My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What You Always Wanted was such a fun, light read. I enjoyed it from beginning to end, and I think what helped me love this, was the fact that I had actually gone through a bit of a Gene Kelly phase myself.
Maddie is a die-hard theatre girl and a huge fan of classic Hollywood. But being a fan of classic movie stars has given her high standards, and she can’t help comparing guys to Gene Kelly, her favorite of them all. Even when she becomes close to Jesse – her new carpool buddy who happens to be the good-looking star of their high school baseball team – she still finds flaws in his modern, sports-loving self. When she finds out that he was actually raised a dancer (who still practices in order to keep in shape), she is determined to see more. But Jesse loves baseball, not dance, so Maddie will have to decide if he measures up to Gene, or if she can find herself caring for him as he is.
I liked Maddie, but I do have to admit that there were times that I couldn’t. I had to think about it, but I realized that because she is a theatre girl, she’s pretty dramatic in her real life. She’s pretty much over-the-top in everything she does, and very opinionated. I was starting to dislike her a bit, but my great “epiphany” helped me to take a better look at her and see that she really is genuine, if not a bit misguided in her attempts. Overall, though, she was a good MC.
I feel like the other main character was really Gene Kelly. I could mention Jesse here, but Gene is Maddie’s first “love”, and we can’t ignore the fact that he played a big part in her life. You wouldn’t believe how happy I was to see the same movies I once loved to watch mentioned in this book! I even brought out Summer Stock to re-watch the parts mentioned in the book.
Anyway, we’re not here to talk about Gene’s movies, but this book, so this is where I’ll talk a little bit about Jesse. Jesse is a sweet, easy-going guy, and I actually felt very bad for him when Maddie seemed to refuse to say anything nice about his liking baseball as much as he did. She belittled him, but couldn’t seem to realize that she did (another thing I’ll attribute to her drama queen mentality). I myself am a huge fan of basketball, and would be offended if anyone were to disrespect the sport I love.
I seemed to have gone off-topic a bit, so I’ll try and finish this up before I find myself off on another tangent.
Again, this book was fun to read, and the things that “bothered” me weren’t bad enough to affect how much I enjoyed reading this, so I will gladly recommend this book if you’re looking for something easy and quick to finish.