Title: Not Yet
Author: Laura Ward
Release Date: July 28th 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Emma Harris is learning that life is just a series of lessons.
Lesson #1: Nothing goes the way you plan.
Lesson #2: You can’t trust men. Especially not the pretty ones.
Lesson #3: Turns out, appearances are almost always deceiving.
Emma thinks she has life all figured out, and what she knows isn’t good. For years, she’s put her big sister, who was born with Down syndrome, first. Now Emma’s ready to start her own life, but fate has other plans. To do the right thing for the sister she loves, Emma’s dreams will just have to wait.
She doesn’t plan on meeting Landon — a rich, flirtatious jock, who never has to wait for anything. Not for attention, not for money, and certainly not for girls. Meeting Emma marks the first time in his life that he’s had to fight for something. And Landon doesn’t know how to lose.
Emma has no interest in wasting her summer with a superficial guy like Landon. But very soon she realizes she is wrong about him. The question is, can she trust him? Or will he let her down like every other guy in her life? But most importantly, can Emma trust herself enough to live the life she’s always dreamed of?
Life has a way of sneaking in the most important lessons when you aren’t looking. And once the heart gets involved, that’s when the real learning begins.
*** This book is intended for mature audiences. 18 and over!
“There are times in life when people cause you to think you have lost it all. That will never get better. That you will never recover. These are the times when the only thing to do is to pick your head up, look those assholes right in the eye, and fucking finish strong.”
When looking for a word to describe how I feel about Not Yet I could use any version of ‘awesome’, ‘fantastic’, ‘excellent’ or ‘brilliant’, but still they don’t quite fit!
I have read my fair share of NA Contemporary Romances; some great and others not so good, but none like Not Yet. When I start to read a book in this genre I know roughly the pattern the plot will follow, but it is the way the author chooses to flesh the story out which is the fascinating part.
Laura Ward ignores the usual motifs of a love triangle or insta-love and develops two protagonists who, despite their mistakes, are impossible not to care about. Landon and Emma are not perfect and it is Landon’s secrets which place the couple in jeopardy, but he repeatedly proves he is more than the stereotypical football star.
In Not Yet Landon and Emma’s relationship defines the universal subject of romantic love, but I personally connected with the novel’s inclusion of individuals with special needs’ I love the fact that this is not a subject Laura Ward just briefly touches upon. The ideas of acceptance, bullying and “difference” (or not!) is a big part of Not Yet and for an increasing number of readers, knowing a person with special needs is a reality. Laura Ward approaches this sensitively, but with honesty, even turning the tables on the reader and forcing us to think about our own behaviour.
Whilst many authors might think twice about creating a character like Evie, Laura Ward does it perfectly. It is having a big sister with Downs Syndrome which has such a large effect on Emma’s life and they share a touching bond. Evie is strong young woman and throughout the story we watch her moving past her “not yet”.
The novel is written in an unusual way; as a series of life lessons, which help to add a sarcastic edge to the story. Although we see the majority of the story from Emma’s point of view, Laura Ward also shares important events from Landon’s viewpoint.
I finished Not Yet in the early hours of the morning, unable to put my kindle down! Laura Ward’s choice of ending left me happily crying and I am grateful I had an opportunity to review this story. I figured that it doesn’t matter which synonym for brilliant I use; Not Yet is a MUST read!