Wait for you
New adult is an area I find hard to describe. Young adult novels cover coming of age stories, mostly in and around high school, sometimes early in college, where the main character is the same age as the target audience. New adult seems to cover the same basic idea, but the characters are graduating high school, in college, or working on finding their first jobs. They are less coming of age, and more discovering adulthood. And because of this age range, and the older readers, the stories can be made more “adult” – basically, they have more sex.
Avery Morgansten is finally moving away from home. At the age of nineteen, she travels across the country to start college, in hopes of leaving her past behind. When she runs into Cameron Hamilton on her way to her first class, her issues and insecurities overwhelm her. Luckily, Cam is both patient and persistent, and has decided that they will be friends, and that one day she will agree to go out with him. Now he just has to overcome a past he knows nothing about to make this happen.
Avery’s past is something that is alluded to from almost the first page. We know that something has happened, and that it drastically affected her high school life. We know it happened at a party, and there was a guy involved. I think it’s pretty easy to put together the dots here. But with all the opportunities she has to come clean about her past with Cam and with her friends (and there are several doors wide open here, just waiting for her to walk through), she just can’t say anything. I take notes when I read review books, and my notes on Avery are basically several different versions of “this girl needs therapy.” And she really does. What happened to her was horrible (and we do finally get the details about her past, and it really is pretty awful), and the fact that her parents didn’t get her psychological help is practically criminal. But sadly, I found it hard to relate to Avery, a real shame since this book is written from her point of view, all first person perspective.
To be completely honest, it was Cam who kept me reading. He was wonderful. Once we got more into their growing relationship, I just couldn’t put this book down. He just sneaks up on her, pushing himself into her life with remarkable ease. He’s friendly and interesting, and has (according to him) the best ideas. But he isn’t perfect, which makes him even better. He has some anger issues that he deals with rather well, but are still there. He has a past he isn’t proud of (for good reason) that he has to really work on opening up to Avery about. Which makes it all the more heartbreaking when Avery can’t open up to him. He has wonderful parents, including a ridiculous father from whom he gets his sense of humor. All in all, I adored him. And once their relationship got going, they were almost too sweet – a bit of a sugar overload – but it works. And seeing Avery’s relief at finally being attracted to someone was wonderful. With her past, she didn’t think that was ever going to be a part of her life, and it was great that she was able to prove herself wrong. Avery and Cam definitely have their bumps, though, and in the end the story is more about Avery letting go of the past so that she can have a future with Cam. And it’s adorable.
Putting this story into the category of “New Adult” was an interesting choice – I could easily see this being appropriate for young adult as well, but with Avery’s sexual awakening, I can understand that decision. Unfortunately, it still read really young to me. Maybe this is because I don’t really fit into the target range for new adult, or maybe it’s because Avery herself is still very young, I don’t know, but it was hard for me to get into it in the beginning. Once I got about 40 or 50 pages in, however, the rest just flew by. I think it’s all because of Cam.