I Wish You Would

the summer's swooniest romance

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Pub Date 21 May 2024 | Archive Date 31 May 2024
Bonnier Books UK | Hot Key Books

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A gorgeous and uplifting romcom debut from mixed-race Latinx author, Eva Des Lauriers

A gorgeous and uplifting romcom debut from mixed-race Latinx author, Eva Des Lauriers

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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781471414541
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 26 members

Featured Reviews

I Wish You Would, the debut from Eva Des Lauriers, is an absolute dream of a YA novel. In fact I’d go as far as saying this is YA romance perfection.

I Wish You Would is set across the course of a single day, with the exception of its first and final chapter. The day in question is Senior Sunrise, the highlight of Liberty students’ summer; it’s an epic overnighter and the start of their senior year. But for best friends Natalia and Ethan it’ll be the first time they’ve seen each other since Prom, when they almost crossed the line from best friends to something more. During the festivities the classmates write their Lion Letters, where they pour out their private hopes and dreams. But seven letters are scattered in the wind, and secrets and desires are set to be revealed.

There is absolutely so much to love about this one. To start with its characters all feel perfectly authentic and like real world teens. Our MCs Natalia and Ethan are written with depth and heart, they’re young, their lives are messy and complicated and my goodness you can’t help but root for them. Additionally, I really enjoyed reading about the wider cast of characters and the incredible representation they brought. Especially wonderful also was the pair’s incredible friendship group.

This is a best friends to lovers where the main hurdle is miscommunication but you know what it works so well. The hurdles that Natalia and Ethan face to be together are so befitting of their age and stage; it really is a brilliant YA story in that these are teenagers just trying to figure things out but making typical teenage errors along the way.

The duel POV worked incredibly well taking us through the 24 hours, whilst also revealing the feelings and thoughts of both Natalia and Ethan. The short punchy chapters allowed us to really gain an understanding of where each character was coming from and made it next to impossible to put down.

Overall this was a truly wonderful read and one I’d highly recommend.

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*Special thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publishers for providing a complimentary e-copy in exchange for an unbiased review.*

Wow. As someone with an undeniable weakness for best-friends-to-lovers narratives, this book flawlessly captured the essence of mutual yearning and the accompanying heartache.

The story unfolds during a brief school trip, a tradition where everyone pens a private letter answering the question "What would you do if you were braver?" Natalia and Ethan, longtime best friends whose relationship is strained after a near hookup two months ago in the name of a backup pact, confine their true feelings to these letters. With broken families, secret dreams, and the looming possibility of relocation adding complexity, a sudden gust of wind scatters several letters, potentially revealing Natalia and Ethan's hidden emotions. The two are compelled to collaborate in preventing the exposure of these secrets, navigating their own emotional turmoil in the process.

Initial concerns about the short timeframe of the story quickly dissipated, as the narrative immediately captivated me from the opening pages. The book adeptly set up the backstory of Ethan and Natalia, delving into their individual personalities and lives, illustrating the evolution of their relationship dynamics. The school trip became a riveting roller coaster ride of emotions, featuring heart-to-heart conversations, dramatic conflicts, and tense class activities. Not a single dull moment transpired, and the plot progression unfolded organically, mirroring the seamless development of the characters.

This book serves as an exemplary instance of how multiple perspectives can enhance a story. The inclusion of both Natalia and Ethan's viewpoints allowed for genuine empathy, providing insight into their individual struggles and clarifying the motivations behind misunderstandings. Witnessing both characters yearning for each other in their unique ways was everything I hoped for and more.

The characterizations of both leads are truly impressive. The reader gains comprehensive knowledge of their dreams, habits, and fears without feeling overwhelmed or subjected to information dumping. Even the side characters are intricately personalized, adding depth to the overall narrative.

Moreover, the novel exhibits a remarkable maturity. While it encompasses the expected high school drama moments (which I unapologetically enjoy), it also delves into the characters' concerns about family and the future. The acknowledgment that life encompasses more than just romance contributes significant depth to their relationship. This transcends the typical teen romance narrative.

In conclusion, I cannot laud this novel enough. It's been a while since a book has evoked such a visceral response in me. "I Wish You Would" stands as a testament to why I love reading about love.

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I am so giddy with delight ahhhh! Des Lauriers debut novel was so wonderful, it had me smiling so big and swooning with every breath. I just adore YA stories like I Wish You Would— full of tenderness and self-reflection, making mistakes and trying to fix them. Des Lauriers perfectly captured the tentative, awkward and frustrating experiences of being, not just a teenager navigating their tumultuous formative year, but also two bumbling best friends in love.

The miscommunication aspect was truly perfect because Natalia and Ethan really felt like teens who don’t understand how they feel and don’t know how to convey how they feel either. Which just results in huge messy clashes full of angst and heartbreak. But the ending was so satisfyingly sweet.

I also adored the cast of characters around Ethan and Natalia, they were really fun and easy to root for. This was just everything id want in a YA romance, and not to mention the cover is absolutely stunning!!

