The Author on the Web:
Never Enough is the sophomore title by author Denise Jaden and is a book that I’ve been looking forward to ever since I read her debut novel Losing Faith (my review.) As with Losing Faith I didn’t know too much about this book before I started to read it. My book bully has turned me on to the idea of not reading a books synopsis and while I don’t always follow it I do try especially when the author is already known to me in some fashion. As with Losing Faith, Never Enough is a story about sisters and family and the bonds that join them all together. In this case though the main character, Loann, seems to exist in an orbit just outside of her family unit. She loves her sister and her parents but her life wants and desires don’t seem to fit in with theirs and this gives her a bit of a complex.
Loann is one of those characters that has serious internal issues, especially when it comes to how she views herself and at times this was hard to deal with. I hate seeing anyone beat themselves up over things they think are wrong with them and part of why Loann feels this way is because of her mother and sister and her friend, Shayleen. There were times I wanted to shake Loann out of her funk and force her to look into a mirror but as any insecure girl knows the only person to help make you feel better about yourself is you. The other character that made me have strong feels is Shayleen…though with her I wanted to smack her. I found it really hard to see how she and Loann could ever be friends. The character I liked the most was Marcus. He is that invisible boy in every high school that spends too much time alone until one fateful day when Loann sees him and the two learn to be friends.
Marcus and Loann are two very hurt and lost souls and I loved watching as they both helped each other heal. Their story made me all heart achy and was the best part of the entire book. All the other story lines could have been eliminated and I would have been quite content with this book and maybe even liked it more than I did. However, there was more to Never Enough than just Marcus and Loann. There was the struggles that Loann’s popular sister, Claire, was going through and than that incident with Claire’s ex-boyfriend that just came out of no where and was never really dealt with. To me, that incident was just sort of glossed over and never addressed and I wish that there was more resolution with it.
Claire’s story was also sad and tragic and while I think a good subject for a book I don’t think that Never Enough was the best way to tell her story. Its hard to feel connected to Clarie when you only see her through the eyes of her sister. The sister who loves and adores her no matter what she does. I just didn’t feel that Claire had much depth and that made it hard to feel anything about her. But then it was also hard to connect with Loann at times either as I would just get so annoyed with her internal berating of herself. So while Never Enough made me all heart achy it also frustrated me as well.
Part of me wishes that there had been something more to this book. Perhaps more involvement from Loann’s parents or maybe more insight into what was going through Claire’s mind. But all my little quibbles aside I did end up reading this entire book in a single sitting. So while I may not have fallen head over heels in love with it I was engaged enough to ignore everything around me just to live inside its pages. This is a book that I would recommend and I know that while this book just came out I’m already looking forward to her next book.