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    One word - Enlightening

    YA is not a genre I typically buy. I do have some popular series on my shelves and on my Kobo but I don’t intentionally go out and buy it. When I heard one of my favorite authors, Trudy Morgan-Cole, was releasing an E-book version only of a YA novel, my interest was peaked. If you’re a fan of Trudy Morgan-Cole’s work, you already know she is a brilliant storyteller who has this unique knack for character development. Her characters are eclectic, varied and most importantly relateable. Whether you can identify with the characters’ flaws/strengths/story or recognize someone you know in her characters, this envious talent for creating memorable characters draws you further into her stories. I’ve yet to read one of her books I didn’t fall in love with! (Some spoilers ahead) This is definitely the case in “What You Want”. This coming of age/self-discovery novel tells the journey of three very diverse characters – Megan Cross, Andrew McLean and Jonathan Reid – on their cross country road trip together from Newfoundland to California so Andrew and Jonathan can further build their already extremely successful online gaming business. Megan is along as Andrew’s PA but Megan is lost. She thought she knew what she wanted out of life and as the good girl, life was going that way – love of the Lord, in a loving yet celibate relationship with longterm boyfriend Danny, love of family and love of English Literature to finish a graduate degree. But Megan finds herself dumped by Danny and finds out he has been cheating on her. She loses her passion for English literature leaving her Masters in limbo. She falls “out of love” with her overbearing, religious mother defying her wishes not to go on this road trip even when her mother confronts the trio in Port aux Basques; overall has lost faith in her life leaving her hollow in search of what she wants; whatever that might be. She is sure she can be the woman the devilish handsome Andrew needs; not realizing Andrew is fighting demons of his own. She leans on Jonathan who wants nothing more than stay in his air conditioned apartment with pepsi, junk food and his laptop than take his obese self on a cross country road trip. But even Jonathan finds himself learning more about what he wants in life. Along their journey the trio learn more about themselves and each other through chance meetings with characters like LeeAndrea and Marilyn Zabrowski (as only Trudy Morgan-Cole could write them) and by finding themselves in intimate and personal situations causing tension and reflection. Throughout the book faith and the theory of what you want play key roles along this road trip. Trudy Morgan-Cole uses faith and its rediscovery in a modern way; you never feel she is being preachy but I did find myself stopping and re-reading sections because they were so profound for the story and the characters. My favorite has to be the various theories Jonathan Reid and others have about “What You Want” in life. There is always a frank, no holds barred discussion on whether we have the life we want or the life we chose because it’s easier. No matter the age, this struggle is real throughout life’s changes. By the end of the novel, I felt I had come full circle with Megan, Jonathan and Andrew and had learned a few things too on their journey. And in true Trudy Morgan-Cole style, she left me wanting more! “What You Want” dispelled any preconceived notions I had about a coming of age/self-discovery YA novel and reminded me life is a lesson we never stop learning no matter how old we are/get. If you love Trudy Morgan –Cole’s other novels, you will love “What You Want”!
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