badly bleached hair. Guys who shouldn’t be drooled over (but are). And you have the late 90’s. I love the title of this New Adult series. It’s so nostalgic and fun and…that’s about all the nice things I have to say about it.
I am really skeptical about reading New Adult these days, because it’s a genre that just doesn’t work for me. No matter how many chances I give it. It’s too formulaic. However, I was hoping I Want It That Way (ugh, that song is perpetually stuck in my head now) would be different since it involved a plot device that’s not usually seen in New adult (single dad trope).
Let’s talk about the single dad trope, it can either be a really good thing or really bad thing. It just depends on how parenthood is depicted.
If portrayed realistically it can work really well, if glamorized…well, vomit time.
If you haven’t guessed by my tone, this is barf worthy.
Let’s be clear. I do not have kids, but I have been around them enough to know that those cherubic faces aren’t always going to be innocent and cute.
I Want It That Way, would have you think otherwise.
Also, it really didn’t go into that much detail about how hard it is to be a single parent. I have worked with several single parents in the past year, and let me tell you their lives aren’t easy. Money is very tight, especially when the other parent is not involved at all. Finding a sitter is not easy either. And let’s forget that finding a job that works around your child’s day care system isn’t easy.
So, most of them don’t have time to notice and sweet talk the hot coed next door into your bed.
But it’s fiction, MJ…
Yeah, work with child support cases for a year and then tell me it’s fiction.
I think this is one of those cases where real life bias sort of taints the reading experience, though that’s not to give credit to the book.
The New Adult formula is used to its fullest. Nadia is the non-conventional pretty girl who falls in love with the BMOC. Introduce half a dozen attractive coeds to have a series (check). Of course, have them fall into the tropes of the used to be ugly but now gorgeous best friend, the man ho, and the hot token gay guy. Everyone will get a spinoff save for the hot token gay guy, which is a shame because he’s the only remotely interesting character.
Side Note: New Adult is in desperate need of diversity.
Back to the New Adult cliches. Nadia pretty girl, friends with lots of pretty people that equal spinoff potential, who is perfect in her classes and intent on paying back her parents for paying her college tuition.
That part made me gag a little bit (I gagged a lot when I tried to read this).
They’re her freaking parents. Of course, they’re going to help her. I really hate it when you have these heroines that make it feel like accepting your parents’ help is like taking charity and that you’re a greedy little moocher. I just wanted to tell little Ms. Perfect off.
But again, digressing.
This book might work for someone else, but it didn’t work for me. It was too formulaic and it sugar coated issues that should’ve been much more complex and less romantic. Plus, hot dogs in macaroni and cheese with broccoli-excuse me, but gross.
Overall Rating: DNF. I’m tempted to not give it a grade because while for me it fails, someone else who likes the tropes could really enjoy it.