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Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her.

She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball-the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite-forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.

Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

318 pages, ebook

First published June 7, 2012

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About the author

Stephanie Lawton

7 books151 followers
Always a misfit, Stephanie Lawton writes twisted romance that tugs the heart strings then punches you in the gut.

She has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles. She has a fascination with teacher-student relationships, bullies, psychics, doomsday preppers and larger-than-life characters.

Making readers squirm is her greatest pleasure.

Proceed with caution.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 164 reviews
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,955 followers
December 4, 2013
When we sin again, I think I could be in love with the devil.

I tip my invisible hat to Stephanie Lawton for writing such a beautifully flawed book.
Dust motes float in the air, dancing it seems to the quiet energy of his music. I feel his sadness now more than ever. He says much, much more through the piano than he ever does with his spare words.

My blind assumption that this was just another student/teacher affair was completely wrong. This is not your run-of-the-mill Mary Kay Letourneau story.
"He's not a challenge. He doesn't put me in my place or tell me I can do better. He doesn't piss me off, doesn't make me want things I shouldn't want, and he doesn't make me feel." I reach out and place a trembling hand on the side of his neck. "That's you."

This is a dark tale. Redemption is limited, so if you're looking for everything to be wrapped up in tidy sort of way, you'll be in for a disappointment. What you will find is a story of want, need, hurt, regret, missed opportunities, new beginnings and self-realization. This author gave me nothing I asked for, nothing I wanted, yet I found myself believing in the outcome. She took away my desire for how I thought things should happen and replaced it with an appreciation for the possibility of what could be.

I could have been angry with how badly the lot of these characters screwed up. Each and every single person (except for possibly one) went off the deep end. The events of this book had me wanting to talk sense into most of the people involved. Yet, somehow, everything came together and made me fall in love with the book regardless of faulty actions on the part of the characters.

There is no adequate way to summarize Want. If I said it was a story about a music teacher and his student fumbling their way through confused feelings, then I would be doing a disservice to the book. If I said it was about a tired, abused girl who was trying to reach for her dreams in order to get out of the torturous hell she lives in, then I wouldn't be painting a big enough picture. This book shows how a story about pain can be just as beautiful as a story about joy.
"You didn't leave me. You're the only one."

Profile Image for Kenya Wright.
Author 98 books2,210 followers
November 26, 2012

So. . . I went back and forth on how I would grade this book.

I thought this book would be about this:

But in fact it was really about this:

"Someone" being abused.

A love affairish. . . that was cute but yet odd:

And many serious messed up issues that happened to the hero and heroine, that frankly I was unprepared to deal with:

So in the end, most of the book I did this:

And this:

So don't even open up this book and read it unless you have a box of tissues.
Profile Image for Patrycja.
639 reviews3,803 followers
November 16, 2014
I was just blown away.

It is a mix of everything I adore.

Love. Passion. Music. Pain. Dreams.

At first I didn't think I'll write this review.
Honestly, I didn't expect this book to be enough good for me to waste my time on writing it.
But when I started reading Want I just couldn't stop. I was with Juli, I even felt like I was her. How could I blame her for falling in love with Isaac, when I did the same thing? How on earth could I judge her?
The thing is I couldn't do it without being a hypocrite.

In my opinion almost every girl has, will has or had a crush on older guy, and I think I even now why. It's not that they're handsome or super smart, they just have one little thing teenagers don't have. And it's acceptation. They accept who they are, and we don't.

Please, read this book.
June 14, 2012
A Solid Four Stars

To be honest, the cover is what first drew me into to this book. It’s just beautiful. The story itself was intriguing, but within it, laid a much darker tale.

**Possible spoilers ahead**

This is not another typical YA. It dealt with a lot of difficult issues, and I do mean a lot. Our heroine, Julianne, has a horrible home life and leads a life full of secrets. Her mother has severe mental issues and often times, takes her anger and frustration out on Juli. She practically keeps to herself, and tries to hide her misery. Juli is emotionally spent and finds release through scraping, a form of self-mutilation. The little positive energy she has, she spends into perfecting her piano playing. Juli wants nothing more than to be accepted to the New England Conservatory (NEC) and get away from her life in Mobile, Alabama. Enter Isaac Laroche. His uncle suffered a stroke and enlists Isaac to help Juli prepare for her audition to the NEC. Isaac is a graduate from NEC and is a well known pianist. He is twenty-seven years old and Juli is ten years his junior. Isaac was very difficult to like. He was hot one minute and very cold the next. Why is he so reserved and guarded? He, too, has his own demons.

The crazy thing about this story is how everything played out. You think it would go one way, and then it goes back and twists in another direction. The ending itself was unpredictable, but when I look back on the story, I guess it wasn’t that surprising. I’m actually a lot happier because of the ending . It seriously was one crazy ass ride. If you decide to read this, be warned that the beginning was kinda slow and choppy. You really have to pay attention and keep an open mind. It also helped when I looked up the music they were playing on You-Tube. It added a little bit of ambience to the story and made it much more captivating.
Profile Image for ❃**✿【Yasmine】✿**❃.
810 reviews596 followers
April 14, 2013
Aw i loved this sweet and tormented book.

Juliette is a 17yr old pianist. After her beloved tutor has a stroke he enlists his nephew 27yr old Issac to tutor her until her audition at a prestigous music school.

Issac is tormented and closed off. He has a secret that almost everyone seems to know apart from Juli. Issacs bestfriend Dave is the total opposite from Issac, flirty and fun, he helps Juli with her music and advises her when it comes to Issacs temprament.

Juli has problems of her own, she has no friends, an ignorant father and a highly abusive and crazy mother. She spends much time hiding her feelings about her mother, she can't feel anymore, she wants to, and Issac is the only one who makes her feel.

