Remember the story of Romeo and Juliet? Well what if the story rook place in modern times and Romeo and Juliet were from two completely different cultures living on opposite sides of the same street? This is what you can sort of expect in Una LaMarche’s newest book, Like No Other.
In Like No Other, the two main characters are Jaxon who is a boy of West Indian descent and Devorah, a Hasidic Jewish girl. Both are strong characters whose cultures and beliefs add more richness to their characters. I especially love how Devorah as she is portrayed as a extremely capable and intelligent person and that never changes in the book. While Devorah’s character is explored in great depth, I found that we barely get to know Jaxon. This is unfortunate as I would have also liked to have witnessed some growth and get a glimpse of how knowing Devorah has changed him in the end.
In my opinion the synopsis is a tad misleading as the romance aspect of the book was barely there. Which I suppose is a good thing in this case as I felt it was a bit insta-lovey and based more on infatuation rather than anything concrete, even though it does have its believable and charming moments. However the relationship itself, works well as a catalyst for Devorah to get out of her comfort zone, and question what she truly wants in life outside of what she has been told to want. I love how Devorah grows to become her own person, and someone who wants to and is able to fight her own battles as she slowly starts to realize that there is more to that the world and life can offer her than the sheltered upbringing she is used to. Not that there is anything wrong with that world, but I believe it’s important for everyone to be aware of all the options, and be given a choice to choose what they want out of their life even if while knowing that in reality numerous people still do not have this luxury.
Like No Other is a welcome coming of age story that adds a diverse voice to the YA genre, which is in definite need of more diverse voices. And although I liked Una LaMarche’s debut novel about friendship and summer just a tad more than Like No Other, I can safely say I like Like No Other almost as much as I liked Five Summers.
If you like this book, you’ll love: Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.