Author: Stephanie Lawton
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Received: Publisher Request for Book Tour ARC (ebook)
Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her. She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball-the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite-forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past. Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?
If you want vampires and werewolves, faeries, fallen angels or zombies, you won’t find them here. I know a real-life monster. She drains the life out of me and tears at my flesh with words and fingernails that sink deeper than fangs ever could. I’m not her only victim, just her favorite. – Pg. 1, Chapter 1.
Wow. It seems that ever since I wrote my article on how not to pitch a book blogger, the book requests coming to me have just been phenomenal. Want by Stephanie Lawton is her debut book, I believe, and a great one at that. It pulls you (at least me) in from the very first sentence (as seen above) and kept me charged until the very end.
We are introduced to a young girl of 17 named Julianne (aka Juli). She is somewhat of a piano prodigy and dreams of nothing more of being accepted into the New England Conservatory in Boston. Although Juli comes from an unstable (albiet rich) family, she is blessed to have an amazing mentor and teacher in an old man, Mr. Cline. When Mr. Cline falls ill, he recommends that his nephew Issac take over teaching young Juli.
Issac is a serious 27 year old former student of the New England Conservatory and somewhat famous in his own right. A former resident of Mobile, Issac has run away from problems in Boston and returned to his hometown to teach Juli. What develops between this 17 and 27 year old team is a unique friendship, a forbiddon love, and lessons abound.
On the surface you may think, “Oh this is just another privileged white girl piano prodigy” and yadda yadda. But Want is so much more that with characters so deep that you become engulfed in their lives and their problems. It makes you realize that there is so much more than meets the eye than superficial impressions.
I was a little confused as to where this took place. I knew that it was somewhere in the south gulf coast in a city called Mobile. Although I always thought Mobile was in Louisiana but I want to say that this took place in Alabama? It was briefly mentioned crossing borders to attend the Mardi Gras celebrations. (Maybe someone could explain this to me?)
Either way, the area that Juli lives in is incredibly superficial where image and money is everything. Her mother is somewhat of a Southern Stepford Wife for appearances but behind clothes door, she unleashes a hell that no child should endure. Her father is somewhat absent, her brother was away for college, and now her beloved teacher Mr. Cline was unable to help her prepare for auditioning for entry into the NEC. Piano was the only escape that Juli had and she would do anything to just get out of Mobile and get away from her.
Juli is an incredibly real and raw character that shows so much growth through out the novel. Through her own tragedies, she is strong-willed, stubborn, and manages to find even the smallest amount of humor in the situation. The way she reacts to things is on par with teenagers. Although smart, privileged, and talented, the insecure and naive girl is still there and we see her and we see her change and blossom. We witness her lows and her highs.
Juli feels real.
And the best part is that the ending is unexpected but realistic. Want by Stephanie Lawton is definitely a book I would recommend. I even hope that a sequel is in the mix because I would love to see further growth from Juli and see how she deals with life after high school.