Without You is a sweet, young love story that follows Ariana and Lucas, two seventeen-year-olds on different paths as they prepare for their futures while navigating their final year of high school and first semester of college.
While Without You is a young adult contemporary romance, Vargas exceeded my expectations by realistically capturing the uncertainty of moving from one stage of life to the next and how people grow and change as they transition into adulthood. It was more than a love story; it was a refreshing, diverse read, with a focus on different family dynamics. What drew me in the most was the unique, well-written relationships Ariana had with everyone in her life—from her parents and brother, to her best friend, Mayra, and boyfriend, Lucas. Each relationship had the layers it needed to portray something unforgettable and real. Apart from the relationship between Ariana and Lucas, I loved the one Ariana shared with her brother, Jimmy, and I loved all of their scenes together.
I did have a few issues throughout the book, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment too much. The first problem I had was with the pacing. It was all over the place, sometimes fast and other times excruciatingly slow, and at certain points, it’d skip weeks between paragraphs, and other times, only a few days would pass in a chapter. Also, an inconsistency with whether or not Lucas’ mother has a driver’s license left me confused. One moment, Lucas had to drive her everywhere because she didn’t have a license, then toward the end of the novel, she had a car, but it was in the shop. Then it reverted back to her not having a license. I’m only mentioning this because it’s a straining factor on Lucas’ character, which is important in the novel. Lastly, I wish a frequently brought up past event that happened to Ariana with an ex-boyfriend was described in more detail early on. It would’ve really helped explain Ariana’s hesitation with Lucas if it was described from the beginning. Even at the end, I wasn’t sure what really happened to Ariana. It was a tad disappointing.
Overall, I recommend this novel to those who like a realistic love story that accurately portrays the changes that occur in most relationships as they mature from high school to college, to those who enjoy a clean romance, and also to those who’re looking for a diverse young adult novel.
About the Author (from author website)
I’m pretty much a writer. I’m in the middle of publishing a YA series called Changing Hearts. I’m working on my third book, All In, (coming soon!) with plans for many more.
For almost as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write stories. In 2011, I finally started actually doing so. I don’t plan on stopping ever.
I’m also an editor. I specialize in copyediting and proofreading books for self-published or indie writers. My clients include bestselling authors.
Some more stuff about me: I’m a proud Mexican American. I have a fiancé and young daughter. I adore reading, binge-watching Netflix, and playing sports in my free time. I’m also an alumni of the University of Georgia.