Title – Not Yet
Author – Laura Ward
Publication Date – July 25, 2014
Series – Not Yet #1
Emma Harris is learning that life is just a series of lessons.
Lesson #1: Nothing goes the way you plan.
Lesson #2: You can’t trust men. Especially not the pretty ones.
Lesson #3: Turns out, appearances are almost always deceiving.
Emma thinks she has life all figured out, and what she knows isn’t good. For years, she’s put her big sister, who was born with Down syndrome, first. Now Emma’s ready to start her own life, but fate has other plans. To do the right thing for the sister she loves, Emma’s dreams will just have to wait.
She doesn’t plan on meeting Landon — a rich, flirtatious jock, who never has to wait for anything. Not for attention, not for money, and certainly not for girls. Meeting Emma marks the first time in his life that he’s had to fight for something. And Landon doesn’t know how to lose.
Emma has no interest in wasting her summer with a superficial guy like Landon. But very soon she realizes she is wrong about him. The question is, can she trust him? Or will he let her down like every other guy in her life? But most importantly, can Emma trust herself enough to live the life she’s always dreamed of?
Life has a way of sneaking in the most important lessons when you aren’t looking. And once the heart gets involved, that’s when the real learning begins.
With all the books that get published and are available at readers’ fingertips, it is quite refreshing to find one that stands out among the rest; that is unique and has a realistic message. Not Yet by Laura Ward was definitely one of these standout books! I honestly feel like a better person just for reading it, and I truly think that is a rare thing to come across these days.
“You’ll see that these people you think are so different and hard to relate to are so much more than they seem – and so much more than you ever expected.”
Not Yet centers around the relationship between Emma and Landon, but to say that this is solely their story would be misleading. The secondary characters play such a pivotal role, more so than I have seen in most other stories. However, they don’t overpower Emma and Landon’s story, just somehow heighten and strengthen it. We meet these two while they are both lifeguarding at a country club over the summer. Landon is the player who is not used to the word “no”, while Emma is the steadfast, dedicated female who doesn’t have time for troublemakers. Through constant interaction, they learn that what you see is not always what you get and end up striking up a friendship. Naturally, it develops into more until a lie is discovered and they must then navigate their way through some issues. What I loved most about these characters is the true balance that they provided for each other. Landon made Emma relax a little and sort of begin to enjoy life, while she forced him to mature. They met in the middle and it created such chemistry between these two. The dedication to both their personal lives and each other truly amazed me and just left a mark.
“There are times in life when people cause you to think you have lost it all. That it will never get better. That you will never recover. These are the times when the only thing to do is to pick your head up, look those assholes right in the eye, and fucking finish strong.”
One of the best aspects, I felt, about the book was the lessons it could teach people. Laura Ward wasn’t afraid to go against the grain and talk about an issue that honestly, in hundreds of books I have read, have never encountered. Interacting with a person with Intellectual Disabilities is something that most people encounter in their lives at least once. How we react is based a lot on what we have learned, and unfortunately, for most cases is not much. Not Yet opens up those lines of communication and forces people to maybe open their eyes and re-evaluate situations.
“No matter if Emma never forgave me, she taught me the most important lesson of my life. That the Trevors of the world mattered – even when they couldn’t say so themselves.”
If you’re looking for a light read with minimal angst, I would absolutely give this one a chance! My only issue was that after a certain point, I predicted what the lie was so that left me worrying with how it would play out. However, Laura Ward did an excellent job of not making that the story. The writing is impeccable and will instantaneously suck you in. I was able to feel such a strong connection with these characters; when they were sad, I felt that heartbreak. When they were proud of something, I felt that pride through my whole body. They truly become a piece of you as a reader. Furthermore, I love the little lessons at the end of every chapter. Some are cute, some are funny, and some just make you stop and think. Laura has a bright future ahead of her in writing and I definitely can’t wait to see what adventure she takes us on next!
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Don’t Miss the Rest of the Series!
Until Now (Not Yet #2)
Someday Soon (Not Yet #3)
Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.
Laura has written three novels so far, the new-adult novel Not Yet and the contemporary romance novel Past Heaven. Her third novel, co-written with author Christine Manzari, The Pledge, was released July 25, 2015.