August 30, 2014

I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre - Blog Tour, Book Review & Giveaway




Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she’s determined to make them come true. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, dating’s the last thing on her mind. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can’t risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, the last thing he wants is noisy students living in the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia’s and Ty’s paths cross, and soon they can’t stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can’t know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.
"A tender, sweet, and sexy story about how life—and falling in love—can never be planned."
—Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You


Ok let me tell you something. When I signed up to review this book, I did not even read the synopsis. When I began reading it, I was struck with how wonderful the story was. It’s one of those books that will definitely surprise you. The writing was seamless. The characters were relatable and were not that complicated at all. They’re just ordinary humans. The story was simple but it imparted morals, which may seem insignificant, but will help us in dealing with life as we go through our own journey. I loved how the writer played with words. There were several passages in this story that I highlighted because I loved the implications behind it. The writer has a way with words because she certainly knows how to play with them.
There’s always a meet-cute, right? The girl trips and the boy catches her, they’re stuck together on an elevator, or she leaves her phone behind in a bar and he returns it to her. Later, when people ask the inevitable question, “How did you meet?” the story unspools with the woman telling part of it and the man finishing, or vice versa, while everyone admires them for staying together.
One of the reasons that made this story piqued my interest was that it started out with a paragraph that was in the lead character’s point of view. It was like she was showing me an account of how her story started. It was kind of cryptic and in a way it made me curious as to what it was really about. The moment I started the book, I cannot put it down. I just loved it. The writer has a way of stirring up my emotions. I laughed and cried along with the characters. I sighed dreamily whenever I imagined how Ty would look like. I certainly swooned with Ty’s sweet gestures. I definitely got pissed when Ty and Nadia were on the verge of ruining the foundation they patiently built.
The first time I saw Ty, I fell down the stairs and tore my pants.
That was how Ty and Nadia met. Ty, tired from work, saw a group of college students, including Nadia, who were busy transferring their things into the apartment above his place. College students meant partying, which will also mean, sleep deprivation. 

Tyler – is a 24 year old single dad who works during the day and studies at night. As describe by Nadia, “He had auburn hair, brown eyes, and a strong jaw dusted with gold scruff. He was also tall and lean with a sculpted, ascetic face, like an austere warrior who would be at home on the prow of a ship.” *sigh* If all the single dads look like him, every single woman on the radar will go prowling on them. LOL! I liked this guy. Really. He is much mature for his age. He’s a very dedicated father to his son. He’s a silent type. He was a once a carefree teenager, in love with life and with his girl. But when things did not turn out as he had expected, he was left devastated with a new-born son he doesn’t know how to take care of, along with the guilt for what he had done. His priorities and beliefs changed. And he promised himself, that no matter what happens in the future, his loyalty will always be with his son. 

Nadia, on the other hand, is a 20-year old student who is studying Education. Her college scholarship has been a tremendous help to her family since they don’t have a lot of money to send her to school. With her struggling to maintain her average, her internship and her work, it should be difficult to slot in her partying and her secret balcony tea sessions with Ty. You’d be surprised at her efficiency. What I liked about Nadia is her will to survive. She knows what she wants in life and she’s willing to do everything to get it. I also like her optimism. She always sees the silver lining. She wants to think that all the setbacks that she encountered had reasons why it happened. There is always a brighter side to everything. 

A single father + an intelligent student with a bright future ahead = is a relationship bound to end. Ty and Nadia agreed to a friends with benefits partnership. It is difficult to enter into a relationship knowing that you won’t be the sole recipient of someone’s attention and affection. There will be certain times when you are neglected because there is someone more important than you and in Ty and Nadia’s case, it’s Sam. Sam is the best thing that happened to Ty. If not for him, he may have given up. Ty saw how Nadia is towards his son and as much as he wants to be happy, he’s afraid that his son may get attached to her. With his situation, Nadia can find a more suitable man for her. But no matter how much he denies how he feels for her, he falls deeper each day. After his girlfriend left him for an ambitious career, his trust towards the opposite sex dwindled. With Nadia around, he wants to be the person he was before his girlfriend left him. He loved her compassion and her patience towards his son, but he knows a relationship between them will not be feasible.



In the end, someone has to choose. Someone has to sacrifice. As Reverend Ferdinand Maguigad said, “Love will always be a choice.” Nadia could have conceded her love for Ty and Sam and concentrated more on getting her degree and helping her family, but she choose to follow her heart. She can still follow her dreams and at the same time be with Ty and Sam. When she made a choice to give her all to Ty, she did not expect it to be easy. She knew that there will be a few bumps down the road but she did not give up. In a relationship, don’t expect that it will all be rainbows. There will be a battle every single day, but what is important is for both of the foundation to always hold on, no matter how difficult the situation is. Ty is an amazing guy but Nadia surprised me more. She was a revelation towards the end. I loved how her character matured. It is difficult to let down your pride but she managed to do it with flying colors, because she was determined to be with Ty. 

I Want It That Way will probably be one of my best reads this year. Ann Aguirre surely ensnared me with her writing. She definitely earned another fan. I hope to read more of her books in the future.





Not all love stories end happily. Sometimes they just end.
Some questions had no right answers, only shades of wrong, and people couldn’t live in black-and-white. Sometimes there were pops of glorious color, and on other occasions, gray was the only visible hue.
Sometimes mistakes had to be made in glorious color, as the sweetness of irreplaceable memories lasted forever, long after the ache of loss faded.
I guess you’ve figured it out by now; I tricked you. There is, in fact, a happy ending. But if you’d known that my story became our story because I made a choice, would you have read until the end? People are fascinated by dark things, broken things, damaged things. You wanted to learn the exact moment it splintered apart, but would you have been as interested in watching me put the pieces together, if you’d known? I wonder.
Because what I said before about the telling of stories, his and hers, and the unspoken question about staying together? That’s the real choice. And it’s a battle, every single day, to make the center hold. When I chose this, I didn’t expect it to be easy. It’s a battle I’m determined to win, and the prize is Ty’s love.
Life is messy and unpredictable; sometimes it’s a punch in the gut, and sometimes it’s so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes. Life isn’t a fairy tale. It’s work, sand in your shoes and a sick kid at five in the morning. Sometimes you meet your partner too soon, but love persuades you to leap, trusting that he’ll catch you. Life is real and it’s right now. Life is fireflies in your pal, gleaming gold and then setting them free. In the best moments, life is fireworks. Sometimes life is having the rug pulled out from under you and the one you love helping you up. But most of all, life is what happens when you open the door and let beauty in, even if it doesn’t fit according to your plans.


Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.






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