I loved this story, it was different. Church and classical music isn't really my thing. Issac is not loveable, he's too broken, total jackass most of the time. Dave is amazing, happy and funny. Juli is a complicated girl and it seems she is suffering multiple personality disorder. The ending and writing was perfect.
Profile Image for Julie Reece.
Author 6 books371 followers
January 11, 2015
I don’t read a great deal of dramatic, contemporary, new adult literature. When done well, these stories are sad and haunting and gut wrenching and make me want to put a 45 to my head. People … Want is done well—and in this case—worth the risk of consuming a box of Kleenex, and, well, I was joking about the need for firearms. I loved this story. Truly. Read the whole thing in a day. I hated and loved all the characters respectively. I screamed at them in my head when they did stupid things and held my breath, rooting for them as they teetered on the verge of right.

Lawton’s writing is masterful. The voice is raw and lovely at once, the characterizations rich and complex and the story’s end completely satisfying. I enjoyed Want beginning to end and enthusiastically recommend it, no matter where your genre of choice typically falls. You won’t be disappointed. You have my word on that.
Profile Image for Hilda.
200 reviews143 followers
July 2, 2014
If you want vampires and werewolves, faeries, fallen angels or zombies, you won’t find them here. I know a real-life monster.

Julianne (Juli)’s only wish is to get into New England Conservatory. When her old piano teacher has stroke and his job is transferred to his nephew, Juli thinks that this is a sign. Her new piano teacher, Isaac, is graduated from New England Conservatory. Isaac doesn’t show any emotional feeling at first, but as they spend more time together, he starts to smile and talk more about his past to Juli. But they can’t ever be couple because Isaac is ten years older than her, thus their environment won’t ever accept them. Especially Juli’s mother.

I constantly feel bad for Juli. She is broken, almost beyond repair. Because of her mother, Juli has low self-respect and she is defensive with everyone. And her involvement with Isaac doesn’t help. At first, I thought Isaac would be the one who saved Juli. But then I realize that Isaac is just as broken as his student. Their relationship… it’s not the healthy kind. It’s I-want-you-I-need-you-let’s-die-together-to-escape kind. Somehow their relationship keeps remind me of Wuthering Heights. Fury, possessiveness, fierce love, artistic needs, and things flying. Not a good combination.

I’m not a fan of Isaac. He’s hot one moment and cold the next second. Sometimes he yells at Juli and he has tendency to run away when things get uncomfortable. I think Juli and Isaac fall in love because they are similar. Way too similar. Together, they shatter each other to bits and pieces.

I like this book because the characters are very real. I was not smitten with Isaac but his friend Dave definitely earned a special place in my heart. Dave is amazing and I love how much he cares for Isaac and Juli. I’m so glad that there is someone who deeply cares about Juli, because seems like everyone else in the story is busy with their own problem. Dave is the light and hope for Juli. It makes me think that sometimes, what you want and what you really need is different.

Want is recommended to fans of mature YA. The story is very emotional and I found myself crying in some parts. The ending, though not perfect, is great and believable. If you’re ever in need of something emotional, heart-wrenching, and realistic, then this is the book for you!

He says much, much more through the piano than he ever does with his spare words. Perhaps this is why he never wants to play for me; he knows I’ll sense whatever it is he doesn’t want to let out. It’s true—there’s something he’s hiding behind the teacher’s critiques and praise.

I leave my body then, transported into the world of heartbreak he creates with his fingertips. I’m suspended in air just like the dust motes, not even aware of breath or heartbeat. For once, I feel…whole? Whatever this is, I want to hold onto it as long as I can.

Read other reviews in my blog! :)
Catch the Lune
Catch the Lune
Profile Image for Iva.
628 reviews100 followers
November 22, 2013
This review is also posted on Way Too Hot Books blog

Want turned out to be much more then I expected.

As part of our new feature - Autumn Taboo, we are reading books about student/teacher relationships. This book, in its basis, it about that. Julianne Becker is a 17 year-old talented piano-player and is preparing for her audition for New England Conservatory. After her mentor gets sick, comes the mysterious Isaac Laroche who himself graduated in NEC. Who better to teach her?

So it started really great, big potential with Julianne slowly recognizing Isaac as a man. She's an abused teenager with a psychologically sick mother and a lot of pressure for her future. The hot and very intense new teacher coming in the picture is no help. It's no surprise how she had self-esteem problems and was very conflicted about everything in her life. Slowly, she went totally whack-o and even though her actions would normally make me hate her, I really didn't. Julianne was batshit crazy and totally freaky at times, and she annoyed the hell out of me most of the time. But she was supposed to. I was actually fascinated and started to love the story even more.

"We don't always get what we want. And sometimes, when we do, it's not worth the price."

And Isaac was not less interesting. With the whole town judging him about a past relationship and how it turned out (which I will not spoiler to you), coming to like your new teenage student is so far from what he needs right now it's not even funny. And that whacks with your mind too. He found himself in a delicate situation where want, need, ethics and destiny are all having a hell of a battle.

So who is to blame when two damaged people go even more off the deep end together? Julianne, I can understand, but that doesn't mean Isaac is the bad guy here.

See? Saying this is a book about student/teacher relationship would be totally wrong. Telling you that it's about an abused girl who was just trying to chase her dreams and wants is not enough too. This is a book where grave mistakes are made, actions are done that drive these two to madness, but redemption is still possible. And the ending showed just that. It was very open, anything could happen, but a light shines in that darkness. Julianne just has to fight to keep it.

It was beautiful.
Profile Image for Lisa.
Author 4 books273 followers
July 5, 2012
I just finished reading an ARC copy of Want by Stephanie Lawton. I stayed up until 2 this morning unable to put it down. I thought about it all day and rushed home after work to finish reading it. It’s been some time since I’ve been so compelled by a book that I was unable to put it down, so I’m thrilled to share this review with you.

