Title: Never Enough
Author: Denise Jaden
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: July 10th 2012
Genre: Contemporary YA
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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 rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Wow. Never Enough was so good. Really, that's basically all I can think right now. I liked Denise Jaden's debut, Losing Faith, but I wasn't quite as impressed as most people seemed to be. And the description for Never Enough sounded pretty average, nothing I haven't read before. But Never Enough really took me by surprise - I ended up loving it!
I love sister stories. I only have a younger brother, but I've always wished I had an older sister, so I enjoy reading sister stories like this one. Loann and I clicked from the first page on. She's easy to relate to, and I felt for her. Her relationship with Claire is so well-done. It's complex and deep and just... wow. Even when they don't get along, their bond is so strong - it's just amazing.
Reading this family's story is heartbreaking. This is hard to talk about without spoiling anything, but it's so sad to see how Claire's issues tear apart the entire family. It was eye-opening to see how much is changed by this one thing. I would have liked to know more about the parents, but I don't mind too much that we don't know more, since that's kind of the point.
Then there's the... well, I don't even know what to call it. It feels wrong to call what Loann and Marcus have romance, because their bond is so much deeper than that. For all of you out there who are sick of insta-love, Never Enough is for you! The relationship between Loann and Marcus develops so, so slowly - in a good way. Their bond is incredibly deep. I don't even know what to say - these two together just made me so happy!
I also loved reading about Loann's photography! Photography is fascinating to me, and I really enjoyed reading about everything Loann did with her camera.
The only storyline that I thought was a little underdeveloped is Loann's relationship with her two (ex-)best friends. I would have liked to know more about the fallout and why it happens, since I never really got what motivated Loann's ex-best friend to do what she did. I also would have liked more about where they stand towards the end.
I liked the second part of Never Enough better than the first one - in the beginning, I found myself bored a few times. I much preferred the faster pace of the ending to the slow beginning. The ending of Never Enough is perfect - it's sad but hopeful at the same time. Even though it's heartbreaking, it made me feel strangely fulfilled when I turned the last page.
In a word, this book is powerful. I am in awe of Denise Jaden's grasp of relationships - how she managed to create such deep bonds between her characters, how she made me feel each of Loann's emotions, is beyond me. This is an important book - I can't recommend it enough!
What do you think of sister stories? Can you still not get enough, like me, or do you think they've gotten too repetitive and would prefer for some other sibling relations to be dealt with in YA?