25663572What You Always Wanted (If Only . . . #8) by Kristin Rae
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

If only…he was the boy she’s been dreaming of.

Theatre girl Maddie Brooks has always had high standards for guys. But she has yet to find one who can live up to the classic Hollywood heartthrobs, especially the dreamy song-and-dance man Gene Kelly. When Maddie begins to carpool with Jesse Morales, her new neighbor and star pitcher of the baseball team, she’s struck by his wit, good looks, and love for his family—but a guy so into sports is definitely not her style. Then Maddie discovers that Jesse was raised as a dancer and still practices in the community theatre’s dance studio to keep in shape. Perhaps her perfect dream guy exists after all! But when it becomes clear that baseball—not dance—is Jesse’s passion, can Maddie find a way to let her dream guy go and appreciate the charms of the amazing guy in front of her?

This fun, high school theatre romance in the If Only line is for anyone who has ever wished for that impossibly perfect guy.

– Goodreads


What You Always Wanted is by far one of the cutest novels that I have read in quite sometime. It was exactly what I wanted in the moment: an effortless contemporary romance that cleansed my palette. Rae tells the quick paced story of Maddie, a lover of drama and theatre whose life has been uprooted from the North to middle of nowhere Texas. Maddie’s head is constantly in the clouds of classic Hollywood and doesn’t understand why her classmates don’t have heart eyes for Gene Kelly like she does. This has lead to some very high standards that she does not plan on budg-ing for. Then we have Jessie, who lives across the street from Maddie, who loves baseball.
What Rae did in this this book was create perfect tension throughout What You Always Wanted. Part of me never wanted this book to end because the magic between Jessie and Maddie was everything I wanted from a book. I mean, yes, you can easily tell what the end of the novel was going to be; however not once did that stop me from enjoying this delightful novel. Maddie is headstrong, she’s feisty, she has things thrown at her that no teenager should have to deal with, and she handles it all in a perfectly Maddie way. And Jessie? Helloooooo Jessie. I was very here for Jessie. I am not a fan of the phrase “book boyfriend” but I got it for Jessie. He was snarky and the perfect counterpart of Maddie.

This book also had one of my all time favorite things: Strong! Female! Friendships! Cannot recommend this book enough.