The main character in Want is Julianne, a complex, interesting and immensely talented seventeen-year-old. She faces a horrific home life, the psychological impact of which made her a very real and believable character. Her relationships were highly complex, and with her absent-yet-in-the-house father, her mentally ill mother, and her beloved brother away at college, Juli is truly alone. Whisked into making adult decisions, she must learn to fight for herself to go after her dreams.

It was the love triangle in this book that had me turned inside out. I was enticed, frustrated, caught up, and even a bit wary, at times, of the direction things were heading. I oscillated between being on Team Isaac and Team Dave, both of whom were gorgeous in their own way. Right up to the end of the book, I wasn’t sure which side I was on, because I had empathy for both men and understood her attraction to them, despite the taboo of the age differences. I even held my breath a few times as she made some tough choices in what felt like a very intense and yet profoundly realistic story.

This story opened my eyes to how exciting contemporary YA romance can be.
Profile Image for Yelania Nightwalker.
1,058 reviews164 followers
April 28, 2012
I want my paperback now! :-)

First I have to congratulate the designer on the cover because it is not only beautiful but very significant to the story.

WANT was a real surprise...

Julianne is a southern girl of 17 years whose passion is music. When her piano instructor get sick, start taking classes with Isaac. As the days pass, the attraction between them becomes complicated by the age difference and the problems that each of them has.

While the beginning of the story is slow, the story is strong enough to keep you reading. Julianne's life is very difficult and painful. I think what I liked about it most is the way that she overcomes these terrible episodes of her life.

I suffered with Juli to throughout the book. As a reader, knew that she was mistaken, that was not love, of either party. She was with the wrong guy. But I could understand her behavior and knew that the fact of being wrong, she would make a better person. Only practice makes perfect.

I liked the characters because everyone are well constructed, are believable, real and bring great things to the story. They enrich it. The romance was sweet but not cloying. WANT is as a melody, will carry you until it reaches a crescendo that leaves you breathless. Heartbreaking and beautifully written. A masterpiece. I absolutely loved the story.

*The eARC was sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Our comments are based solely on our reading, we do not perceive any remuneration for them.
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,188 reviews2,892 followers
September 1, 2012
Juli can’t wait to blow the doors off her southern town. She hates the gossip and the small town drama. She’s getting out, and her piano is the ticket. When her piano teacher suffers a stroke, her lessons are taken over by his nephew Isaac.

Juli seems to have a perfect family on the outside and that’s just the way her mother wants it, but there are unsettling things happening under the surface. It seems like Isaac might be the only one who can understand what Juli is going through, but Isaac has secrets of his own.

Want was a little more intense that I was anticipating. I think I was expecting more of a love story, but wow. There are some serious issues going on in this novel. Thank goodness for Dave and his light hearted banter and perverse comments! I would totally want to be friends with that guy. I loved his character and Juli’s brother RJ.

I had a hard time getting into this novel. The first few chapters where a little choppy and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through, but somewhere around chapter four or five I really got into the story. The pacing just felt a little bit off at times.

The ending was so adbrupt. Maybe it would have benefitted from an epilogue? I liked the ending, but I just felt like there was no closure for the reader or for Juli. I enjoyed reading Want, it just didn’t blow me away. I would, however, read more of Stephanie’s works!
Profile Image for Lee Ward.
Author 14 books259 followers
March 22, 2012
I had the pleasure of being a beta reader for this novel, and it is a fabulous debut from Stephanie Lawton. Julianne's story will leave you breathless, from her amazing musical talents, to her heartbreaking moments with a mentally ill mother who crushes Juli's world with angry fists and cruel words. And when her elderly piano teacher falls ill at a crucial time in Juli's life, she falls for the stand-in instructor, his nephew, Isaac. He's older than Juli, and has a past he's running from, but she wants him just the same. Is Juli willing to risk everything for a man with a reputation who will certainly damage her own? Small Southern towns are unforgiving, but sometimes a girl has to go for the things she wants.
Profile Image for Juliette.
158 reviews38 followers
December 26, 2012

Se state cercando vampiri, licantropi, fate, angeli caduti o zombie, qui non li troverete. Io conosco un mostro vero. Lei prosciuga la vita che c’è in me e strazia il mio corpo con parole e unghie che arrivano più a fondo di quanto delle zanne potrebbero mai fare. Non sono la sua unica vittima, ma solo la sua preferita.

E’ con queste frasi che l’autrice ci porta nel mondo di Want. Un mondo simile al nostro, dolorosamente realistico e in cui non è per niente facile entrare.
Prima di cominciare a leggerlo avevo letto a malapena la trama, non avevo nemmeno capito che era un contemporaneo non-fantasy, ma quando l’ho visto su Goodreads con quella cover stupenda e una valutazione generale di 3.92, non ho potuto fare a meno di prenderlo.
Quando mi è arrivato ho riletto la trama (che non ricordavo per niente), e anche se la storia non mi entusiasmava più di tanto quella cover sembrava chiamarmi e implorarmi di leggere il libro, cosi l’ho iniziato.

Inizialmente la storia era un po’ lenta, ci ho messo un paio di capitoli per entrare davvero nel mondo di Julianne e capire bene dove l’autrice volesse portarmi con la sua narrazione. Dopo circa cinquanta pagine la storia inizia a entrare veramente nel vivo, e non sono riuscita a staccarmene fino alle ultimissime pagine (quando sono crollata per il sonno :P).

Want è una storia abbastanza difficile da raccontare. Ho la sensazione che se inizio a parlare di un lato del libro non parlerò di un’altro, e ogni più piccolo aspetto è cosi importante e cosi decisivo nella storia che non so se riuscirò a trasmettervi tutto ciò che Want è.

Julianne (nome davvero magnifico!) sembrebbe all’apparenza una normale ragazza americana, con una grande passione per la musica e una famiglia perfetta che la ama, ma in realtà Julianne non è niente di tutto questo.

