Review: Want by Stephanie Lawton

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.

Julianne can’t understand why Isaac suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it before she inherits her mother’s madness. Isaac knows he must resist his attraction to a student ten years his junior, but loneliness and jealousy threaten his resolve.

Their 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?

Julianne has tried to live her life under the radar and avoid her mom’s low points. She focuses on her music, her piano teacher, Mr. Cline, falls ill so he sets her up with his nephew – Isaac, who recently graduated from Juli’s dream school. Juli is skeptical, she looks at her teacher as a grandfather and confidant.

It’s obvious why Juli falls for Isaac and vice versa. There is a passion in creating and Juli’s never really felt wanted by anyone. Plus she’s a people pleaser, and here is this guy pushing her and giving her little sparks of hope. She has such low self-esteem that she lives for her music. It’s all she’s really ever had.

Isaac is just as damaged as Juli is, for completely different reasons. I started out loving Isaac, but as time went on I grew to a dislike, sorrow-filled place for him. He’s constantly going back between hot and cold.

I much preferred the side characters in Want. Mr. Cline is adorable and full of life. Dave, Isaac’s best friend, is the type of guy everyone needs in their life.

Want takes place in the South and has an authentic small town feel. If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you know appearances are everything and anything “bad” will haunt you forever. The setting adds so much to the story, even if Juli had been 18 when she’d met Isaac it would have been frowned on. That’s just the way small towns in the south are.

While romance plays a large part of Want, it’s also a coming-of-age story involving some heavy social issues. If you enjoy books dealing with things like abuse, love, and self-discovery Want is for you. I have to be honest, had it been just the “romance” factor, I probably would have put this one down. I wasn’t very sympathetic to Isaac, like I already noted. He really bothered me. With the other factors, though, I really enjoyed it and definitely want to read more from Lawton!

I received my copy of Want from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Comments

  1. Roxanne says:

    I have this craving, lately, for novels set in small towns. This sounds perfect.

  2. Hilda says:

    I’m completely agree with you, Amanda! Isaac is just as broken as Juli. I also stated out liking him but in the end, he disappointed me. Dave is lovely and truly AMAZING. I hope he would be the one who can bring the best of Juli in the end.

    Fantastic review, Amanda! :)

  3. This sounds really good! I love the cover, too….

    Kate @

  4. I don’t think this book would really be for me, but I find the cover so pretty that I want to still give it a try. I’ll have to discuss this with you, haha.

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