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Never Enough Paperback – July 10, 2012
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"With well-developed complications and the convincing realism of daily life... this novel ably leads readers through a rocky terrain of contemporary teen problems."
- The Bulletin Review
“Denise Jaden positively nails the love-hate relationship between two polar opposite sisters who share a single quest: the desire to be perfect, regardless of the cost. A compelling, often gut-wrenching coming-of-age novel, Never Enough will haunt you long after the last page.”
—From Jeannie Garsee, author of Before, After and Somebody In Between
“Denise Jaden's Never Enough is honest, gut wrenching, and oh so beautiful. It's a book you can't wait to share.”
—Eileen Cook, author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick
“A poignant, important book, Never Enough tackles self-esteem and body image issues while always remaining true to its three-dimensional characters. Denise Jaden has created a cliché-free zone filled with hurt, heart, and personal strength. Jaden's tender sympathy for her characters and dedication to honest storytelling shine through every page.”
—C.K. Kelly Martin, author of I Know It’s Over
“Raw and unforgettable, Never Enough is an authentic portrait of a teen girl faced with an impossible situation. Loann’s relationship with her sister is beautifully drawn and heartbreaking.”
—Tara Kelly, author of Amplified
About the Author
Denise Jaden has been a professional Polynesian dancer, a fitness competitor, a mushroom farmer, a church secretary, and a homeschooling mom. Losing Faith was her first novel. She lives just outside Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and son. Visit her online at DeniseJaden.com or on Twitter at @DeniseJaden.
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Top Customer Reviews
One Word: judgmental
Loann envies her popular, prettier sister, not realizing Claire has bulimia. When quiet Loann's friends turn on her, she gets closer to the mysterious Marcus, but every time comes near, he pulls back.
NEVER ENOUGH felt more than enough to me. The book was filled with subtle and not so subtle slut shaming with talk of what kinds of girls wear skimpy clothes and "asking for it". Narrator Loann was filled with judgment for others and because this was never addressed, I couldn't help but to wonder whether these were writer Denise Jaden's.
None of the characters felt particularly special, complex or unique. I didn't dislike Loann, but I didn't embrace her. The voice in her narration felt flat, telling more than showing. Jaden isn't a bad writer, but there was also nothing special about her words. I didn't highlight any passages or have any Wow moments.
THEMES: sisters, family, eating disorders, physical abuse, dating, self esteem
NEVER ENOUGH is a lackluster story that has already been told with better stories by better writers.
The synopsis mentions betrayal. I did not see betrayal. I saw a teenage girl so in need of attention that she wasn't thinking at all. Loann was self-conscious, insecure and she had a serious case of low self-esteem (I blame her parents for that), but she didn't always let her fear keep her from speaking up when necessary. She was stronger than she thought she was.
It didn't take long to figure out what was going on with Claire. I wanted to know what was going to happen with her, but I was more interested in Marcus. What was going on in his personal life that he didn't want to tell? Wanting the answer to this question is what kept me reading. And then once I knew, I kept reading to see what Marcus was going to do next and how his relationship with Loann was going to turn out.
I liked this story from the beginning, even though it moved at a slow pace and took a while to pick up. Jaden did a good job of capturing the nervousness and awkwardness a teenage girl experiences when she doesn't know if a guy likes her or not. The author also tackles eating disorders and domestic abuse realistically. Her story gives teenage girls important things to think about concerning popularity, body image and premarital sex. It also has a lesson for parents who favor one child over another. As the author shows, it can cause serious issues in the life of the 'favorite' as well as the one who doesn't get enough attention.
Favorite Character: Marcus
Favorite Line (sad, but says it all): Claire would always overshadow me. My life wasn't as important as hers.
First of all - the family dynamic. The family in Never Enough was so screwed up and broken, but I could tell they all loved each other and just didn't know how to come together as a family to deal with Claire's eating disorder. Like with Losing Faith, Denise Jaden was really able to spotlight how differently people handle tough situations.
And Denise Jaden did such an amazing job portraying Claire's eating disorder. Claire didn't come off as some spoiled teenager trying to lose a few pounds - she was very clearly battling with some sort of mental illness, which I really appreciated because that's what it is. And the way the family reacted to it was so accurate. I loved Loann's little barbs and pokes before she realized how serious it was because that is such a sister thing to do.
I loved how Never Enough was about Claire and her eating disorder, but it also wasn't. Loann had her own life and her own friends and I love the focus on her and Marcus. I thought their side story was very well done and a crucial part to Never Enough. Loann came off as a little selfish at some points, but it never really bothered me - she just seemed like a typical teenage girl who never really got enough attention and struggled with being in her sister's shadow.
I read all 400 pages of Never Enough by Denise Jaden through the cracked screen of my iPad (which felt oddly appropriate). Never Enough is a compelling and heartbreaking story that had me sobbing by the end.