Julianne non è affatto una ragazza normale, ma �� spezzata dentro, la sua famiglia è tutto fuorché perfetta, e la musica non è una sua semplice passione, ma è il suo modo di fuggire dalla realtà che la circonda, in senso metaforico e anche concreto. La sua musica e il suo pianoforte sono infatti il suo biglietto di sola andata per il NEC, New England Conservatory, a Boston, scuola che sogna da sempre e che vuole frequentare a tutti i costi.

A casa le cose non sono mai andate bene, ma sono peggiorate notevolmente da quando il fratello di Julianne, RJ, è andato al college. Sua madre è sempre stata malata e soffre di diversi problemi mentali, ed è con Julianne che se la prende quando ha una delle sue crisi. Suo padre è sempre fuori di casa ed è troppo impegnato per accorgersi di qualcosa, e da quando RJ se ne è andato sua madre ha sempre più crisi e sempre più spesso di notte sale in camera di Julianne per sfogare su di lei la sua rabbia.

La sua non è esattamente una vita perfetta, ma Julianne cerca di andare avanti e intanto conta le ore che la separano dal giorno in cui potrà finalmente lasciare la sua piccola città dell’Alabama, Mobile. Quando il suo insegnante di musica, Mr. Cline, si ammala improvvisamente, Julianne accetta l’aiuto di suo nipote Isaac, dieci anni più grande di lei, che ha frequentato proprio la NEC ma che è tornato misteriosamente a Mobile.

Inizialmente Isaac è freddo e distaccato, ma lentamente inizia a parlare sempre più con Julianne di sé e del suo passato. Tra i due nasce una pericolosa attrazione, ma l’età non è di certo l’unico problema, perché anche Isaac ha i suoi demoni interiori, e a Mobile deve anche fare i conti con il suo oscuro passato.

Julianne e Isaac sono davvero molto simili, forse fin troppo. Inizialmente ho pensato che fossero perfetti l’uno per l’altra, ma la loro relazione non è affatto sana, più che altro la trovo distruttiva.
Isaac è un personaggio decisamente misterioso, non sono riuscita a capire chi è veramente fino alle ultime venti pagine, pagine in cui tutta la storia viene completamente stravolta.
Dopo Want ho letto anche l'ebook Aftertaste, che contiene una scena del libro narrata dal punto di vista di Isaac, e direi che dopo averlo finito sono riuscita a capire un pò meglio questo personaggio, e spero che l'autrice decida di pubblicare anche una sorta di seguito dal suo POV.

Julianne è un personaggio molto particolare e ammetto di non averne mai incontrato come lei.
E’ cosi fragile, ma allo stesso tempo abbastanza forte da andare avanti per tantissimo tempo da sola, senza l’aiuto di nessuno. Riesco a capire perfettamente perché si è innamorata di Isaac, e la loro relazione l’ha in qualche modo resa migliore e l’ha fatta crescere notevolmente.

E infine c’è Dave, uno dei migliori amici di Isaac che presto diventerà anche il migliore amico di Julianne. Dave è completamente diverso da Isaac e mi ha conquistata sin da subito. Divertente, sarcastico e protettivo, durante il corso della storia è diventato una sorta di angelo custode per Julianne, e alla fine del libro giocherà una parte davvero fondamentale nella storia.

Una delle cose che ho più amato di Want è il fatto che termina in un modo talmente inaspettato che sconvolge il lettore. Durante tutta la storia ero sicurissima che il libro sarebbe finito in un certo modo, e invece nelle ultime 20 pagine l'autrice mi ha davvero sorpresa proponendo un finale decisamente inatteso.

Il mio voto è di 5 stelline!Want rientra sicuramente tra i migliori libri contemporanei del 2012, e consiglio a chiunque riesca a leggere un pò in inglese a dargli una possibilità!Sono sicura che non vi deluderà!
Profile Image for Calia.
Author 21 books2,845 followers
June 28, 2012
We’ve all read a book that had a character that was so completely talented you were envious, almost a little jealous!!

By the second paragraph, I was engulfed into Want.
The writing is exceptional. It flows like poetry.
It has a touch of forbidden lust, a damaged family, and one very talented girl.

Julianne is a brilliant pianist. When her instructor turns ill, he suggests that she employ the help of his equally talented grandson, Isaac Laroche.
She quickly forms a crush for her teacher, but discovers within the process that he is hiding things about his past. Things that everyone else of this small southern town know about, but refuse to mention.
But Julianne’s family isn’t perfect either. There are deep secrets that effect Julianne, and may prevent her from achieving her dream of playing in Boston.

Ms. Lawton did an impressive job of making me enjoy, and empathize with all the characters. (Even the unsavory ones!)

Julianne- This book is such a journey. As are most books. But how my feelings were at the beginning- compared to the end-were completely altered. I knew that when I finished, Julianne life was going to towards the direction of better.
I KNOW the reason she captured my interest; her voice was almost like her playing, it had a very euphonious quality. And her passion for her the piano was infectious, she’s completely incandescent!
While reading it, I sat back and listened to Revolution by Chloe Flower. And then almost went online to purchase a piano..Kidding! Not Really

Though on a more somber note, (this is when you’d play a sad melody.. *wink wink*) she’s a casualty of a very damaged home life. It comes for the one pillar in her life that you don’t expect, and it made me crinkle my nose in displeasure. I wanted to scream out for someone to SAVE Julianne.

Isaac Laroche- (You have to say his full name. Can’t you imagine his smooth southern accent?)
Such a torrid character. He has such a concealed past. You can see why Julianne is attracted to him! I mean, we all love a tortured man! You know you should stay away but you can’t. Well... that’s how I felt while reading Want. There’s issues that throw up the red flag but you hope he gathers the buoyancy move on from his past.

