Review: Never Enough by Denise Jaden

book reviewing-01

never enoughTitle: Never Enough
Author:
Denise Jaden
Date(s) read:
February 3 – 5, 2013
Genre:
YA contemporary
Source:
Sarah @ Breaking the Binding (Paperback)

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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 thoughts-01

I’m not sure why I feel so drawn to books about eating disorders. Maybe it’s because I can go between eating properly and eating poorly many times throughout a week. Maybe because I know what it’s like to not be content about one’s body. Of course, I’ve never really had a major disorder, but I do have a love-hate relationship with food.

But this book? Well, when I finished it I really had no idea what to think. I had some major issues along the way, with certain scenes, with certain characters, with the book in general, that I had to go back and look through some of the 5-star ratings to see why people loved this book so much because, frankly, I didn’t find myself in that category. 

Really, it’s not because of the hard issues in the book. It’s not a happy book by any means, but I felt like there was just too much going on. Is it a book about a boy who has a rough home life? Is it a book about an eating disorder? Is it a book about a girl who makes bad life decisions and sleeps with the wrong guy? Is it a book about falling in love with your best friend? Is it a book about parents who are ripped apart? In the end, it was a book about all of these things and I’m just not sure whether they all worked together. For me, I wanted a book about the eating disorder — I wanted it to be about Loanne’s family, with her sister, and her parents, and maybe a friendship gained along the way, but to have all of the other things going on made the book more of a tedious read than it should have been.

I’d also like to say something about the characters, that I liked them or disliked them, but that was a hard thing for me to judge as well. With Loanne, I really didn’t like her. She was constantly thinking that everything revolved around her, that one mistake suddenly made her “easy” and that all the boys in the school suddenly wanted in her pants. All of the home life issues seemed to revolve around her, even with her sister slowly descending into an eating disorder. Even the end of the book revolved around Loanne and I completely disagreed with a lot of the things that happened in the end (which I don’t want to ruin) — to me, it felt just wrong.

Now, Loanne’s sister, on the other hand, I wanted to get to know her better. All of the other books about eating disorders I’ve read in the past are usually in the POV of the one WITH the disorder, so I wanted to get into Claire’s head and see what was going on. Maybe an alternating chapter with her thoughts would have been nice, rather than having ALL THE OTHER THINGS going on in Loanne’s life that just didn’t seem related to the eating disorder part of the book. I felt like Loanne’s world seemed to revolve around her, even when it shouldn’t have, and it would’ve been nice to have ANOTHER narrator tell the story how it should’ve been told.

So, in the end, I’m still not sure what to think. I’d mark this book as one of those middle of the road books that I can’t see myself rereading just because it was long, Loanne really wasn’t a great character, and I felt like the resolution in the end wasn’t the resolution I was hoping for. A book like this should bring people together, not tear them apart, and I felt like there were just too many wrong decisions made to make this a good read for me.

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18 thoughts on “Review: Never Enough by Denise Jaden

  1. Aww sad to see that you didn’t have as much luck with this one as I did. I really liked how it was JUST a book about an eating disorder because most of the time when that is in your life there are a lot more contributing factors behind why you became that way. I thought it was unflinching and honest, but I can see why it wouldn’t work for people. Great review, happy that you ended up enjoying it overall.

  2. I was mildly curious about this one, but it never really struck me as a book I’d want to read. I know a lot of people really liked it, but it’s refreshing to see your honest thoughts on it. I’m not particularly a fan of multiple stories UNLESS they’re woven well together.

  3. I was interested in this one to see how the author dealt with an eating disorder in her book, but it sounds like the entire book is revolved around the other character, and it definitely sounds like there was too much going on for one book. I do enjoy a book with multiple storylines but they have to tie together properly for me, and I find that is very hit or miss in book. Thanks for the honest review.

  4. It’s so interesting how a book can have so many high ratings and rave reviews, but then one comes along that sees it completely differently. I really like this, actually, because it gives me a better overall picture of the book. I get highs and lows, and can decide for myself whether or not I want to read it.

    Anyway. Sucks that you didn’t like this one more, but it doesn’t really sound like the book that you were wanting/expecting. And with all the stuff going on in there, it does sound pretty messy!

    • Ha ha … and sometimes I feel like that ONE review. Well, most of theh time. 🙂 I like when a book gets varied reviews, too — it really makes ME decide if I want to read it or not.

  5. Too bad this one wasn’t a winner for you. I don’t think I’ve really any eating disorder books before, but I probably won’t start with this one.

  6. Interesting review. I find myself doing the same thing sometimes when I’m reading a book and am not digging it like everyone else, I’ll go and look at the five star reviews to try and make sense of what the difference is. It definitely sounded like it had a lot going on, and from the summary I would have thought it would be more focused on the eating disorder and family issues more than anything else. Boo!

  7. Ugh, I tend to dislike books where there are a half dozen plot lines going on, because I get confused trying to keep up with it all, and then I just frankly don’t enjoy the book as much. I prefer one or two more solid storylines then a huge mess of them. Too bad you didn’t enjoy this one more, Kristilyn, but I can understand why!

  8. I like reading fiction books about real issues, but this one sounds like it might have too much going on for me. I know other people can have stories, but not all of the stories need to be told in one book maybe? Like how Katie McGarry and Miranda Kenneally do it. More issues, but more books. Maybe if this had of been split into two books you might have liked it more because then you wouldn’t have so much stuff thrown at you at once?

    I’m still interested in this one, but maybe I’ll just keep it around and if the mood hits me, I’ll give it a go.

    • Yes, two books might have worked better! Not every book needs to have so many “things” going on. You’ll have to let me know what you think, if you get around to it!

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