REVIEW ✧ BE WITH ME

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“I want to be there for you. Let me.”

☆☆☆☆1/2

Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…

I wasn’t going to review this, I told myself. I didn’t need to review this, I told myself. Apparently I wasn’t in the mood to listen to myself. Just like the first book of this series, something happened that made me feel like it not only needed a formal review but deserved it. One of the main reasons I decided to read this was because of that tiny tease at the end of Wait For You when Jase made the comment about seeing Cam’s sister around campus and immediately I knew there was something between them, or at least they had potential. And because Teresa is Cam’s little sister and Jase is Cam’s best friend they’d have to keep their relationship a secret from him for a little, and I don’t know about you but that’s one of my top 5 favourite tropes for NA. It’s secretive, it’s slightly forbidden, and it’s awesome. That’s what I was expecting when I went into this book…..but it’s not entirely what I got. I don’t think there’s any way for me to give this book the review it deserves without spoiling anything so a ginormous SPOILER ALERT is now in place. I apologize in advance but you’ve been warned.

THE GOOD

  • Again, the author tackled such an incredibly heavy subject: abuse. In the previous book, we learned that Teresa was involved in an abusive relationship when she was 16 and while she did managed to get out of it, it’s still something that’s stayed with her over the years. And her new roommate, Debbie, is also involved in an abusive relationship that not only gives Teresa flashbacks to her own but makes her want to stop it and help her friend. She was able to see the signs that this girl was being abused by her boyfriend, both physically and verbally. She could see bruises and also know that majority of them would be in places that were easy to hide. Ultimately, Teresa didn’t want her friend to end up like her. An important thing that’s addressed with this subject is that most of the time the woman protects the man who’s abusing her, saying things like she ran into something or he didn’t mean it or it was a one time thing, protecting him because he still treats her like a queen when he wants to and she loves him. But most importantly, the woman doesn’t want to be alone so she stays with him. Teresa felt this way, Debbie felt this way, and I’m sure so many more women in this kind of relationship feel this way as well. And throughout the book, people like Jase and Cam have been telling Teresa that none of what happened to her was her fault and it took her a while for her to understand that. Teresa tried the same thing with Debbie, trying to tell her that she went through the same thing and it was never her fault and I think that’s the biggest thing to take away from this story. To understand that there are women involved in abusive relationships that are too scared to leave but need to know that they can leave and none of it is ever their fault. I don’t think I’ve read anything, YA or NA, that’s centred around an abusive relationship (or if I have I don’t remember) but I feel like Armentrout (aka Lynn) did a really good job and writing and addressing the issue and I really respect her for that.
  • In the majority of contemporary romances I’ve read, it’s always the girl pushing the guy away because they’re afraid or have commitment issues or some kind of baggage that has them running away from the relationship. Avery did it because she was too afraid to tell Cam that she was sexually assaulted. It’s pretty rare that it’s the guy who has all the baggage but that’s what happened here. Now, Jase is a really good guy. He wants to respect Teresa and his friendship with Cam by not going after her, but he’s still drawn to her. He drives her to her classes so she can go easy on her injured knee, brings her cupcakes because he knows she loves them, teaches her how to horseback ride and even gives her a cute nickname that only he uses: Tess. But throughout the “will they get together?” period, he’s constantly telling her that she shouldn’t want him or he can’t have her. Teresa thinks it’s because his brother, Jack, is actually his son but it’s so much more than that. Jase’s baggage goes so much deeper than that. The mother is way out of the picture but this is mainly where Jase’s issues lie. It’s the fact that he’s so incredibly afraid that whoever he ends up loving will leave him again and break his heart once more. As much as he wants to get close to Teresa, as much as he wants to love her, he doesn’t want to get hurt again so he pushes her away to protect both of them. I liked seeing this because it shows that men can be vulnerable and afraid of getting hurt. This isn’t the same as where the guy has commitment issues because he’s a player or he’s never been in a relationship so he’ll most likely screw it up. It’s the idea that his fear is rooted in emotions and ultimately the fear of a broken heart. I admire both Jase and Armentrout for writing him this way and I think we need more male characters like him.
  • Now, aside from all the heavy stuff, the relationship between Teresa and Jase had all the things I loved. It had friends-to-lovers, forbidden love, secret romance, and a long-time crush becoming something more. I loved all of these parts of their relationship but I think the secret/forbidden aspect was my favourite. It’s equal parts angst and comedy and all parts amazing. You get the angst from the “we can’t be together even though I really want you” and the comedy from the fact that they can’t find the right time to tell Cam so they keep it a secret from him for a little bit, which gets even better when they subtly touch each other in front of Cam, hoping he doesn’t see. I also feel like Teresa and Jase are incredibly good for each other and need each other to move on from their pasts.
  • I loved everything about Teresa. Everything. There are a couple quotes where she refers to herself being strong, even Jase has called her strong, and it’s not just because of what she went through with her ex-boyfriend. Of course she’s strong because she not only got out of that relationship but survived it as well. But she’s strong because she defends herself, speaks her mind, and wants to help her friend who’s in the same situation. There’s this scene where Jase is driving her around and tries to apologize for kissing her or for how fast they were going and saying how he can’t be with her and Teresa immediately shuts him down because she doesn’t want to hear his excuses. She tells him how she feels and basically tells Jase how he shouldn’t be treating her this way and I admire her for that so much. It shows that Teresa will no longer be pushed around by a boy and will stand up for herself regardless of the situation. She also has to be strong because her dream of being a professional dancer is no longer an option and it’s nice to see her struggle with what to do next but understand that it’s ok to feel this way. She’s so strong and so brave and I love her so much for it.

THE BAD

  • As much as I understand why Jase told Teresa that she shouldn’t want him or he can’t be with her, a part of me was just rubbed the wrong way, especially since he fooled around with her prior to saying so. I’m not saying he’s sleazy or leading her on for doing this, because he’s not and that’s not what he’s doing. I just don’t like a guy telling a girl that she shouldn’t want him. Unless the guy is actually a piece of garbage, I don’t see the point in this kind of statement. I think that’s my only thing with Jase as a character. Even though I understand why he said it and what he means, I still don’t support it.
  • I think it would’ve been nice to have Jase’s POV, and I really had hope for it since Cam got his own novella and it would show Armentrout that it’s good to have both sides of the story, but it didn’t happen. I would’ve liked to have been in Jase’s head as he was dealing with what happened with the mother of his son and what he was feeling for Teresa.

THE BOTTOM LINE

  • It doesn’t matter if you read Wait For Me before reading this book, but you need to read this book. You need to read it for the heavy subject matter it approaches and you need to read it for the relationship between Teresa and Jase. She is not more important that he is and vice versa. Both of their personal stories and developments are important and I really think you need to meet them. I doubt I will review the rest of the series (nor do I know if I will read every book in this series) so it should say a lot that I’m taking the time to review this one.

BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Be With Me (Wait For You #2)
Author: J. Lynn
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Pages: 365 (Kindle)
Goodreads

What did you think of the book? Leave a comment below!

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