Another thing that I extremely enjoyed was the setting of an old southern town. It’s almost like going back in time! Their thoughts, and ways. They’re firmly set in their beliefs.

I classified this as Edgy/ New Adult. Although Julianne is 17, this book has a raw feel to it that I thought was realistic and amazing!

The most pressing question I thought about once I finished..... There has to be a sequel. There’s a sequel right?! RIGHT?! I’d love to read more about ALL of these exceptional characters.

If you’re in post, The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher, depression then I highly suggest this book!!
Profile Image for Rachel V..
212 reviews12 followers
May 7, 2012
First let me just say I do not normally read this genre but the summary from Goodreads sounded good so I thought I would give it a try. I am very glad that I decided to try new things. This book was very well written. I read it all in one day within a few hours hoping for a happy ending for the main character. I give it 5 stars.
Plot – The first couple lines of the book are as follows. “If you want vampires and werewolves, faeries, fallen angels or zombies you won’t find them here. I know a real-life monster. She drains the life out of me and tears at my flesh with words and fingernails that sink deeper than fangs ever could.” Let me tell you that those first lines in the book pretty much sum up the mother of this story. Juli is seventeen years old and wants to go to NEC to get her Masters in piano. She suffers from physical and mental abuse from her mother and her father does nothing. When her piano teacher and surrogate grandfather suffers a stroke he appoints his nephew to take over her piano lessons. I don’t want to say much more because I do not want to give away the story but it is a sad story in parts and did make me cry several times.
Characters – Juli is a strong character. She has to be to have lived with a mother like she has. She gets no support from her father. Her brother has went off to college so she pretty much has to deal with it herself. Issac is the piano teachers nephew who takes over her lessons. He seems to be an alright guy but he also has some issues. He tends to let other people’s opinions and gossip count for more than it should. By the end of the story I have to say I did not care for Issac to much as he seems quite spineless. Dave is one of Issac’s friends who also went to NEC and has graduated. He is a really nice guy and loves to flirt. Hmmm, wish I could meet him in real life. LOL.
Setting – The setting in this story is in Mobile although they do take a trip to Boston also. The gossip and people are just like living in a small town. Everyone knows everybody’s business and has to talk about it. The descriptions made you feel like you were there with her.
All in all this was a great book. The only thing I am still wondering is will Juli get a happy ending and get herself straightened out and get her guy? Also what happened to Issac? Did he bother to apologize or show his face or did he just disappear?
Profile Image for Aubrie Dionne.
Author 38 books572 followers
May 1, 2012

A powerful masterpiece, exploring tough issues, sweet love, and high stakes…

Julianne has worked hard her entire life, practicing her piano to get into New England Conservatory, to leave behind the abuse, depression, and dysfunction of her southern home. When her teacher falls ill, she meets Issac, his young nephew and a recent grad of the same school she desires so much. The only problem is, she starts to desire Issac as well. His brooding mystery lures her in. She’s not the only one with psychological problems.

As a professional musician that once auditioned at the New England Conservatory myself, I found this story to be very interesting and very real. The main character, Julianne is moody like your average teenager, but as the story progresses, you start to learn why. She has some big problems: an abusive mom, a distant dad, an urge to cut her arms to feel pain and release, and the possibility that she’s inherited her mother’s psychotic traits. She is a very brave girl who stands at the edge of an abyss. Only music can save her, but can she overcome her emotional difficulties to become a great pianist, or will it all end in a tragic train wreck?

Issac is a mystery that I kept turning pages over to solve. Why did he leave the prestigious music scene in Boston? How does he feel about his new student, ten years his junior? When the truth finally comes out, it’s shocking! Boy, did it keep me reading. Phew! The relationship between Julianne and Issac is tumultuous, yet they can teach each other so much. As Mr. Cline puts is so eloquently when talking to Julianne, “You are the student he needs and he is the teacher you need.”

Dave is another story, so sweet, hilarious, if not a little potty mouthed, and always there for Julianne. I wondered if she’d ever see him for who he really was. The love triangle kept me turning page after page! I had no idea how it would turn out until the very last page, which shows how good a writer Stephanie Lawton is.

Want by Stephanie Lawton is a powerful masterpiece of a story exploring tough issues, sweet love, and high stakes; a whopper of a coming of age novel.
Profile Image for Kat.
783 reviews27 followers
June 7, 2012
As a young girl, I watched my mom watch countless hours of shows and movies on Lifetime.  I’ve come to realize that “depression” is entertaining.  “Hardships” as a whole bring us together thinking with one mind of justice, hugs all around, and Kumbayah.  Yet it is hardships at its singular level that separates.  It separates with secretly and closed lips.  That one individual experiencing it within an isolation of their emotions emits selfishness to thinking they are the only person in the world that has problems.   For the first portion of this book, things were hopeless.  I had more than one emotional episode.  I needed a hero.  I needed to know there’s a sun behind the gray clouds.  I needed to know that I could fit into my high school jeans after losing five pounds.  There’s a reason I prefer Cartoon Network and SYFY to Mom’s beloved Lifetime Network.  I often dive into the world of fiction to escape the hardships of reality so my books if not joyous, should, no must contain a morale, if not Happy Ending.  I was shocked to find out that “Want” contained a lot of hard learned lessons.  The walnut of characters with hard shells took me deeper into the story to see what secrets lie beneath.  Before I knew it I was midway through and with tears in my eyes….deliberating.  I eventually soldiered up and carried on with a certain level of numbness that only trauma could obtain.  In the end I was so glad I finished.  This story truly touched me far more different than any book I have ever read and I cherish the experience.

**Honest Review = Free Copy via Tour Courtesy of Inkspell Publishing **
Profile Image for Rebecca Hart.
Author 18 books126 followers
April 24, 2012
Let me start by saying this book was absolutely nothing like what I expected when I sat down to read. I have read a fair share of YA books, but WANT is miles above anything I have read from this genre lately.

