[Review] I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre

Fry's Reviews, Reviews 0 Comments 17th September, 2014

This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.
[Review] I Want It That Way by Ann AguirreI Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre
Series: 2B Trilogy #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 26, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Pages: 352
Source: Purchase
Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B…. 

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other. 

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

Okay. Since this damn series was first talked about, this song has made it’s way back into my playlist. My sixth grade self is totally okay with this development.

There, now that we’ve got that out of our systems. Let me preface this review. Dudes, I had a kid at 20, I can totally sympathize with both sides of Sam’s parentage. My boyfriend at the time (now husband), wanted the baby, and the pregnancy was hard. He was still in college and instead of stalling his life, I moved in with my parents and pushed him to finish. He did, and has a job in a field he enjoys, but those were some tough years. I can totally see why Diana just up and ran. The idea was tempting. I’m glad the book never faults her for her decisions, despite the tangled emotional mess they made the love interest.

Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of people rate this book as just ‘meh’, but it genuinely spoke to me on a certain level. I adored Nadia and her friends (I watch all the bad movies and this book even added one to my list! Sorry to say, I’ve already watched Thankskilling). I really enjoyed the father/son dynamic between Ty and Sam. The reservations to the relationship were real and didn’t sound super cheesy or lame. It just hit all the right buttons for me and honestly, if you know me, I don’t generally do contemporary. I don’t even like everything Ann Aguirre puts out! I mean, that’s good, right? She’s writing for a bunch of different audiences and sometimes I’m not in that demographic.

Nadia is a third year college student,  is working towards her degree in special education. Man, that’s a tough degree to go for. Infinite patience is required. The teachers she meets in the book are dedicated to the job and treat their students fairly. They taught her useful skills and didn’t cut corners. Nadia, herself, genuinely seemed to care for everyone she met, even when school and work was running her ragged.

Nadia and her friends move into an apartment building close to campus. One that doesn’t charge the excessive prices for theoretical parties and messes. That means that the tenants are just normal people with normal lives and their downstairs neighbor isn’t all that thrilled to discover a bunch of rowdy college kids moving above him.

They are quite accommodating to the neighbor, once he comes upstairs and tells them that their TV is up too loud. They’re even more so once they realize he’s got a small kid. College kid’s aren’t all jerk bros, it’s nice to see that they are respectful and functional members of society. This starts Nadia’s interest in the neighbor, Ty, and they have a few accidental and on purpose meetings on their respective balconies to stare at the stars together/alone with some tea. Though, they really need to step up their tea game. Microwave? Normal kettle? Time to drop fifteen on an electric kettle and stop fumbling around or wasting time!

So Ty and Nadia’s “relationship” blossoms. Ty doesn’t want to complicate things as Sam is now attending Nadia’s day care, and he doesn’t want a break up to upset Sam. They originally keep it simple, as friends, but they can’t deny their attraction and eventually start boning. It’s supposed to be no strings attached, but unfortunately, there’s plenty of feelings and they make a great couple. They try to pretend they aren’t there, but its a little hard to deny after Nadia takes off school in order to tend to a sick Sam and Ty. Ty feels horrible and breaks it off, not wanting Nadia to derail her life for him and Sam.

It’s a sweet gesture, but one that hurts them both. Nadia has spent so much time trapped in her own little ball of unhappiness she us unaware of her best friend/roommate’s discomfort and displeasure. Once that comes to a head, Nadia is almost unable to deal with it, due to her own set of issues. She somehow muddles through and out the other end without burning any bridges.

Anyway, the forces of the universe collide and it turns out Nadia can’t get her degree in a normal set of time or under a normal set of perimeters anyway. So she goes downstairs and gets her man back. Here’s hoping their happily ever after lasts through the other books.

I’m enthralled with the characters in this series. Ann Aguirre really sloughs off the outer layers and digs into their meaty centers and their soft underbellies. I hope the next book in the series is just as enchanting.

Written by Fry


Probably in a dungeon somewhere. Game Master for the D’n’D actual play podcast Roll For Wenches .

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