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Always Jane

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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 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. A chauffer’s daughter finds herself in the middle of a love triangle with the sons of her boss’s wealthy next-door neighbors in this delightfully romantic story from the author of Alex, Approximately, Jenn Bennett.


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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 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. A chauffer’s daughter finds herself in the middle of a love triangle with the sons of her boss’s wealthy next-door neighbors in this delightfully romantic story from the author of Alex, Approximately, Jenn Bennett.

30 review for Always Jane

  1. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    this story makes me think that JB is trying to enter her own ‘reputation’ era. but instead of writing an edgy, mature YA novel, it just comes across as problematic and super cringey. thats way harsh, i know, but i really did not like this. i just found so much wrong with it. the “love triangle” is a joke. eddie is missing for nearly the entire story, fen is an obsessive creep, and jane is just there to do nothing. there is absolutely no plot. the cheating is horrible. there is no development for this story makes me think that JB is trying to enter her own ‘reputation’ era. but instead of writing an edgy, mature YA novel, it just comes across as problematic and super cringey. thats way harsh, i know, but i really did not like this. i just found so much wrong with it. the “love triangle” is a joke. eddie is missing for nearly the entire story, fen is an obsessive creep, and jane is just there to do nothing. there is absolutely no plot. the cheating is horrible. there is no development for anyone. and the dialogue is weird. this is nothing that i would ever expect to come from JB so im totally shocked at how much i disliked everything. the only positive is the aphasia visibility. thats something new for me to read about so that was interesting. but everything else was just a massive disappointment for me. ↠ 2 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    ✨ A ✨

    Jenn Bennett does this thing where she writes a book,, and I somehow end up becoming obsessed with it. It's crazy I know Jenn Bennett does this thing where she writes a book,, and I somehow end up becoming obsessed with it. It's crazy I know

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    As a devoted fan of the author, I get used to give my five shining stars before reading her books because they’re absolutely sweetest romance reads with adorable characters! But this time I have to give less than five stars! I’m sadly saying I even thought to give it three stars when I was reading some chapters of the book.If you ask me why I can honestly say: there’s too much going on at this book. Actually there is enough material to write three different books: Dysfunctional families, too much As a devoted fan of the author, I get used to give my five shining stars before reading her books because they’re absolutely sweetest romance reads with adorable characters! But this time I have to give less than five stars! I’m sadly saying I even thought to give it three stars when I was reading some chapters of the book.If you ask me why I can honestly say: there’s too much going on at this book. Actually there is enough material to write three different books: Dysfunctional families, too much angst, triggering issues, love triangle, enemies to lovers, music, brain trauma etc. Normally I’m not big fan of live triangles but there’s no real triangle at this book: because Jane has unrequited feelings for Eddie from the beginning. He didn’t care enough of her, never returning to her messages or showing any affection! Then she finds herself drawn to younger and badass musician brother! Interestingly I loved Fen more than Jane: the black sheep of the family, passionate for two things: Jane and music! He’s keeping too much inside, bottling up frustrations, resentments, unresolved issues! He’s so close to burst out! I loved Fen and Jane’s enemies to friends and friends to lovers steps and their connection via their musical interests! The supporting characters including Jane’s father and Fen’s mom were lovely! The characters’ self growth, evolving were well written! But the book a little exhausted me by telling too many things at the limited space! I felt like I ran 7 hours long marathon ( I finished it in seven struggling hours) I’m still rounding up 3.5 stars to 4 pinky, musical, sibling rivalry, class differences, true love against the obstacles stars! I didn’t love this book as much as the other works of the author! But she’s still brilliant storyteller! I still go blind and read everything she writes before thinking any further! Special thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster’s Children’s Publishing for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  4. 4 out of 5

    tai

    I am a simple woman: jenn bennett writes, I read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hilly ♡

    I can feel the Camp Rock vibes ✨

  6. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Boyd

    I wanted to like this SO BADLY, but the main love interest was just too much of a "dark-horse." Some of his lines made me physically cringe. I wanted to like this SO BADLY, but the main love interest was just too much of a "dark-horse." Some of his lines made me physically cringe.