Stephanie Lawton presents us with a southern world, steeped in tradition and dark secrets. The MC, Julianne is flawed and "real" and I was rooting for her from page one. What a wonderful departure this was from the usual perfect life, beautiful flawless MC's present in so much of today's YA fiction.

About halfway through the novel I had worried I wouldn't be pleased with the ending based on how the story was unfolding, but boy was I wrong. Ms. Lawton drew me into her southern world and had me gnawing my nails as I prayed for Julianne to make the right choices -- pick the right man. Don't even get me going on the hotness of the men -- one dark and brooding, one the perfect southern gent (even if he is a Yankee).

While some of the subject matter was deep and emotional, I feel it was well handled and none of the drama read as over the top or gratuitous. All of it lended to the authentic feel to the story.

Really enjoyed this one a great deal and will be looking for more titles by this talented new author.
Profile Image for Kelly .
753 reviews22 followers
January 23, 2013
Wow!!! What a long ride that was! It was a good trip I read for 3 hours and could not put it down. I am just not sure why. I have major issues with this book yet I am still thinking it over.

Family dysfunction and age of consent are issues that seem to way heavy on ones mind when you finish Want. I like that it lingers in my mind well after the last page. For me the age thing was never an issue.

Juli's family situation is just horrid and I really wanted to kill her Dad. HOW could you?????

The thing is the ending felt very rushed to me and a few things were left unclear. Issac's character is a very interesting one indeed, such a weak man. Yet I wanted and felt the connection he and Juli shared. Perhaps it had to happen. I can see the things that make them similar are so very unhealthy for her. I am very satisfied with the ending but if you are looking for a perfect HEA you will be disappointed.

I have nothing in the way of musicality if you do then you will probably get a deeper emotional connection to Want. The piano and piano pieces are like an additional character.

It is not perfect by any means but unlike many books that are read them and forget them I am sure Want will be one I remember.

Profile Image for Joyce Scarbrough.
Author 21 books38 followers
April 22, 2012

Lucky me, I was chosen to read WANT as a beta reader, so I got to fall in love with it before the masses!

Julianne Casquette wants so many things. She wants to escape the smothering confines of a Southern city still bound by antebellum social restrictions. She wants to escape the dangers of a mother trapped in madness and the terror of falling victim to the same demons herself. She wants to win a coveted spot in the prestigious New England Conservatory so she can make her dreams of becoming a concert pianist come true. And she wants to feel normal and loved instead of damaged and inferior the way her mother makes her feel. As if all these things aren't compelling enough, they pale in comparison to the longing Julianne has for her new piano teacher, Isaac Laroche, and he's possibly the most elusive thing she desires.

Isaac is ten years older, he's emotionally scarred, and he has a past that makes him a pariah among the socially elite class that Julianne's family belongs to. Juli knows she should stay away from him, but he's her ticket out of the life she so desperately wants to escape, and their attraction is stronger than both of them.

WANT is a darkly seductive read that runs the gamut of emotions. Julianne's growth and self-discovery will strike a chord with both young girls and women who used to be one, and her developing sexuality will have male readers enthralled just like Isaac. The final scenes are electric and completely unpredictable.

In keeping with the Southern traditions showcased in this book, WANT is a stunning debutante from author Stephanie Lawton, and it will be presented to the publishing world at its coming out ball on June 7. Readers are cordially invited to attend the gala affair.
Profile Image for Paranormal Reads.
137 reviews128 followers
May 26, 2012
Julianne Casquette comes from your old school, traditional southern family with the amazing talent for the piano. Her world has never been that of a sane one, but it goes for a trip when her piano instructor has a stroke and has his nephew, Issac Laroche, continue on with them.
Trying to form a relationship with him could be the end to either him or her.

"Love can't always be based off of the heart. Sometimes you must use your head."

First off I have to say that 99.9% of the time I read paranormal books. But it's nice at times to step out of that world and take a breath of a different genre. The first sentence of Want is, 'If you want vampires, and werewolves, faeries, fallen angels or zombies, you won't find them here.' It made smile and think, 'well gosh, it's like book knows me.' But anywho...
Want is the first contemporary romance book I've read in years. It made me realize that it doesn't matter what genre you read if a book is amazingly written it's a breeze to read. Which can easily translate to: I couldn't put Want down and finished it in a day. I loved Stephanie's writing style, though I did find myself wishing there was a bit more to the scenes that were written. Not to say that it wasn't enjoyable as was, but I felt like I wanted more.
I also found myself thinking, 'goodness thats..umm..' because people, or maybe just me, aren't used to seeing stuff so plainly written in black and white. The things that make families not so proud about sharing.
Over all though Want was very enjoyable, has you wanting more and keeps you on your toes about what will happen next. Great read if your looking for something outside of the paranormal too.
Profile Image for Shweta Choudhary.
Author 10 books135 followers
August 19, 2012
Oh!! No words really for this wonderfull book!!! Loved it totally!!

OK I am gonna say few words no no more than that.

Very good,excellent,beautifully written , touching story for me. It was so filled with it . God I couldn't stop my tears while reading it. and yes, The unpredictable ending..

Characters so well developed. I could relate myself to the girl , her emotions ,her reasons.
I haven't read such a book in my life..will call it the best book of the year.
The girl ,Juliana ,Juli what soever was a strong character for her age. She became more mature than her age i.e 17, having to endure so much at such young age. Her relationship with Issac, and Dave where it was so serious with Issac and filled with tension Dave was funny sexy and a great character.

Juli and Issac they both have their own Demons to face. How they faced their demons was so so god!! painful..when the demon can be in form of mother who gave life to you..It also deals with how society treats a child molesters, etc etc. whatever happened in the end was shocking,painful. I really can't describe it. I felt so many things..Love,pain ..I was angry ,felt betrayed like Julie did.. I was so involved in the book..

