July 10th 2012
400 pages (paperback)
Source - Publisher (unsolicited)
"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?"
"Nothing is ever perfect....Beauty isn't perfect. It's something
to be felt and something to be breathed." *
Claire has it all — beauty, talent, a great figure, and Josh Garrison. Our narrator Loann, however, has a short stature, an ample amount of curves, and a mysterious yet amusing locker neighbor named Marcus. But the next moment, Loann's oridinary life begins to change completely as her sister Claire spirals out of control with her self-image and destructive eating habits. There's nothing worse than trying to help someone when you're rendered incapable of doing so, and Jaden captures this dilemma and portrays it honestly through Loann as she watches her sister's perfect life crumble to pieces.
Never Enough draws you in with tender moments and breaks your heart with the harsh reality of the price beauty and "perfection" demand. There are plenty of other interesting character interactions, but it is the moments between these two sisters that made the most genuine and memorable impact. Never Enough is a story with multiple varieties of issues and can feel a bit busy sometimes, and yet this story remains realistic and touching. While I did enjoy Denise Jaden's first novel Losing Faith much more, Never Enough is a strong sophomore effort that's worth reading.
Highlights: Claire and Loann's complicated sisterly relationship is sure to be something readers with siblings will relate to. The ups and downs of their relationship felt very real and I wish they had interacted more in this story. I very much enjoyed Marcus and Loann's slow friendship. Jaden's characters always seemed authentic because they have positive and negative traits that serve to make them more realistic. It was interesting to watch Loann grow throughout the story.
Lowlights: Loann could be a bit naive. It took awhile to get to the main plot. A few subplots could have been cut to give this story more focus. There wasn't enough time to stretch out and fully resolve the extra subplots1, so they made the story weaker (and almost resulted in a much lower rating).
* pg. 371
1 This footnote is a long spoiler that can be found on my Goodreads review of Never Enough.