  7. 5 out of 5

    M. Reads Often

    Mmm… I love this author. But this book didn’t work out well for me. I didn’t love the cheating? It’s just not great. Also, if there was supposed to be a love triangle, I missed it. This isn’t what I normally expect from this author. It’s like she is trying to something brand new but veered into the wrong direction. That’s exactly what it feels like, and I hope it gets better with the next book. I wanted to devour a fun summer read, but this didn’t meet the parameters. Do try her other books.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cait | GoodeyReads

    3.5 stars. I won this book in a giveaway. TANGLED THOUGHTS. BLOG || INSTAGRAM I have had a hard time deciding where I lie on this read. I felt it was a true page turner and within 50 pages I was rather curious how this was going to unfold. Buuuuut there’s some aspects I didn’t love and had a hard time looking past. The setting was one of my favorites. I love a good lake side story and this small town filled with wealthy people causing all sorts of drama was a good side piece. I didn’t feel like this 3.5 stars. I won this book in a giveaway. TANGLED THOUGHTS. BLOG || INSTAGRAM I have had a hard time deciding where I lie on this read. I felt it was a true page turner and within 50 pages I was rather curious how this was going to unfold. Buuuuut there’s some aspects I didn’t love and had a hard time looking past. The setting was one of my favorites. I love a good lake side story and this small town filled with wealthy people causing all sorts of drama was a good side piece. I didn’t feel like this drama overwhelmed the love story or make me want to roll my eyes repeatedly. What I mostly struggled with were the cheating aspects. This is a love triangle between two brothers. The love triangle honestly wasn’t what bugged me, it was everything else. I don’t like cheating even when it “makes sense”. I wish a more official break-up had happened prior. I liked how dark and brooding Fen was. Also how dang passionate this man was about Jane. Wow did he care for her with an intensity that’s been unmatched in my recent reads. I really liked this aspect of his personality and thought it fueled the desire and chemistry. While it might have been a mixed bag of a read I can’t deny I’m always entertained by Bennett’s books. I was so excited when I won this giveaway and can’t wait for her next enthralling book! Overall audience notes: - NA Contemporary Romance - Language: strong - Romance: closed door - Trigger/Content Warnings: substance abuse, near drowning, extreme family dysfunction, side character going to rehab, loss of a parent (prior, but discussed), being kicked out of home, aphasia

  9. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    It took me about 40 seconds to figure who was our narrator and which brother was which when I started reading Always Jane. And then it took me about .02 seconds to fall in love with Fen. Completely and for always. But, by the end of the book it was the author Jenn Bennett to whom I felt the need to confess my undying love, for writing such a beautiful and powerful novel. In true Jenn Bennett fashion, Always Jane is a compelling and addictive contemporary YA novel, a find-your-voice-and-own-way c It took me about 40 seconds to figure who was our narrator and which brother was which when I started reading Always Jane. And then it took me about .02 seconds to fall in love with Fen. Completely and for always. But, by the end of the book it was the author Jenn Bennett to whom I felt the need to confess my undying love, for writing such a beautiful and powerful novel. In true Jenn Bennett fashion, Always Jane is a compelling and addictive contemporary YA novel, a find-your-voice-and-own-way coming of age novel, with steamy romance, and delightful and complicated family dynamics. Two years ago, Jane sustained a head injury when she fell off the dam wall at the lake. Fen rescued her and saved her life, but Jane doesn’t remember that. Instead, she believes it was Fen’s brother who was the rescuer and Jane is currently dating Eddie, lured by his charming ways and good looks. When Jane returns to the lake for the summer, she comes face to face with Fen. He’s shocked she doesn’t know the truth about that night two years ago and they trade sharp words. Jane is tempted by the truth Fen can reveal about the secrets Eddie has been keeping from her. Jane offers the solution to the burden Fen has carried since that night. As they spend more time together and get closer, they know they are perilously close to crossing a dangerous line. Jane and her father work for and live in with a famous musician and music producer. It means constant access to a luxurious life but never really being part of it. Jane is working as a PA and dog sitter for Mad Dog’s daughter throughout the summer. Fen, son of an equally famous and rich music businessman, has been forced to leave home over his feud with his brother and father. Both are unsure about their future and haunted by their pasts. The chemistry between Fen and Jane is just divine. Fen has been in love with Jane from afar for years and this was only further complicated when he saved her life. Hearing she is dating his brother (who he hates) is maddening. Jane is amazed that someone like Eddie would want to date her, but after only a few interactions with Fen, she starts to realise that Eddie has been lying to her, a lot, and their relationship is not as it seems. Fen and Jane don’t set out to have a romantic relationship, it’s the furthest thing from Jane’s mind, but they share an undeniable connection. So, yes, this book does include activity that one might call cheating, but I was one hundred percent behind it and Jane tries very hard to be upfront with Eddie. There is lots of drama and complications and I was exhausted by the end of the book. But it is all so worth it. This book is not just about the romance. It’s also about Fen and Jane each finding their place in the world and following their dreams. I loved that the author gives them the time to do this, to chase their dreams, both inside snd outside of their relationship. Jane’s brain injury is an important part of the story. Jane has worked hard in speech therapy to recover the ability to talk. She still struggles with some words and sometimes can’t find the right word. Her recovery also made graduating from high school hard and she’s not sure what she wants to do with her future. I also really liked Jane’s relationship with her dad. There are some questions about her linage which could have been a whole thing in the book but Jane never goes there and I think that was really sweet. Just try to put this book down once you’ve started reading, I dare you. Beautiful. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library Wait… Jenn Bennett… that Jenn Bennett? *Screaming* Jenn Bennett has a new book coming!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    nick (the infinite limits of love)

