What If I Fly?
(This book was part of my personal library.)
Book's Author: Jayne Conway
Rating: Three Paws
Julia and Will grew up in the same small Rhode Island town, but their lives couldn't be more different. But when their paths cross one fateful summer night, Julia and Will are captivated by one another and their lives forever changed. They share a deep bond, a passionate love, and are truly alive together - but love isn't always enough. Can Julia and Will overcome the roadblocks of betrayal, loss, judgment and pride to navigate the sharp twists and turns of the road less traveled? As the dramatic events of their story unfold, they are both forced to open their eyes and find the strength within to live life on their own terms.
I love romance. Even at only seventeen years old, I'm a hopeless romantic, and I love love. I love reading about it, being around people that are in it, watching it; I love everything about it. When I read the back of this book, I was immediately hooked. What If I Fly? was right up my alley, and having actually met with and spoken to the author Jayne, I was even more encouraged to read it.
The book, for all intents and purposes, didn't let me down. It was focused on the relationship of these two people, Julia and Will, over the course of about ten years. Julia is a girl that doesn't love easily, naturally, and Will is the happy-go-lucky rich boy from the other side of the river. Cliche in every sense that it was even based off of Romeo and Juliet (which I always shock people by saying that I didn't particularly care for).
The story was good. Not extraordinary or life changing, but good. I was wrapped up in the story, had to talk myself into putting it down; by no means was it a bad story. The issues that I had with it were simply that it was repetitive, as the same things happened a lot and it got a little frustrating. I also had trouble with the amount of time that passed throughout the story; ten years is kind of a hard span to condense into 370 pages, and it sometimes got confusing to follow the passage of time. It was also a little "cringy" to read at some points. However, the romance was obviously there, the book had a plot, and they all lived happily ever after in the end, per usual.
I also liked that the book was written based in my home state, Rhode Island, so I felt a little more personally connected to the story because I could picture where they were and what they were doing for parts of it. I liked the premise of fate that drove the whole story as I am a firm believer in it; most romantics are, I'm learning.
Will is the epitome of a boy shaped by his past, troubled by the desire to do right by everyone even at the expense of himself. Julia is the girl that doesn't know love, but she lets him in for some reason unknown to her. It's a by-the-books (pardon the pun) romance story, pretty much predictable at every turn.
But sometimes books like that are nice; when you don't have time to fully invest in the story (like during midterms week when you also need to remember twelve chapters from an AP Biology book instead of wondering do they get together?). The book was entertaining, it wasn't taxing to read. It was sweet, simple, and happy.
I do recommend this book to read for travel when you may have to stop reading at some points, or a busy work week when you just need five minutes. It's one of those books where you don't want to put it down, but you can if you have to. It's also not really a YA novel like I'd originally thought. I would say probably 16 or 17 and older for this book as there are some heavier topics discussed and some more or less inappropriate content for anyone younger. I enjoyed the book, and I would definitely read other books by this author.
(Side note: the heavier topics discussed include abortion and some religious content, though neither are central to the story line.)