20945758As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2) by Ann Aguirre
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Source: Netgalley
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he’s the guy that women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.

Though she’s terrified of opening up, Lauren’s ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with. – Goodreads

Review:

Yes. I’m back with a New Adult book. Yes. I am equally confused. Here is what I know, I really enjoyed As Long As You Love Me and that is not just because of the A+ title that was chosen. I’m going with Backstreet Boys version and not the Justin Beiber version, obviously.

As Long As You Love Me is the story of Lauren and Rob. Lauren is a character I’m not sure I’ve ever related to as much before.

Let to my own devices, I’d rather watch llama gifs than go to a club–10% eARC

Lauren is from a small town in Nebraska, and went to a fairly big school in Michigan. While she was there, she quickly found out that she wasn’t meant for this college. She went because her BFF went and isn’t that what BFFs do?

My heart twisted when I thought about how sad she had been to learn I hated college, but the longer we went to Mount Albion, the clearer it became to me that it was her dream, not mine, and I was going through the motions. The more my grade dropped and dropped, the more I drank and partied, trying to hide my unhappiness — 7% eARC

Lauren quickly learns though that moving back home isn’t that bad. Her mother welcomes her back with open arms, and her mother isn’t the mother she used to be. After Lauren’s father left, her mom went into a dark place, and Lauren raised herself. Lauren isn’t bitter at her mom about this, but it did shape her life and her relationships with others. Her mother however has met a new man, and Lauren is realistically happy for her mother. It was nice to see a character to doesn’t hold on to bitterness and grudges. That being said, Lauren does have her problems. She hates crowds, being put on the spot, and has general overall anxiety. I wanted to hug Lauren, I understood her pain. While I don’t relate to everything in her life, I related to this.

That was part of why I was so unhappy in Michigan — because I was fighting my instinctive tendencies, playing a role and thinking if I just tried hard enough, I could just feel like other people did, and I could act like the stress of seeing hundreds of people daily didn’t bother me. — 16% eARC

What Lauren didn’t expect when she came home, was to bond with her BFF’s older brother, who she has had a crush on for years. She never did anything on it because, Rob was older and always had a girlfriend. At the beginning of As Long As You Love Me, he has a girlfriend named Avery, who is the Queen Bee Asshole of the town. It’s easy to hate Avery, what was unexpected was that Aguirre actually made me feel for Avery and understand her story. After Rob and Avery break up, Avery becomes human to not only the reader, but also to Lauren.

This book was more than just a romance novel, it was realistic, and a story about growth. While there is a lot dedicated to Avery and Rob’s relationship, they both grew a lot in this novel from the beginning to the end. While Avery is shocked that Rob is paying attention to her in a light that is more than friendship, he’s shocked that Avery sees him more than just a brother. And man, are there beautiful, beautiful sparks. They push each other, they are there for each other, and there is a point they break up and it hurts. I felt for both of them because she says things she doesn’t mean, but she believes it is for the best. Everything hurt, including my heart when I read this. I wanted both of them to be okay. What Aguirre does is create such a realistic story that makes me want to read more New Adult. Which after my previous experiment is quite impressive.