    3.5/5 Honestly not my fave from Jenn Bennett but I still enjoyed Jane's story of dealing with aphasia and finding herself falling for the brother of the person she thought was her boyfriend. I especially liked how this story ended. RTC 3.5/5 Honestly not my fave from Jenn Bennett but I still enjoyed Jane's story of dealing with aphasia and finding herself falling for the brother of the person she thought was her boyfriend. I especially liked how this story ended. RTC

  11. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 Stars It had been two years since Jane suffered a head injury, and her return to the scene of the crime came with many complications. Among them, developing feelings for Fen. • Pro: This is a Jenn Bennett book, so I was throughly entertained. The dialog was on point, and there were lots of messy things going on to hold my interest. • Pro: There was an adorable romance at the center of the story between Jane and Fen. They were such a great fit, and I adored listening to their conversatio Rating: 4.5 Stars It had been two years since Jane suffered a head injury, and her return to the scene of the crime came with many complications. Among them, developing feelings for Fen. • Pro: This is a Jenn Bennett book, so I was throughly entertained. The dialog was on point, and there were lots of messy things going on to hold my interest. • Pro: There was an adorable romance at the center of the story between Jane and Fen. They were such a great fit, and I adored listening to their conversations that ranged from Seinfeld-esque to really deep. They had chemistry galore, and everything I learned made that little love triangle non-existent in my mind. • Pro: Fen, oh my heart! He was so wonderful and owned me. As if I was not dazzled enough by his musical knowledge, he just said and did all the right things. In a nutshell, he was a soft and wonderful unicorn boy. • Con: I will admit that it took me a long time to find the focus of this story. There was a lot going on, however, I never found my interest waning and I devoured this book. • Pro: Amazing supporting characters and a great setting added to my enjoyment of this story. Two standout characters who stole the page when they appeared where Jane’s dad and Fen’s mom. They were really special, and so were their relationships with their respective children. • Pro: This story all came together for me, and I saw that this was about Jane and Fen figuring out who they were outside of their family or employer. It was about them finding their way on their own and blazing their own path on their own terms. I really appreciated this aspect of their story and enjoyed taking this journey with them. You know what always makes me happy? A Jenn Bennett book. This tale included some complicated family dynamics, a bit of a messy romance, and two teens figuring out their futures while coming to terms with their pasts. I found myself lost in this story, and as expected, wearing a big grin at the end. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  12. 5 out of 5

