Never Enough by Denise Jaden

I got in the bath the other night with the intention of finishing the book I was reading (Adaptation by Malinda Lo, not the greatest read fyi). I only had about 20 pages left but I soon discovered that about 10 of these were an excerpt from another novel. So, with still boiling hot water and a mountain of Radox bubbles to enjoy, I opened the next book on my list which was Never Enough by Denise Jaden.

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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? “

I downloaded this book so long ago that I forgot what it was about, which was a pleasant surprise. I read it over three and a half hours in the bath and ended up looking like a raisin. I immediately fell into Loann’s world. She is a bubbly young woman with low self esteem, just trying to fit in with her sister. She feels that she isn’t pretty enough, isn’t smart enough, isn’t anything enough which makes it so perfect for the young adult category. She is typically 16 and an absolute moron.

I would have liked to have known more about the side characters, Claire in particular. She was the focal point of the story and not much is known about who she really is – other than her looks and outward perfectness. We knew a little about Marcus but nothing was properly developed.

It was a slow story. It took a while for things to unfold and I really enjoyed Jaden’s writing style. It’s unique, not in a flowery prosey way, but honestly. It’s blunt and I liked that. I am pretty excellent at guessing story lines and I knew from the first page what the big secret was and exactly what was going to happen. I won’t say too much, because it would ruin the story, but I was spot on.

The subject of the story is bulimia and its not something that I honestly know much about. Jaden broached the subject gingerly but without exploration. I feel like it could have been put forward in a lot more detail. It talks of the end result but not of the beginning, which I suspect is where the issues lie. How many people know they have an eating disorder at the start? It’s only when people reach rock bottom do they know what they’ve become.

Overall, I really liked this book. It was a solid 4/5.

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