Devyani's Reviews > Before Jamaica Lane

Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young
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's review
Jun 14, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: let-down

Personally, I feel that On The Dublin Street was a much better read. The fact that Jocelyn annoyed the crap out of me speaks volumes of how surprising it is that I find myself liking the first book much more than this one.

Before Jamaica Lane had so much potential. This could've been the book to finally acquire the five starrer status which other books by Ms. Young usually miss out on.
I was very excited for Olivia and Nate. You have no idea how much my anticipation coupled with imagination made me restless to finally experience a 'make my heart melt' moment. In the end, while I did get Olivia and Nate and their happily-ever-after, I missed the emotion and depth of their relationship. It's one of those situations where you have two people declaring their unrequited love for each and you just don't buy it.

When I think about the flaws in Before Jamaica Lane, they come very easily to me. Usually I would find myself struggling through hazy thoughts to pin point the flaws in a book. Here, it just comes to me. What I'm trying to say here is that the flaws were crystal clear and not even the promise of a heart-stopping romance could make up for the deep craters in the story that these flaws have seemed to have caused.

Flaw no.1.
Was I supposed to find that funny?

The character sketch of Olivia states that she is a happy-go-lucky, dorky and funny girl. Her jokes are absolutely hilarious and seems to have people rolling on the floor like idiots because she is very funny.
Maybe I'm a nutcase or a tubelight in disguise, but I failed to understand the hilariousness of Olivia's jokes. Every single time, Olivia would say something that was supposedly funny and people around her would all go, 'Oh look. She's hilarious' and I'd have my dork face on because, obviously, I had just missed the humour. Maybe this is a psychological complaint. So for those who disagree with it, it's fine.

Flaw no.2.
The Sunday lunch sessions were abducted by aliens.

Lets go back to Down London Road and focus on the Sunday afternoon lunch sessions which had all the characters laughing at Hannah's antics, Joss's fiery replies, Ellie's romantic opinions and Elodie's endearing reprimanding. Those were points of awesomeness where Ms. Young would let the laughing cavalry out and they would attack us and we would welcome it with open arms.
HERE, there wasn't much of that. Absent lunch sessions led to the absence of the laughing cavalry and because everything was so very absent, I could feel my excitement dimming.

Flaw no.3
I don't buy that.

I think the biggest flaw which made all the difference was the lack of depth in Olivia's and Nate's relationship. I can see how both Nate and Olivia became bestfriends. I can see Nate's commitment phobia and understand Olivia's insecurities. I can see how their time together led to them falling in love with each other. What I couldn't understand was the reality of their romance. I couldn't believe that Nate was ridiculously in love with Olivia. This could also be the case because I felt that the section where Nate tries to convince Olivia that he truly loves her fell short. So much of detailing was put into the first half, which is a good thing, but by the time we reached the second half, I'd lost the connection with characters.
It didn't satisfy me. It did not excite me.
I mean I'm happy with the way things turned out but I missed that moment of catharsis, which of course, wasn't good.

But there were this something that really got to me.
When you lose someone you love, there is nothing that could ever make up for the fact that that someone isn't there anymore. After sometime, you do move on but that person would always be a part of you.

Overall, a book that could've been better but fell short...actually too short in the department that mattered the most, the romance.

This review is featured at YA Fanatic
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Reading Progress

June 14, 2013 – Shelved
June 14, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
June 29, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
January 12, 2014 – Started Reading
January 13, 2014 – Shelved as: let-down
January 13, 2014 – Finished Reading

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