T is for Team Isaac or Team Dave: Review of the Novel Want, by Stephanie Lawton

I just finished reading an ARC copy of Want by Stephanie Lawton. I stayed up until 2 this morning unable to put it down. I thought about it all day  and rushed home after work to finish reading it. It’s been some time since I’ve been so compelled by a book that I was unable to put it down, so I’m thrilled to share this review with you.

Want by Stephanie Lawton, published by Inkspell Publishing

The main character in Want is Julianne, a complex, interesting and immensely talented seventeen-year-old. She faces a horrific home life, the psychological impact of which made her a very real and believable character. Her relationships were highly complex, and with her absent-yet-in-the-house father, her mentally ill mother, and her beloved brother away at college, Juli is truly alone. Whisked into making adult decisions, she must learn to fight for herself to go after her dreams.

It was the love triangle in this book that had me turned inside out. I was enticed, frustrated, caught up, and even a bit wary, at times, of the direction things were heading. I oscillated between being on Team Isaac and Team Dave, both of whom were gorgeous in their own way. Right up to the end of the book, I wasn’t sure which side I was on, because I had empathy for both men and understood her attraction to them, despite the taboo of the age differences. I even held my breath a few times as she made some tough choices in what felt like a very intense and yet profoundly realistic story.

This story opened my eyes to how exciting contemporary YA romance can be.

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5 thoughts on “T is for Team Isaac or Team Dave: Review of the Novel Want, by Stephanie Lawton

  1. Lia Keyes says:

    I’m really not a fan of love triangles, but I understand how they help increase the tension in a book. I’m more intrigued by your description of the way the psychological impact of Julianne’s lonely home life made you warm to her as a character. What else happens in the book besides the romance?

    • lvoisin says:

      Hi Lia, Thanks for dropping by! I was hesitant to include too much of the story in my review, because I have a fear of spoilers. The title for this blog entry came from a twitter post, where I was asked “Team Isaac or Team Dave” and the “Team” title fit the letter “T” theme of the A-to-Z post (such it is when you commit at the last minute to post to your blog daily). In this story, the most compelling part of this book for me is actually Juli’s relationship with her mentally ill mother, and her own near slide into madness as she rises above abuse and learns to stick up for herself and fight for her dreams. This is where I felt I related to Juli most as a reader. My favorite male character in the story wasn’t either of the love interests, but her supportive brother, R.J. Hope that helps 🙂

      • Lia Keyes says:

        Ugh, yes, I know! Writing a review without inadvertently including spoilers can be such a challenge! I usually take the jacket cover blurb as my guide – if it’s in there, it’s okay to mention it without going into too much detail. But I guess a slide into madness isn’t likely to hook as many readers to buy a book as a juicy love triangle. Unless that reader is me or someone else who’s growing up with a family that drives them nuts. 🙂

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