This book was perfect . I like the book which makes me feel all the emotions the character feel and if they have succeeded then its 5 stars for them. Characters, story line,Pace was just perfect.. Even thought It didn't end like I wanted to but still a better ending .
Profile Image for Heather.
100 reviews42 followers
October 4, 2012
Hmph.....what a strange book. Good, but strange. This book delves into mental illness, and forces the reader to contemplate the ethics of a 17 year old girl dating a 27 year old man. The book is gripping because we don't know what's up with this man, and we don't know whether or not he is a "good" guy or a "bad" guy. And honestly, we don't know until the last twenty pages. Add to that ethical scenario a psychotic mom and an emotionally damaged and traumatized teenage musician, and you've got yourself a pretty good book :)
Profile Image for Zoe and the Edge.
674 reviews64 followers
January 12, 2015
This one's a toughie!
There's a lot of issues involved in this book. It made things interesting. At the same time, I think it was too much for the author to juggle.

The Ending
Why am I putting the ending at the beginning? Because I think it might help you to know a spoiler that will make your life a whole lot better when you get to the ending. I would've appreciated the heads up. So are you ready? It's a spoiler to end all spoilers.
Crazy, right? I'm pretty sure that's why this book is in the 3.8 star range rather than the 4.5 star range. But I'll talk more about why in another spoiler tag at the end of this review.

The author writes the aspects of classical music very well. Oh, she wrung me out and hung me up to dry. I'm usually wary of music being a big feature in books due to inaccuracies and tacky portrayals, but this one really captures the agony and the joy of the journey to becoming a professional musician. I swear, I found myself back in my own auditions when I read this.
I loved how easily music is woven into the romance as well. Flirting over Rachmaninoff? Doesn't get anymore steamier than that. =D

To my utter relief, Juli and Isaac start out platonically. It always gives me the creeps when student-teacher relationships don't begin in friendship. I love that Juli thinks that Isaac is “middle-aged” at 27.
But after a while, of course, the playing field is leveled. Juli is beautiful and precious with an old soul. I could really see why Isaac struggled to keep his hands and his mind off her. Sure, she's a teenager but in most moments, especially with her interactions with Isaac, I was like, “Look at her. That girl does not have the mental and emotional capacity of a 17 year old. No way are they separated by ten years.” This is written so effectively that their age gap really just disintegrated before my eyes. Juli never pulls out the little girl card and I loved her for it. I really appreciated that I didn't feel like I was reading about an underaged girl with an out-of-control crush but rather a woman who chooses to take a chance on love.

Juli's mother is a psycho who physically and emotionally abuses her children and her husband. There are moments of respite when Mama is completely normal and keeping up with her meds. But when she's not, it's Juli that endures the violence. She accepts it matter-a-factly.

...we don’t want to get Mama in trouble. She’s sick, and she can’t help it. We know that at one time, and in her own way, Mama loved us. Still does.

Juli's father isn't much help. He's kind and gentle for sure, but he'll pick his wife over his children any day. I was so relieved when he started looking out for Juli, though it's a little sad to see Juli's response to his attention.

I should go psycho more often if this is the reward.

Yeah, Juli's own head is starting to get off-kilter. The stress of her practicing combined with her domestic issues combined with her situation with Isaac combined with her own genetic makeup is driving her up the wall. As she starts reacting to those around her, she starts to worry that she'll end up like her mother.

Isaac is very closed in and unwilling to talk about himself at all. That doesn't stop Juli from asking questions. I pegged him as a responsible and chivalric gentleman but he's a bit more aggressive than that. I thought he'd be sweet and gentle and healing for Juli and rade rah. But Isaac's got his own problems. And when he gets riled up, he gets as crazy as Juli and her mother put together. What a nice couple!

Dave is Isaac's best friend and I loved the way he looked out for his bro and for Juli. He's a bit of a pervert with a dirty mouth, but he's fun.

Dave to Juli - “I didn’t know what you liked, so I packed a bunch [of movies]. I have quite the personal collection. You’re laughing. You thought all I owned was porn, huh? Common misconception. I actually have quite varied tastes.”

Dave is a pianist too (be still my beating heart: two sexy pianists!) and he treats Juli so beautifully. He's lovely lovely lovely.

More Comments on the Ending
Profile Image for ♥ Sarah.
539 reviews127 followers
December 21, 2012
5 STARS!!!


It's official: I loved this book!

I feel like I just conquered an insurmountable obstacle of some sort. Instantly, I was catapulted into a disjointed concert of intense, raw emotions. And the force of the story, revealing itself in bits, pulling me in then pushing me out, teasing me with dark secrets, whispering fears, and unimaginable twists, strangely left me feeling cathartic. Want was the breath of fresh air that I needed.

At first, the age gap between Julianne and Isaac was a bit off putting and unexpected. But aside from that, I was more than pleased with the way everything turned out. Want isn't a lighthearted, frilly, fluffy romantic read. It's intense, dark, painful, humiliating, heartbreaking and everything in between. Just the way I like it.

Both Julianne and Isaac are broken beyond repair, and the demons haunting Juli, seeps into the cracks of your soul, melding itself with your own fears and secrets. It's scary. It's dark. It's thrilling. It's passionate. And Juli's emotions are magnified but not overbearing.

Similarly, Isaac's just as broken as Juli. His demons are no less darker, no less scarier. His emotions are just as raw and intense. And soon you realize that despite their age gap (of 10 years), they're equals. They're like two magnets inexplicably drawn to each other-- to each others' hurt, pain and confusion. Or, well, it could have just been the thick sexual tension and physical attraction between them.

Either way, they're drawn together. By circumstance or fate, and they fall into a passionate reverie, struggling within the balance between the real world and "their" world: where they're whole. Unbroken. But what happens when that balance tips? What happens when the real world spills over into the other? Can two broken people make each other whole again?

