Love—and Fen Sarafian—do not care about your summer plans.
Eighteen-year-old chauffeur’s daughter Jane Marlow grew up among the domestic staff of a wealthy LA rock producer, within reach of bands she idolizes, but never a VIP. Every summer, Jane and her father head to the Sierras to work at the producer’s luxury lodge at Lake Condor—a resort town and the site of a major musical festival.
The legendary family who runs the festival are the Sarafians, and Jane’s had a longtime crush on their oldest son, Eddie—doltish but sweet. So when a long-distance romance finally sparks between them, she doesn’t hesitate to cross class lines.
But Jane’s feelings about Eddie are thrown into question after she returns to the lake and reconnects with his alluringly intense brother, the dark horse of her placid summer plans. A fellow lover of music—and hater of the game—Fen Sarafian has been ousted from the family and is slumming it at a vinyl record shop. He burns for Jane like a house on fire and will do anything to sabotage his older brother, even if it means taking a wrecking ball to a multi-million-dollar music festival. Or Jane’s heart.
Title: Always Jane
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I was really disappointed by this book. I almost DNFed it several times but persevered in the end.
I’ll start with the few things I liked before jumping into the nitty-gritty.
Jasmine, our love interest’s mom, is so awesome! She’s a meddler and I loved her for it. Also, there is a lot of really beautiful imagery in the writing. When Fen and Jane describe their feelings, it’s very flowery and beautiful (almost poetic). I loved that!
Now, let’s get into it.
There were a few tropes represented in this book that I thought were going to be really great. For example, falling for the wrong brother and bad boy love interest. I was so disappointed by them though. I mean, we hardly get any time with both brothers and while Fen is supposed to be the black sheep of the family, he still doesn’t really feel bad boy to me. These weren’t the real problems I had with the book, however.
The main thing that made me want to throw this book away and never look at it again was the fact that it seemed to have no plot. It was so boring and I had no idea what the end goal with the book was other than the two main characters falling in love. And even that didn’t even stretch through the whole book. There were many times when I would jump ahead a few pages because I was so bored and just wanted to get to something interesting.
As per usual, the main characters in this book are a little strange and super quirky. Bennett creates very specific characters that are oftentimes easy often to like even if they’re strange. I didn’t fall in love with any of the odd characters in this book.
And just to touch briefly on a character, I’ll speak about Jane. She’s supposed to be working as a personal assistant for this young lady, Velvet, but I’m not convinced she actually did any work in this book other than watch the dog. It didn’t make any sense.
Lastly, I’ll point out that this book is upper YA/NA. It has lots of cursing and some material is probably not suitable for young YA.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.