by Nyrae Dawn
Publication date: April 6, 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon
Courtesy of watching his mom’s relationships, Sebastian Hawkins knows what girls need to do to get a guy. He has what he considers a PHD in hooking up. When he needs extra cash for a car, Sebastian starts up an online venture as The Hook-up Doctor, to anonymously help girls land the guy of their dreams. Of course, his services don’t offer a happily-ever-after guarantee. He’s seen firsthand getting together never means staying together. And then he falls in love… With the last girl he would expect…Totally not in his game plan. Suddenly, Sebastian finds himself muddled in the game he’s always prided himself on. He can’t even pick up girls at parties anymore! Why would anyone want to be in love when it turns you into a stuttering, screwed-up, mess with really lame stalker tendencies? Stalking? Totally not his gig. But the Hook-up Doctor won’t let himself go down easily. He’s always known how to give a girl what she wants and now it’s time to figure out what a boy wants… and he definitely plans on getting it.(synopsis from Goodreads)What A Boy Wants by Nyrae Dawn was my first ever YA contemporary experience. Are you shocked? Excluding Harry Potter and Twilight I am basically a YA newbie. I began reading them in earnest a little over six months ago. My YA drug of choice has been; dystopian, paranormal and urban fantasy. I am not a huge contemporary fan to begin with -with the exception of small town series and anything with a cowboy *swoons*..but I digress. I could not have picked a better book to try. This was a fun, hilarious, sweet and touching tale of first love. I was able to connect; simply from remembering that first crush, that first kiss and that first love.
The tale begins when we meet Sebastian Hawkins. He is just finishing his junior year of school and needs to find a job so that he can get some wheels. He starts an online venture called the Hook-up Doctor. For a fee he gives advice to the ladies on landing the guy of their dreams. Sebastian comes from a single parent home and he’s seen his mom hurt more than once. He makes it clear to all the ladies that he doesn’t date and only does hook-ups. He and his friend, Jayden have no problems in this department. His best friend is Aspen mainly because he has lived a few doors down from her all of his life. She has always been just one of the guys, his BFF. Lately he has been noticing how she smells, her hair, and embarrassingly her butt. He finds himself saying all kinds of stupid things. The tale that unfolds is predictable, but filled with sweet moments, teenage angst, and humor as Sebastian tries to help his love patient get her man and figure out what he’s feeling for Aspen.
Sebastian is a real hottie and he knows it. He’s a smooth talker but has a jaded opinion of relationships. His friends would say he is protective, sensitive and a talented musician. He is an attentive son and really looks out for his mom. Despite outward appearances he is a normal teen with fears and flaws. Aspen has been in love with Sebastian since they were six years old. She has come to realize he will never see her that way, and this summer she is determined to move on. I liked Aspen, she was sweet, funny and felt grounded. Their friends Pris and Jayden add to the tale, although we don’t get to know them as well. The relationship that develops is sweet, fragile and totally reminded me of my high school. Why didn’t we just communicate with each other.. can you say misunderstandings and drama!
The tale Dawn delivered was unique. First it was told from a male POV. Yay! Despite the fact that the author is female, I think she did a fairly good job of it. While Sebastian was a little more sensitive then I know most 17 yr olds to be, he felt genuine. The idea of an online business venture felt fresh and I loved the interaction between the Hook-up Doctor and his patient. There are a few side stories, which added to the overall tale. Dawn’s writing style and pace kept me engaged. The character’s voices and conversations felt real. (there is even a little mild cursing.) I consumed this book in a single evening and thoroughly enjoyed it. I connected with both Sebastian and Aspen and truly wanted them to get their happily-ever-after. I will definitely try reading another contemporary YA.
I recommend What A Boy Wants to anyone who wants to read a feel good romance, laugh, and experience first love all over again. I have added Nyrae Dawn to my author’s to watch list and look forward to reading more of her work.
I gave this novel 4 coffee cups out of 5.