Eva Dez Lauriers debut novel is perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Kasie West, and anyone who loved Amy Lea’s Woke Up Like This.

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this eARC of 'I Wish You Would' by Eva Des Lauriers.

I absolutely loved this book. 'I Wish You Would' is a dual pov book following Natalia and Ethan. Jam-packed with drama and secrets, Talia and Ethan haven't talked for a summer after something occurred and now they are reunited for a beach party to celebrate their final year. At this party, the upcoming seniors write letters to themselves. However, these letters get blown away and now our two protagonists have to work together to get them all back before anyone finds out.
The way Eva Des Lauriers wrote Talia and Ethan was beautiful and real to me, I felt like I knew them personally. And I have to applaud the way she wrote my least favourite character, Claire. I hated that woman but my goodness she was written well.
This novel was just outstanding for me.

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I absolutely loved everything about this book - I only wish it had been longer so we could have spent more time with Ethan and Natalia. I confess, I almost didn't request this because the cover did absolutely nothing for me - it really doesn't fit what I've come to expect from YA romance novels at all, and manages to look both dated and as though it's an old fashioned adult romance. However I'm glad I looked past that, because this book has everything I want from a YA romance novel - compelling characters, who are both flawed and likeable, a great story and a satisfying conclusion. Cannot wait for the next book by Eva Des Lauriers.

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"I Wish You Would" by Eva Des Lauriers is a captivating young adult romance that skillfully weaves together friendship, secrets, and self-discovery against the backdrop of senior year at Liberty High. The story follows Ethan and Natalia, whose once-close bond is strained by misunderstandings and unspoken feelings. Set amidst a poignant school tradition of making secret confessions, this novel beautifully explores the complexities of relationships and personal growth during a pivotal time in the characters' lives.

The author's portrayal of the characters is a standout feature of the book. Ethan and Natalia are not only relatable but also deeply nuanced, grappling with family struggles, romantic entanglements, and their own vulnerabilities. The emotional depth of their journey—from miscommunication and hurt to reconciliation and understanding—is rendered with authenticity and sensitivity. Supporting characters like Rainn, Sienna, Claire and Prashant add layers to the narrative, each dealing with their own insecurities and desires.

The thematic exploration of courage and identity resonates throughout the novel. The "If I were braver" letters serve as a powerful vehicle for the characters to confront their fears and embrace their true selves. This motif underscores the broader message of empowerment and self-acceptance, making the story not only entertaining but also thought-provoking.

Des Lauriers excels in capturing the nuances of teenage emotions. The narrative deftly navigates complex issues such as parental expectations, peer pressure, and societal norms, offering young readers a mirror to reflect on their own experiences and choices. The portrayal of diversity and inclusion, including the representation of a gender-neutral character and exploration of gender dynamics, adds a refreshing layer of depth and relevance to the story.

The pacing is brisk and engaging, making it difficult to put down the book once started. The plot unfolds seamlessly, blending moments of tension and humour with heartfelt introspection. The tension builds organically as the characters' secrets are exposed, leading to a satisfying resolution that feels earned and uplifting.

"I Wish You Would" is not merely a romance, but a tale of resilience and growth. It celebrates the importance of honesty, compassion, and self-expression in forging meaningful connections. By the end of the novel, I found myself emotionally invested in the characters' journeys and inspired by their capacity to confront challenges and embrace change.

In conclusion, Eva Des Lauriers' "I Wish You Would" is a five-star gem of a novel that excels in both narrative craft and emotional resonance. With its richly drawn characters, poignant themes, and authentic storytelling, this book is a must-read for fans of YA romance seeking a heartfelt and rewarding journey. Highly recommended for anyone looking to rediscover the joy and poignancy of first loves, friendships, and self-discovery.

A special thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review..

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I Wish You Would is a fantastic debut contemporary YA novel that reminded me of just how good YA can be. It’s told over one day in alternating chapters from the point of view of teenagers Natalia and Ethan, as they start their senior year and attempt to work out what went wrong between them over the summer.

Eva Des Lauriers has an addictive way of writing, and I read this book so fast. I just couldn’t put it down! Her prose and style is exactly how I like my YA books, and I Wish You Would has a summery feel that very few books manage to leave me with. The premise is unusual, too — the senior class write all their secrets down, and they accidentally get released at the Senior Sunrise event. You can imagine how much chaos and drama ensues!

Natalia and Ethan are both brilliantly written, realistic characters, and I adored them both. They’re the very definition of an epic friends-to-lovers pairing, and anyone who likes The Summer I Turned Pretty will be happy with what they find here. I would love a sequel about them as they get older and figure their lives out, but I think that’s just me and my wishful thinking.

I loved I Wish You Would so much, and I really hope we get more YA like this. It reminded me of YA romance books of old, like My Life Next Door, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and the aforementioned The Summer I Turned Pretty. I highly recommend it, and I already can’t wait for more from Eva Des Lauriers!


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