Book Review | Don’t Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche

dontfailAuthour:
Una LaMarche
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 273 pages
Publication date:
September 1st 2015
Publisher:
Razorbill
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
As somebody who is unable to drive, and who has friends that refuse to learn to drive the only way I can get the “road trip experience” is vicariously through an excellent road trip novel. Don’t Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche is a stellar example of a road trip novel that balances a serious story with moments of light humour. I loved both of Una LaMarche’s previous YA novels, although it was the synopsis of Don’t Fail Me Now that compelled me to pick it up.

Don’t Fail Me Now follows Michelle and her little siblings Cass and Denny, who live in urban Baltimore; they are struggling to make ends meet as their mother is in jail. As for Michelle’s father, well that’s where her connection to another Leah is as they share the same biological father. Buck Devereaux is the biological father of Michelle, Leah, in addition to Cass. I thought that the book captures the unfortunate reality and desperation that those living in poverty feel in a way that feels real and not overly dramatic. What I enjoyed the largely though, was how Don’t Fail Me Now doesn’t shy away from issues of race, discrimination and how they are connected. Furthermore, tough topics are examined in Don’t Fail Me Now such as dysfunctional families, addictions, and abuse in a way that doesn’t sugarcoat the reality and consequences of people’s decisions.

In the end, Don’t Fail Me Now is by far my favourite of all the books that Una LaMarche has written. It’s both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming novel concerning family, and all types of love including an adorable romance in the book. And while the ending of the book was a satisfying conclusion, there were a few loose threads that are true to real life, in that there are no quick fixes to complicated situations and problems.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Advertisements

Blog Tour | Like No Other by Una LaMarche Book Review

Authour:noother
Una LaMarche
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 312 pages
Publication date:
July 24th 2014
Publisher:
Razorbill
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

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.