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Review – Just Say When by Kaylee Ryan

by on July 6, 2015

Review contributed by Diane Srebro, Orland Park (IL) Public Library

Just Say When by Kaylee Ryan
Publisher:  Kaylee Ryan
Genre: New Adult
Amazon:  Digital $2.99 ASIN:B00X21RME4 ; Paperback $9.99 ISBN:9780986180033

Author Kaylee Ryan mixes girl crushes, first apartments, training bros, final exams, late brunches, new jobs, and former marines into her potent self-published cocktail “Just Say When.” The book uses ultra short chapters to unfold its narrative structure, taking 46 mini bites with alternating points of view from protagonists Ava Mae and Nate.

Evaluate the book from plot stand point? Like OMG, here’s the story! Ava Mae and BFF Kara spend oodles of time shopping.  Extreme attention to outfits, make up, and hair styles bump up the attraction factor when out clubbing, especially with pals Zach and Tanner who work out at buddy Nate’s gym. This 240-page novel opens with secret desire smoldering beneath surfaces. Ava Mae’s older brother, Brody, trusts his forever BF Nate and knows that this good guy provides his younger sister protection when he’s not around to chaperone social gatherings. These best friends know bad boy behavior all too well and keep unworthy males away from inexperienced Ava Mae.

Kara suspects that her girlfriend isn’t into Zach or Tanner at all. Instead, Ava reveals abiding true passion for Nate, eventually hooking up. Becoming an inseparable couple, the pair fears brother and pal Brody’s reaction to discover a relationship. Then, how to let parents in on these secretive excitements – update Facebook? Studies and migraines extract a heavy toll at age twenty. Single pal, Kara, supportive of Ava Mae during the first blushes of romance with Nate, winds up dumped by her very own BFF!

The New Adult genre, with its emphasis on youthful protagonists, ‘new adult’ life experiences, and short chapters can encourage reading as a habit for this age group. Readers who have enjoyed books in this genre previously will also enjoy this effort.

Btw, who knew that US Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) cribbed that infamous quote, kinda verbatim, straight from this book?!