    Natalie - FerryGoodBooks

    I used to love this author and her earlier books, but this one was a bit of a let down for me. There was a lot happening that made it hard to focus on the actual story, but at the same time I felt the story was lacking. The author introduced multiple issues through this story that at times it was confusing to keep up with the character and I felt that it never added growth or developed the characters because it never was fully developed or explored. There were times while there was such a discon I used to love this author and her earlier books, but this one was a bit of a let down for me. There was a lot happening that made it hard to focus on the actual story, but at the same time I felt the story was lacking. The author introduced multiple issues through this story that at times it was confusing to keep up with the character and I felt that it never added growth or developed the characters because it never was fully developed or explored. There were times while there was such a disconnect with the story I felt bored while reading. I didn’t enjoy the romance either. It felt messy and toxic. There’s an underlying “obsessive” feel to their “love story” that didn’t feel organic and I had a hard time connecting or even understanding Jane and Fen. I felt that the author's approach to this storyline felt much weaker in delivery than her other stories in the past. I really wanted to love this story, but this was just not a good match. There were a lot of issues with this book that made it feel underwhelming and confusing. I didn’t think at all the cover matched the darkness of the story, so if you are thinking this is a lighthearted YA romance, this is not that book. Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for this ARC.

  13. 5 out of 5

    I'm All Booked Up YA

    4.5/5 Stars *We received this book in exchange for an honest review.* An accident two years ago left Jane Marlow with Aphasia, a condition that sometimes makes it difficult to communicate. Jane spent that summer at Lake Condor and hasn’t been back since. She has no memory of that night, all she knows is what people told her afterward when she woke up in a hospital. But two people know the truth: Eddie and Fen Sarafian. Now, Jane and Eddie are dating just in time for Jane and her dad to spend the s 4.5/5 Stars *We received this book in exchange for an honest review.* An accident two years ago left Jane Marlow with Aphasia, a condition that sometimes makes it difficult to communicate. Jane spent that summer at Lake Condor and hasn’t been back since. She has no memory of that night, all she knows is what people told her afterward when she woke up in a hospital. But two people know the truth: Eddie and Fen Sarafian. Now, Jane and Eddie are dating just in time for Jane and her dad to spend the summer at Lake Condor in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Jane hasn’t been back since the accident, but this is something her dad’s boss requires. Her dad is the chauffeur to Mad Dog, a middle-aged rock musician and Lake Condor holds one of the largest summer music festivals in the country. Jane feel ready to go back to the place of her accident, but it’ll be hard with Eddie going to the Philippines for a few weeks to helps with a business deal for his family. That leaves Jane being a PA to Mad Dog’s reckless daughter Velvet. At least she gets to play with Frida, Velvet’s adorable dog. But things don’t start out well. Jane’s dad hates Eddie, Eddie doesn’t return her texts, she can’t avoid Eddie’s younger brother and Velvet is getting into trouble. Fen is the exact opposite of Eddie in every way and he’s a total pain in the ass, but Jane can’t help but be drawn to him and the secrets he knows about her accident. Nothing that happens this summer goes as planned for Jane. It’s been so long since we’ve gotten to read a new Jenn Bennett book! The latest before Always Jane was Chasing Lucky. We’re happy to say that the hiatus was worth it because we struggled to put this book down! First of all, it’s the perfect summer read. The lake setting and the music festival make it perfect for the upcoming season. Jenn Bennett focused a lot on music and that became something that connected Jane and Fen. Fen works in a record store and is a musician, while Jane wants to study music therapy. As for the characters, lets start out by saying we hated Eddie from the start. He’s a compulsive liar and he’s also greedy and manipulative. We cheered for Fen as soon as we met him. He’s been through a lot with his family and just wants to live his life. Unlike Eddie, Fen is honest with Jane from the start, even if it’s hard to hear. We give him an A+ for being a swoonworthy book boyfriend. Jane had an interesting backstory and we appreciate Bennett brining in neurodiversity as a topic. We learned a lot about Aphasia and how Jane dealt with it. Plus, she’s such a resilient person overall. After being screwed over by many people, she worked hard to find her voice and stand up for herself. The only aspect that we might of changed is jumping around so much at the end. We we’re hoping something would get resolved a bit earlier. Overall, Always Jane is such a great summer romance and we recommend fans of the genre pick this one up on March 29th!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda (MetalPhantasmReads)

