This Chick Read: Always Jane by Jenn Bennett

Every summer Jane works with the domestic staff of a famous rock producer at a music festival in the mountains. She has been long-distance dating Eddie Sarafian, the son of the family who runs the festival and she’s excited to finally be in close confines. When he jets off to do business in the Philippines she finds out things that makes her question that relationship and brings her closer to Fen, his brother. Over the next few weeks they go from antagonistic friends to falling in serious like throwing a serious loop into her summer plans.

When Jane and Fen first meet he is dark, disturbing, and seems to be the black sheep of his family. We soon discover that the Sarafian brothers may not be what Jane thought and the more time she spends with Fen the deeper their attraction grows. I’ll admit, I loved Fen, but boy is he a dark soul! He is tall, dark, and handsome and has been obsessed with Jane since he saved her when she fell in the ocean two years ago. He has even commemorated that accident with a tattoo. As she gets to know the Sarafian family she is drawn to how “normal” they seem but as she gets to know them she sees the problems that reside at their roots which lead her to making some difficult choices.

I was surprised by the dark undertones in this book. The synopsis made it sound like it would be a young adult contemporary with a bit of a romance and it was, but there was also quite a bit of angst and pain. Not a bad thing but just unexpected. Fortunately I really liked both Jane and Fen. The more that was revealed about each of them the more their quirks made sense and I wanted to keep getting to know them.

I’m a sucker for books that have a music theme. Not that I know that much about music, I don’t! I just love that vibe and creativity. That Jane and Fen got to know each other through their love of music gave them a commonality that was fun to read and was a good contrast to the dark themes throughout the novel. Have you read a lot of Jenn Bennett novels? I’ve read a few and thought I knew what to expect but this novel surprised me. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* Always Jane

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*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this novel through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

Friday YA: What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

Halle has two personalities. Well, not really, but she does have two persona’s. She is everyday Halle who is going to start another new high school, this time while staying with her grandfather in Connecticut. She is also Kels who runs an online blog where she pairs cupcakes with book covers. Kels is much more bold and doesn’t have trouble expressing her thoughts and opinions and has a ton of online friends, including her best friend Nash. When Halle and her brother move in with her gramps and get ready to start school Halle comes face to face with her friend Nash except she doesn’t tell him that she’s Kels. She has every class with him and gets invited to sit with he and his friends at lunch and she’s terrified he will find out and be mad. Is it possible to have a love triangle when two of the people are yourself?

As a book blogger I thought One True Pastry and it’s concept totally cute. I loved the underlying story about the loss of her grandmother and how differently people handle grief. I thought Nash was adorable but thought Halle’s constant rejection of him painful. Of course, I was supposed to feel this way but if I were him I wouldn’t given up on her a long time ago. I loved her brother and his confused bi-sexuality and how to her he was just her brother regardless of how he identified. I liked Halle more than Kels because she had depth and wasn’t one dimensional like Kels. What I hated was the bashing back and forth of who should read YA. This one genre, of them all seems to have a reader identity crisis and this author tied into that. I thought it an interesting dialog within what should have been just another teen contemporary romance. It’s a dialog without a conclusion in real life, but it ran its course on these pages.

There is a reason to read ya novels, especially in the contemporary romance sub-genre. They are a quick escape from whatever is bothering you and typically contain very little depth. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of depth I found in What I Like About You. It held my interest and made me slow down and think. Think about loss, recovery, faith, best friends, love, friendship and family. What I Like About You was particularly insightful and despite my age being outside the target demo (come on, I had to say it!) I enjoyed it very much.


Click this link to purchase!* What I Like About You

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.