I'm so excited to be a stop on the I've Been Looking for You blog tour. Words cannot do my feelings justice, but I'm certainly going to give it a go when sharing my thoughts with you all. Jennifer Dean's latest was released at the very start of the month and I promise you, it's an unforgettable YA read for all ages.
To learn more about the book, including my review of it, follow the cut! And don't forget to try your luck at entering the giveaway.
I’ve Been Looking for You
Publication date: December 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult
Max: The new girl, the sarcastic asshole, the one who avoids getting attached to anyone.
Emily: The golden girl, the rule-abiding rebel, the one who unknowingly craves something more.
When fate brings the two girls together, life seemed to fall into place. Until their future plans are shattered the moment someone leaves drugs inside Max’s school locker.
While Max inevitably loses hope of escaping her new grim reality, Emily struggles to move on without the one she loves most. Especially when she’s the only one determined to find answers. But the closer Emily gets to discovering the truth, the harder it will be to stop her pursuit, even when it leads to dangerous consequences.
I've Been Looking for You is one of the best YA books of the year. End sentence.
Truly, it is special and an absolute force to be reckoned with. As unforgettable as it is beautiful, I've Been Looking for You is a equal parts love story and coming of age tale. It all boils down to love and circumstances. In short, it is life and its ups and downs.
This was my first experience of Jennifer Dean's books but I'm so glad it was. It won't be my last. Not only did she capture the very spirit of being a young adult, she tugs at the heartstrings of her readers when the plot thickens and we rotate through timelines. Think of I've Been Looking for You as one of those books which is split into two by being told in "Before"and "After/Now"--where other authors fail to portray this in a way that is coherent and seamless, Jennifer Dean never has that problem.
In fact, the pacing is one of things that most attracted me towards the novel, right after the two main characters: Max and Emily and their relationship as it develops. I truly adored both of them in even their less than stellar moments--if you're at all intrigued by two very different young girls, two people holding out their own in very different archetypes, this is the book for you.
The love they share with one another is unique and very, very swoon-worthy. I was hooked on them the moment we see them meet and I was an absolute goner once they started to call one another by little names. Asshole and Princess. Can you get any more tension than that? I love the way they just fit together. They're right. Even in the stressful moments, you just know.
(Also! Their banter? Sign me the heck up, please!)
I thought that the way they were developed--in the past and in the present, together and apart--was very organic When an author is able to lead you into a character's mind, without them seeming like a character but rather a friend, you know they have a gift. Jennifer Dean occupies your heart and soul when it comes to Max and Emily, they feel like your very best friends.
You root for them. You hope for the light at the end of the tunnel. You smile at their beginnings. You wait patiently for the plots to resolve themselves as they struggle with the now. After separated, you can physically feel the sadness and, yes, loneliness, shared between the two. And you always, always feel the love.
What makes the novel so beautifully crafted, so compelling, is that it is true to life. It never stands still or slows down. It breaks your heart just as easily as it mends it. You become invested in the stories--from the days spent in school, to the manner in which they fall in love, to Max's life in prison to Emily's struggle in clearing her beloved's name--and there's no turning back.
Dean's prose becomes part of a quintessential LGBTQ+ coming-of-age novel. The connection of Max and Emily is one of the most sincere YA love stories I've read in 2017, right up there with Mateo and Rufus from Adam Silvera's They Both Die at the End and Justyce and S.J. from Nic Stone's Dear Martin. I cannot stress this enough--they are all completely different stories, completely different characters, but they are that level of compelling.
One thing's for certain, I've Been Looking for You is fast paced and memorable. You won't be able to put it down until the very end, even in the moments where you see where the plots are going or are quick to disagree with some actions. This is what ties the characters together, though. This is what makes I've Been Looking for You stunning.
Max and Emily's voices are so very important and their journey together is one of aching joy. This is the contemporary YA novel you've been waiting for and is perfect for fans of Nina LaCour.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer was studying History and English at the University of North Texas when she discovered a hidden passion for writing. She has since written two other Young Adult novels, Bound and Blinded. She lives in Seattle Washington.
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