Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Review: Never Enough by Denise Jaden

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: July 10th, 2012
Pages: 400
ISBN: 978-1-442-42907-9
Series: None
Source: ARC from publisher

Goodreads Synopsis:
From the author of Losing Faith, a novel about two sisters and the eating disorder that threatens to destroy their family.
Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special… even if that means betraying her sister.
But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems. Claire’s quest for perfection is all-consuming, and comes at a dangerous price. As Claire increasingly withdraws from friends and family, Loann struggles to understand her and make amends. Can she heal their relationship —and her sister—before it’s too late?

My Review:
Never Enough is a book about sisters and an eating disorder that may pull them apart. Neither the cover or the blurb that accompanied the ARC of Never Enough was enough to pull me into the story. It was the unforgettable characters and the writing that did it for me. What happens when you have 2 sisters who are complete opposites of each other, one quiet, shy, and self-conscience while the other is beautiful, talented and popular? We find out in the riveting new novel by Denise Jaden.

Loann is a young girl in high school just trying to fit in and get through life. Her life as she knows it isn't overly hard, and there isn't anything extraordinary about her, except her sister, Claire. Claire is beautiful in every way, she's talented, popular and dating Josh, Loann's crush. These sisters are basically the complete opposite, but they are sisters nonetheless. I could relate to Loann on some levels and I really liked her. Her character is real and believable and her emotions really drew me, as a reader into the whole book. Loann feels as though she is the key to holding her family together while dealing with the eating disorder that consumed her sister, but it`s tough and you could really see the toll it takes on her. She tries her hardest to make her sister and her parents see what this is doing physically and emotionally to the family but it seems that everyone is turning a blind eye on the truth. Denise Jaden does an exceptional job writing the trauma and the emotions of all of the characters, right down to Claire and her parents. Marcus, the boy who has been around all throughout high school but always went unnoticed has finally been noticed by Loann when all her other friendships go awry. He is a phenomenal character, probably my favourite in Never Enough. His dynamic relationship with Loann was great. They compliment each others personalities and it was nice to see a friendship like theirs develop without jumping right into the "I'm madly in love with you" relationship.
The detail that Denise Jaden puts into her work is amazing, never overdone. For example, the details that I really noticed and enjoyed was that her characters actually took their shoes off before going into the house. Being a Canadian as well, that point really stuck out to me and I could appreciate it since we don`t usually wear our shoes inside. And since Loann has a talent for photography, Jaden describes the photos down to the precise lighting techniques. Little things like this really added to the overall feel of Never Enough.

Going into the book I didn't realize it dealt with the issues that is does. Not only do we read about bulimia, we`re also immersed into physical abuse and unwanted sexual experiences (though the latter isn't prominent). These issues are serious and I'm sure hard to write about, but Jaden was able to write about them with such expertise and emotion that i felt as though I was there seeing things and I felt as though I knew these people and wanted to be there to help them. The mere fact that Denise Jaden was able to make such an emotional connection with me while reading, means she`s done her job perfectly. Even after I finished the book, I was still an emotional mess.

Never Enough is a strong book with multiple plot lines but it fits together like puzzle pieces, and once you`re finished you`ll want to step back and look at the whole picture. It`s just one of those books that everyone should read and remember for years to come.

Read my author interview with Denise Jaden here.


Lynda said...

sounds like a great book to read! Excellent review!

Lynda said...

I just finished reading the book Krystal thanks to your review. It was just as great as you said in your review. I really liked the whole friendship between Marcus and Loann. Friendship that lasted through all the ups and downs and never needing to depend on more than the friendship! Thanks again for the review!

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