Fiction, Romance, Young Adult

Waiting for Mr. Right

Waiting for Mr. Right book cover
Image from Project Inspired

Title: Waiting for Mr. Right (Mr. Right #1)

Author: Lisa Raftery and Barbara Precourt

Genre: Romance

Julia Duncan arrives at Tyler University with hopes of a good education, but more importantly, meeting that special someone. She imagines a handsome prince who will sweep her off her feet as they ride into the sunset and live happily ever after. Eventually, Julia finds a boyfriend who seems to be Mr. Right. But time reveals he is just the opposite, and her romantic dream quickly becomes a terrifying nightmare. What started as a little lie grows to the point of crisis, and every moment moves her further and further from the life she so desperately desires. Will Julia survive her first year of college?

Quick note: I’m classifying this book as YA because even though it could be classified as New Adult, I think the message is most relevant to YA readers.

I am usually not into romance books at all. But my mother bought the whole Mr. Right series for me (because she felt sorry for the woman selling them, I think). And she figured if I didn’t like them, I could donate them to our church library and get reimbursed.

In the beginning, I wasn’t too thrilled with the writing. Dense blocks of text and minimalistic dialogue. But I told myself I’d tough it out 100 pages, and I even ended up finishing it.

Julia seemed to be the stereotypical sheltered Christian girl wanting to find out what she missed in college. And while I can understand it, I guess, I felt she was a little immature. Most of the things she did I could have told her was a bad idea. (Of course, my sister accuses me of being a forty-year-old in a sixteen-year-old body, so the immaturity thing could be just me.)

Jay wasn’t so much bad as he was misguided. He was definitely the wrong guy for Julia. But he wanted so bad to be the right one. He’s one of those characters where I wanted the main character to get away from him, but at the same time, I wanted things to work out for him, too (but with a different girl).

I feel like I should mention more characters, but even though Julia had a lot of casual acquaintances and people she hung out with, she wasn’t really close enough to anyone to warrant a mention.

The plot seemed to be one bad decision of Julia’s after another. Sometimes, I got annoyed and felt like yelling, “That’s so obviously a bad idea!” but most of the time, I was just curious to see how she would mess up next. I think she made almost every mistake out there for college-age kids – and the ones she didn’t make, her dorm-mates did.

I could tell the authors of Waiting for Mr. Right weren’t professionals – better than amateurs, sure, but not pro. Besides the minimal dialogue and a whole lot of telling instead of showing, it got a little preachy at the end. I’ll admit it – I glossed over most of the last chapter.

When I finished Waiting for Mr. Right, my first impression was that it wasn’t a great book. It was okay, but not great. But later, I realized I was still thinking about it. I can’t explain exactly why, but this is the kind of book that sticks in your head and makes you remember it fondly.

Waiting for Mr. Right had its flaws, sure. But strangely enough, it became one of those stories I think about even after I’ve turned the last page. And while its dating-related message doesn’t apply to me right now, I can see how this would be good for girls at different stages of life than me. I just might read the second book, Meeting Mr. Right, if for nothing else than I want to see if it sticks in my head like this one did.

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1 thought on “Waiting for Mr. Right”

  1. Hi, Jalyn!

    I’m Lisa Raftery, co-author of the Mr. Right Series. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review novel 1 of our series!

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughtful critique. While you weren’t thrilled with our writing style, I’m so glad Julia’s story kept you thinking after setting the novel down. Our prayer is that in some form or fashion, Julia’s story helps girls realize their own great value, inspiring and equipping them to become more intentional with their choices regarding their spirits, minds, and bodies.

    Just as a little background, my mother and I wrote this series out of ministering to so many Christian girls who were struggling with their choices in life. Many of them had great initial intentions but no real strategies to reach their dreams, especially when it came to healthy dating relationships. Many were being pulled off course, making heartbreaking choices and then hiding the pain and problems they were experiencing. Julia’s story came forth to simply provide an easy read to reach girls where many of them are, showing them that they are loved and not alone, that God has a bigger picture for their lives than they may realize.

    Yes, you are absolutely right, Julia’s choices in novel one are immature ones. (Julia’s name actually means “youthful.” : ) Yet they are ones we see repeated in girls’ lives over and over, ones we feel are valuable to include. We wrote the novel in first person so the reader could understand Julia’s reasoning (and hopefully, like you, see the obvious mistakes in it.)

    I love that you had compassion for Jay. We wanted this Mr. Wrong to be like most Mr. Wrongs out there: real people with real reasons for their issues. Although still Mr. Wrong for Julia, Jay is a valuable soul needing God’s mercy and grace like all of us.

    I completely understand your critique of the lack of other fully-developed characters. That was intentional on our part, as Julia chooses to isolate herself from honest relationships around her. (You may enjoy novel 2 more on this note, as some characters are more developed as Julia begins to honestly open her life up to others.)

    As far as our professional status, we are simply ministry wives who saw a great need and yielded to what we felt was God’s direction to answer it. Thankfully, Harrison House caught our vision for the series and has distributed it in stores nationwide. (I do also set up tables at local events as you mentioned because I love sharing Julia’s story with teens & parents. : )

    Our Mr. Right Series Workbook is officially coming out in August. It takes girls through all 3 novels, chapter by chapter, providing commentary and Scriptures on the different issues/scenarios presented. Girls are given the opportunity to respond to what is written, as well as journal about how things are going in their own lives at the moment. Here is where girls get to really think through personal strategies to make it to their dreams, no matter what they are. Hopefully, in the process, they grow closer to their Savior than ever.

    Thank you again for getting the word out about the Mr. Right Series, Jalyn! It is fantastic that you have created this blog (an impressive one, I might add) to let your voice be heard. If you do end up reading novel 2, I would love to hear what you think!

    Much love,
    Lisa Raftery
    Lisa@MrRightSeries.com

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