Title: As Long as You Love Me
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: 2B Trilogy
Book #: 2
Reading Level: NA
Goodreads Rating: 3.71
Published: Sept. 30th, 2014
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons: missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother.Taschima's POV:
Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever... until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.
Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
As Long as You Love Me is full of wish fulfillment, one that while entertaining at times might have done better as just a novella. I both liked and disliked As Long as You Love Me, which is why I gave it 3 stars. I liked the writing, the characters (sometimes... mostly Rob and Avery), the conflict (sometimes), and the drama (sometimes). Overall it wasn't as good as [book:I Want It That Way|20945757], and I felt like we should have probably stayed in the 2B apartment instead of moving the story out of its focused zone.
Lauren Barrett is a less than inspiring girl. She dropped out of college because she didn't like being around huge crowds of people and having to study something she did not love nor enjoy. So she moves back home where she conveniently finds that her best friend's brother, a man she has had a crush for most of her teenage and young adult life, is still living at home as well. His name is Rob and he is in desperate need of a friend. No one quite understands Rob, they just think of him as being the dumb jock (with KILLER superstar looks) who peaked in school. Everybody believes this of course, even Rob's current girlfriend, everybody except Lauren. Can you guess what comes next?
"But the smallness of the town meant everybody knew you, and there was some comfort in the familiarity and gossip."
Lauren is a small town girl for sure. Big crowds overwhelm her to the point where she thinks she needs to change her entire personality in order to just COPE. Although Lauren was the main character I had no pity for her situation. Yes, she is extremely uncomfortable around crowds, but the way she managed her problems... I just can't. Nadia is a woman to admire, Lauren is the one you pity.
"Nobody knew this--and I'd never admit it--but the reason I flunked out was because I stopped trying. People always seemed to think I must be dumb, possibly because I'm blond and curvy. And that pissed me off."
Lauren, saying that something pisses you off does not make you a bad ass heroine, or someone even worth respecting. Flunking out of college because you just stopped trying? That is a pretty fucking stupid thing to do (blonde or not). Finish your semester with decent grades in case you want to go back to school, and then drop out like a decent student. I know this is a work of fiction, but as a reader you are supposed to connect with your main character and like them to some extent, and Lauren was just not a girl to admire. She sure was nice to the guy she liked, Rob, and helped him with his self esteem issues, but at the same time she was incredibly self-centered.
"In some cases, time was unkind to high school athletes. They lost their hair and muscle tone. But the opposite was true of Rob. He worked construction alongside his dad, and at twenty=five, his shoulders were so broad that I wanted to climb him.Not with the giggly uncertainty of junior high, either. He was all solid muscle, great guns, ripped abs and incredibly defined deltoids. When you added chiseled features, strong jaw, blue-gray eyes and dark hair, it was hard not to drool."
|Scott McGillivray from Income Properties, HGTV|
"He smiled as he joined me, apparently not grasping that things were about to fall apart."
The 2b Trilogy has a script it follows. They meet, they fall in lurve, they split for some incredibly moronic reason... Well, that last part was just introduced in this installment (in I Want it That Way the reason for the unavoidable break up was actually pretty serious and valid). But seriously, the reason introduced in this novel for the couple to break up was so lame. It made me just plain hate Lauren, because she is actually pretty dumb. She treats potential enemies better than she treats her closest of friends, and her boyfriend. She is just so dramatic and self centered... I couldn't.
[spoiler]Lauren is an incredible hypocrite. She LOVES being the ONLY one who can tell how awesome Rob is, but once Rob finds something he is good at, something he could excel at without her, she gets all panicky and "OH MY GOD OUR LIFE IS OVER". How DARE anyone else see the merits of Rob? Only SHE has that gift. Now that the show, and Rob's attention, is not solely focused on her is that the world is incredibly wrong. UGH.[spoiler]
I feel like the 2B trilogy doesn't have a focus, a center. It seems to just be love stories tied together, which is not bad at all but I still would like to have something that neatly ties them together. Being as the series is named after the apartment the roommates are supposed to be living in I would have thought the series would kind of revolve around the apartment zone. Every other series I've read with different characters telling the tale there is always something solid that connects them, but I feel that the 2B Trilogy lacks in this area. It doesn't feel to me like the connection is strong enough.
Would I recommend this read? Maybe. I loved Rob, so maybe I'd recommend it if only so you could meet Rob and Avery (Rob's ex girlfriend turned enemy turned friend... she is complicated and I would totally read a novel from her POV). Lauren is a pain but she isn't as bad as other characters; she is a pretty good friend when you are in her immediate area and she does try (in her own special, and at times stupid, way) to help Rob. She was just not someone I could admire or respect. She is not of the kick ass chick variety. I would definitely have you start with I Want it That Way and then go from there.