Want is so much more than a frilly, fluffy love story. There's abuse. Psychological disorders. Drama. Semi-love-triangle (tastefully executed). And the piano. Who doesn't like the piano? Or people that play the piano? :) Also, the whole thing is just written with finesse and style. Each word was drenched in color, passion, and emotion. And I felt I could truly *hear* Juli playing her Rachmaninoff piece.

"I reach for her hand and she lets me wrap my finger around her cold ones. I squeeze. She squeezes back. Behind me, Daddy makes a hiccuping noise. After a moment, I let go. I let go. So many words. So many hurts. I let go." -Juli

And just like that, I too, felt that cathartic, bittersweet release, free falling into the unknown...

Want casts you into the pit of the scorching fire, then plunges you into the icy depths of the ocean, then flies you to the edge of glistening moon, only to finally slowly release you back on your feet in one piece... Somehow. But it was so worth it.

Thanks Rachimi, for recommending this gem of a book. <3
Profile Image for Amber.
339 reviews42 followers
August 1, 2012
EVERYONE WHO LOVES YA NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK. go buy a copy right now. I'm not even kidding.

I took one look at the cover and the summary of this book and said ew, no.. well... okay.

I tentatively opened it and began to read ONLY because it was a read-along with my GR friend, Stacia. And then it hit me.

Oh. my. word. This book. This book reminded me why I loved books. Why I love YA fiction. I've spent so long reading mediocre, stereotypical YA fiction because it warms my bones that I forgot what it was like to feel the fire.

I love student-teacher relationship books, especially now that I have some experience with teachers overstepping their boundaries. I've read Teach Me and Boy Toy. I get the attraction of an older male (or female). It's all intriguing. So I can say that this was well done. I can applaud this book for getting how freaking wrong it is. How yes, there is going to be hesitation. How there is going to be that attraction from such a close relationship. How lonely we as people can be and yearn for the closeness. I love the darkness of these relationships and how the relationships make light in spite of being a BAD thing.

Yet, this was dark and light all wrapped into once. This is a romance and at this point in my life I FREAKING HATE ROMANCE and yet it was AMAZING. I was really rooting for our heroine to find love, not because she needed to, but because these men were right for her in that manner. Because we all deserve a little summa that. And that this was not the whole centre, focus, and drive of her life? Bravo, you wonderful book!

The twists and turns just popped out of nowhere and I kept saying yes, yes, yes! They were perfect, not too crazy or extreme or confusing. Not over the top. Just right.

The realism, my goodness. It was REAL. This book could have happened. It was not built on chance and cheese and Hollywood. This was a book where you actually believe the label REALISTIC FICTION.

It's been a long time since I loved a book so much and felt it was flawless. The characters, the plot, the setting, the WRITING.

My hat is off to you Stephanie Lawton. You have set new heights for this genre. Every writer (hell everyone) should read this book and learn from her, take notes!!

(Thanks to Stacia for providing me a copy of this e-book!)
Profile Image for Claudia B..
261 reviews
August 20, 2012
I have really mixed feelings here.

I'll sum up my review to what I liked and did't like.

- Mr. Cline. He was family to Julianne and the only one who actually had some sense in him, besides being a really likable character.
- Dave. I connected with him from the moment he steped into Julianne's studio. He was there for her whenever she needed him and even when she didn't.
- The ending.

Didn't like

- Her relationship with Isaac. I don't think there was a moment during the book I actually connected to Isaac. He constantly lives in the past and has a tendency of pushing people away. But, relly, that was the least of my problems. The real thing was: the 11 year old gap between them. It's just plain creepy. Don't get me wrong, It's not that I'm against it. I can handle that with, let's say a 27 year old and a 38 year old. See? It's not that bad. It's the fact that she's barely out of puberty and he is almost thirty!. Ick.
- Her family. They were a mess in every single way. Her mom was nuts and I understand that, really, she was sick, she couldn't control it. What I can't asimilate is the fact that her brother and father knew what her mother was doing to her an still let it happen.
- The way Julianne "handled" her issues. First, there's the cutting. Did she actually get over that?. I don't think so, she's not stable, she didn't get to have a closure. And what about the fact that she was having allucinations? which leads us to know think that she might have the same thing as her mother. But, did Lawton even bothered to make that an actual statement to her family?. Of course not. It was "just an episode" as her therapist called it. Riiight.
- Isaac. Are you kidding me?. . Asshole.

So, I didn't really like the book, but I didn't hate it either. I was okay.
Profile Image for Amaleen Ison.
Author 3 books23 followers
July 6, 2012
People say you should never judge a book by its cover. In this instance IGNORE THEM. Want is just as beautiful on the inside. And that’s saying something because the sumptuous cover is one of my all-time favourites.

I finished Want in a day. Couldn’t put it down, much to my husband’s annoyance! I adored this darkly seductive story with its dysfunctional characters even though the violence, abuse, and self-harming were an excruciating read – at times. (But the book is about so much more than just heavy-duty issues.)

The inappropriate relationship between Julianne and Issac is both inevitable and tragic. Issac is a broken, paranoid man, too self-centred to provide an abused girl the support and continuity she craves. Yet…I wanted these two lost souls to connect, I wanted them to heal one another, and I wanted their relationship to triumph over the small-minded Mobile (Alabama) cliques.

And then half-way through the book I changed my mind, which I suspect was Lawton’s plan.

The majority of YA books lead you to believe that love triumphs, people can change for the better, and most problems resolve themselves. On these issue Want parts their company – sort of. (Oh, I so want to tell you the whole story and explain my ramblings.) The story doesn’t take the path you expect, and this is possibly the reason I love Want so much. Not all relationships are good, not all relationships are healthy, and not all relationships last.

Want is unpredictable yet entirely satisfying, heart-breaking yet utterly addictive.

Want is by far my favourite book the year.
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