Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 7th 2012
Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her.
She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball-the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite-forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.
Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?
Want by Stephanie Lawton follows 17-year-old Julianne as she attempts to get into New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston while dealing with her Mother’s abusive outbursts, her lack of friends, and her quickly deteriorating state of mind.
Her piano playing is her only escape from the crappy hand she was dealt in life and Juli is determined to get into NEC no matter the cost. So, when her piano teacher Mr. Cline has a stroke and his nephew, Isaac, comes to town to pick up her teaching where Mr. Cline left off, Juli is determined to make the most of it despite her trepidation.
I’m having incredibly mixed feelings about this story. On the one hand Lawton is a very talented writer. Her descriptions of things and the words and images she uses to describe Isaac’s music and Juli’s as well is literally breathtaking. But the actual story left me wanting. Technically this could be an issue of mine, but had I known that Isaac was 27-28 (he has a birthday in the book) and Juli was 17 before I started reading, then I most likely would not have chosen to read the book.
I don’t mind age gaps between people in their twenties and thirties, forties etc. But when it comes to teenagers it just doesn’t work. Eleven years might not seem like a large gap, but when it’s 17 and 28, there’s a huge maturity difference there and it was just a big turn off for me. Plus Isaac was an ass. I understand he had his own issues to work through, but I have absolutely no clue why Juli liked him. Outside of his music he was a walking disaster and not in a good way.
Want was filled with choppy storylines and a lack of explanation and despite the actual writing, which was good; the plot just didn’t keep my interest. Juli’s Father had no redeeming qualities, her brother was sweet, but in absolute denial until Juli was beat so bad she was hospitalized and they didn’t fully explain what was wrong with her Mother until the book was almost finished.
I think my problem also was that I couldn’t really relate to Juli. What happened to her was horrible, but she never tried to stand up for herself until the very end. And Isaac, don’t even get me started on him. What he did to Juli in the end was wrong. It was doubly wrong for him to just take off. While I think Lawton has some real talent with words and I would definitely try another one of her books, Want was just not for me and I wouldn’t recommend it.
After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.
A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.
She has a love/hate relationship with Mardi Gras and can sneeze 18 times in a row.