Saturday, 18 January 2014

Before Jamaica Lane By Samantha Young

Well, at least I can say I know what happened before Jamaica Lane. That much is rather clear by the end of this novel.

Olivia and Nate aren't two characters I expected to get a book so soon after meeting them. Also, their worries and problems are not what I suspected. This was definitely a twist on damaged male sex pot. I am still unable to understand their survivor's guilt, but I guess it's what makes them so right for each other.

Olivia is one of those witty, sarcastic semi-feminist characters, who know how to take control when necessary and it is rather easy to love her. I would have loved to spend some more time with her Library group of friends, because there was so much potential in her work life. She is smart, witty, independent and narrates this story flawlessly. Regardless of your own issues, you can relate to hers. Despite her thoughts, I found her to be confident and radiant throughout this novel. Before and after her transformation. Her witty, sarcastic comebacks were hilarious. I also looked forward to the games of "would you rather ..."

With a Samantha Young book, for me personally,  I expect to at least get the basics of a good novel and writing. I wasn't disappointed, but then I never got that extra element, that would take it to an unforgettable, dynamic level. Sometimes, I wonder if Ms. Young tries to not outshine the real and original stars of this series, Joss and Braden.

I could see the train wreck approaching from the first lesson, but at least the results differed slightly. Every time I thought this was it, caving time, she held out a little longer. Even knowing the end fate, the lack of exact time held a little mystery and question to this rather cliche story line.

Unfortunately, I am no closer to knowing Nate's character than when I first met him in 'Down London Road'. I believe this is a major problem for me with the male characters of this series. They don't normally get their times to tell their sides. I however, could live without the other guys POVs. Nate's is needed. Even after Jamaica Lane, he's still a mystery character to me.

Irrespective of this distance I feel towards the male lead, I do like them as a couple. Then again, they didn't have the conventional meet and greet. They were already best friends, so that transition wasn't as rocky as it could have been. Even the aftermath was somewhat civilized. I would have liked though for Ben to get a chance. He seems like a really good guy.

We got updates on the other characters, past and present, even though they hardly spoke, with the exception of Jo, Joss and Ellie. I guess girlfriends status gave them more air time. We did get to see the catalyst that lead to a Braden and Joss reconciliation in 'Castle Hill'. We also got to see Joss's reaction to her pregnancy news from another's POV. There was also the line up of Ellie's life and Hannah's quest that we get to read next.

More dialogue and a stronger integration of Nate's friends would have made this story better. It was flat, fleeting and only held the notes of Olivia and Nate. Peetie is suppose to be one of his best friends and he didn't speak once throughout this novel.

Other than a bond through illness, we never got real personal with Olivia and Nate. The only reason I feel a stronger connection with Olivia is because she narrated the story. I know a whole lot of hilarious baby stories about Nate, but the man he is today, I am not so sure.

This story is not bad, but it is basic, cliche filled and in need of some more depth and interaction. This might be the most sexual book in this series. I don't think we get as much sex scenes before as we get from this novel.

Surmise to say, you won't be bored, but you might not walk away with as much connection as the books before.

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