Author: Jesseca Wheaton
Genre: YA/Contemporary Romance
Ty and Jen have been friends for nearly as long as anyone can remember. But when Ty goes off to college and leaves her behind, he has to face the reality that he cares for her as more then just a friend.
As graduation approaches and with only one summer left before he begins basic training, Ty must make a decision. Military life is never easy; is it fair to force it on the one he loves?
In the midst of wrestling with the question and coming to the realization that summer is quickly drawing to a close, Ty struggles to face questions he cannot answer, and is forced to examine his own heart. Is it possible that God has a future for him with Jen? Or will the summer close with only memories of days gone by?
Their relationship would be old fashioned. But that was okay. Because old fashioned and whimsical fit perfectly with a southern summer.
Reviewer: Jessica G.
I Don't Dance follows the story of Jen and Ty as they navigate young adult life and whether they're right for each other.
I always enjoy Jesseca Wheaton's writing, but this novella seemed especially lyrical. "...her voice quiet and musical, nearly dancing across the ripples."
I soaked up the simple country life, the happy summer vibes, and the family life depicted. It had a relaxed feel to it - golden fields and sunsets, ice cream dates, fishing in the evening. But at the same time it wasn't idealistic. There was work and study and hard questions and conflicted emotions. I appreciated the authenticity portrayed.
The sibling relationships were fun, honest, and caring, and I really liked they were mentioned and involved in the romance. Ty's camaraderie with Mike added to the story a lot, and I also liked how the parents were involved, and the steadiness they brought. These relationships could be seen as too 'ideal' but I found it refreshing and reassuring to read; I genuinely believe it's not not an out-of-reach portrait.
Ty's internal struggle to know God's will was a valuable theme, and while his situation was specifically about his life partner, it's still relevant and applicable to many different areas of life. I picked up snippets of wisdom from Ty's experience I want to implement next time I'm struggling to know God's will in my life.
The actual relationship was so sweet. I like how it was based on giving and what was best for each other, not on what they wanted or for selfish motives. They admired each other for who they were; their strengths and personalities, not their looks or achievements. And they were willing to surrender their future together if that was what God indicated. Combined, it made it the most refreshing romance I've read in a long time.
I also liked the way dancing (or lack thereof, if one doesn't dance) was woven through the book - not too much but just enough, and highlighted at the crucial moment.
It was very sweet, easy to read, and refreshingly wholesome. Not to mention Jesseca's writing - I'm quite determined not to miss a book. :)
Reviewer: Sandra Burson
What a delightful summer read I couldn't have asked for more. This Novella, like vanilla ice cream from the local Ice Cream Parlor, is sweet perfection. I don't know when I have read such a well-written love story about two young adults falling in love. Jesseca has carefully crafted characters that are so real, you want them as a best friend.
Ty and Jen have lived next to each other and been best friends since they can remember. When Ty went away to college, they kept in touch through letters, text, and calls. It just didn't feel the same being separated for such a length of time. Ty finds himself reevaluating his feelings for Jen. He finds their friendship developing into a romance, at least on his part.
I love the faith thread throughout the book. Ty and Jen's relationship was so pure and God-honoring. Ty realized he loved Jen and she him, but God had to be in this, most of all. Their love and struggles were so tender it brought tears to my eyes. There were several great lines in this story. My favorite quote “I want to marry someone who's my best friend. Someone who doesn't keep me from pain and trials, but rather goes through them with me.”
Jesseca, making sure things didn't get too heavy, gave us the character of Ty's best friend, Mike. He is hilarious. I think he had to be my favorite character and that's saying a lot. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen every time he appeared. Everyone needs a Mike in their life. As you can tell by now, I loved this book. Not saying anything against this book or Jesseca's writing, to me this seemed like a great book for YA.
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