Not Yet by Laura Ward
Series: Not Yet #1
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: July 28, 2014
Format: eBook, 273 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
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Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.
Not Yet is a book that’s been on my TBR for a long time. I’m not sure why it’s lingered on my list as long as it did because I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it, I’ve enjoyed other books by this author and I met her and thought she was just fantastic. Yet, here we are. I’m sorry it took me so long to read it, but I’m really happy I picked it up last weekend. It was a great, quick and emotional read and I enjoyed it a lot.
The book starts off in a way that led me to believe it was just going to be another new adult romance. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, you understand. I love new adult romance. I assumed this would just be a story of two opposites attracting and, while slightly inconvenient because they were coworkers, it wouldn’t be much more than that. Boy, was I wrong. I’m not going to get all spoilery or talk about what Not Yet actually turned out to be because, honestly, it’s best if you just experience it all for yourself. All I’ll say is that it definitely takes a turn partway through and, as much as I was enjoying the beginning part, the second half is where these characters and this story really shined for me.
This was an emotional read, but it wasn’t one that had me crying every few pages. It was more of a roller coaster than that. I thought the characters were great. Of course, Emma and Landon were my favorites. I didn’t love them both all the time, but they were real and flawed. They got it wrong sometimes. As people do. Both of them grew so much through this book, but it was Landon that really won the day. He started the book as a boy and ended as a man… and a damn fine one at that.
I enjoyed (most of) the secondary characters in this book as well. Emma’s sister Evie was just flat out wonderful. I loved the simple and honest way she looked at love and life. Emma’s mom wasn’t a huge part of the story, but there were a couple scenes where she really stood out to me. Dean might’ve been Landon’s best friend, but more often than not, I thought he was a jerk. He wasn’t a truly awful character, but he was just a typical popular high school jock. That is, until he wasn’t anymore. He, too, grew over the course of this story and I can’t wait for Until Now to see what life will bring for him.
If you’ve ever been hurt or had a tough time granting trust in a relationship, or you’ve ever wanted someone you can’t have, Not Yet will hit you hard at times. The emotions the characters are facing are so raw, so real, so perfectly imperfect that it darn near took my breath away at times. Sometimes when you have to wait, the payoff is worth all the pain and that certainly was the case for Emma and Landon, and too, in some ways, for me with this book. I saw some of myself in both of the characters, for different reasons, and that made this book so much more than just a romance to me. I wish now I hadn’t waited so long to read it, but I’m certainly not disappointed in the experience.
But, real, deep, true love taught you about life. It left you changed, marked.
Lesson learned: It took just one. One person. One friend. One act of kindness. Just one summer to completely change my world.
“Remember… it’s just not yet for us.”
Once again, the irony of my situation did not escape me. Landon was my alcohol—my addiction—and, yet, I couldn’t have it. I couldn’t touch a drop. I finally understood the depths people would go to in order to satisfy their greatest vice.
Mistakes. We all make them. I spent much of my life shutting people out and refusing to trust or love. Landon lied about his age to be able to get closer to me. Evie ignored her house rules and inadvertently started a kitchen fire. Each of us were wrong in our own ways, but we all deserved to be forgiven.
Life Lesson: As Evie once said, “Today sucked.” It sucked so badly that the only lesson from it is that in the end, each day is only twenty-four hours. Tomorrow you can start all over again.
Life Lesson: Sometimes it’s the wait… the not yets of life that are the very best of all to learn.
Have you read any of Laura Ward’s books yet?
Do you think you’ll read this one?