Title: Want You
Author: Jen Frederick
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 1 July 2018
Synopsis from Goodreads
Bitsy: I might be only nineteen, but I know what I want. It’s Leka Moore. I don’t care that he took me in when he was barely more than a kid himself. I don’t care that he raised me. I don’t care everyone thinks being with him is wrong. I know we belong together, and the only person I need to convince is him.
Leka: I found her in the corner of a dark alley. If I hadn’t taken her with me, she would’ve died that night—or maybe worse. Before I knew it, she became the light in my dark life, the haven from the madness. I watched her grow up. I tried to teach her right from wrong. Now that she’s an adult, I’m feeling things that no good man should ever feel. But then…I’ve never been a good man. I have a chance at redemption by saving her from the greatest danger of all—me.
I’ll start by saying this review is going to be intentionally vague because if I go into detail it will give away the true essence of the plot and I don’t want to do that.
I will say Want You is unlike anything I have read before; it is dark, occasionally disturbing but utterly compelling. There were a few occasions that I had to step back from the story and wonder if I could carry on reading but ultimately it drew me in and necessitated continuing. I couldn’t get the characters out of my head and NEEDED to know the outcome of their situation, be it good or bad, it was like a drug.
Leka and Bitsy meet when they are both very young, however, the lives they have been subjected to have aged them prematurely. Especially Leka who has taken on responsibilities no young adult should ever have to undertake. Despite their circumstances, something clicks into place for both Leka and Bitsy; they are family and the other half of each other’s souls. However, the dynamics of their feelings for each other grow and alter as they mature. Although Leka, being older, resists his feelings and the judgment of others who would not understand the connection between Leka and Bitsy.
I will say that although the relationship is unusual, Jen’s delivery ensures a deep level of understanding of the connection between Leka and Bitsy, At no point did it feel unnatural or forced.
The hardest part of the story for me was witnessing the lengths Leka had to go to in order to survive and thrive in the life he and Bitsy were born into. For all his dark deeds Leka has an underlying moral code and an uncanny intuition for trouble, one which aids him in keeping Bitsy safe and allows her to forge a better life.
I adored the epilogue so much – it made me think of Pay It Forward and how each small act can mean something truly big in the end 💞