    YAY for more Jenn Bennett books coming!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    1.5/5 Stars I was looking forward to reading a new YA contemporary by Jenn Bennett 'cause they usually work their magic and put me in such a good mood, but unfortunately this book disappointed me so much. The characters were flat, the story was slow and the love triangle was just pretty weird since one of the people involved was almost never present on the page. I would have preferred just reading about Fen and Jane without the Eddie drama, that honestly didn't add anything to the story and was v 1.5/5 Stars I was looking forward to reading a new YA contemporary by Jenn Bennett 'cause they usually work their magic and put me in such a good mood, but unfortunately this book disappointed me so much. The characters were flat, the story was slow and the love triangle was just pretty weird since one of the people involved was almost never present on the page. I would have preferred just reading about Fen and Jane without the Eddie drama, that honestly didn't add anything to the story and was very useless overall. I'm very sorry to say this, but this book definitely did not work for me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cait

    My hopes and expectations for a Jenn Bennett book are high, which is I think the problem here. There was a real... emotive feeling & charm missing from this (particularly the romance). I found Jane a really underwhelming main character, and Fen didn't feel fleshed out enough to connect with either of them. My hopes and expectations for a Jenn Bennett book are high, which is I think the problem here. There was a real... emotive feeling & charm missing from this (particularly the romance). I found Jane a really underwhelming main character, and Fen didn't feel fleshed out enough to connect with either of them.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Bennett

    Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review. All opinions are my own. I’ll start the review by saying that I just never connected with the book in any way, whether that be characters, plot, the tropes, etc. This was very much different than her other work that I have read and maybe that is partly to blame for my disconnect from this story. I was expecting a cute, summery read. It also is written for more upper YA, or even NA, which is not what I am used to from thi Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review. All opinions are my own. I’ll start the review by saying that I just never connected with the book in any way, whether that be characters, plot, the tropes, etc. This was very much different than her other work that I have read and maybe that is partly to blame for my disconnect from this story. I was expecting a cute, summery read. It also is written for more upper YA, or even NA, which is not what I am used to from this specific author. Fair Warning: This review will include spoilers. The book is told from two point-of-views: Fen and Jane. Fen’s starts off first and we catch a glimpse of the past and his first interaction with Jane. Once Jane’s pops up after that it is a two year jump. She is no longer in high school and dating the brother of Fen. None of the characters really piqued my interest besides Fen’s mother Jasmine. She was a kind soul and I liked her. Jane felt really oblivious to what was going on behind the scenes with Eddie. Although her actions and thoughts on the situations are understandable, it still felt like she and others let Eddie off the hook rather easily. Sure, he needed help with his addiction but that doesn’t excuse the fact he was two years older when they met (which Fen thought was weird at the beginning and kept it from his mother) but also he took advantage of her accident. The last point brings me to the love triangle. To Jane, it was a love triangle. To the reader, it was predictable to know who she would end up with. He has his own point-of-view. There is no pull from the reader to believe either is a viable option because Eddie is a dillweed with a ton of issues and Fen is a weird stalker that only met her once and felt a connection from the moment he pulled her out of the water. It’s kind of delusional. If I am going to read about a love triangle sure, one guy can be a bad boy but don’t make him so bad that he is poop and don’t make the other the black sheep of the family who has a soft side but doesn’t even know her and wants her. It kind of just feels like payback when Eddie did Fen dirty and got his first girlfriend taken away and out of the picture. As for the plot, it was dramatic but also simplistic as some of the character’s issues happen off page and Eddie isn’t truly around much. Overall, this just wasn’t for me. I didn’t find enjoyment and continued to read only to see if something would click. If you do tend to pick up this book, go in with an open mind especially if you have read this author’s previous books.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gigi

    Really don't want to spent a lot of time ragging on this book, it's simply not worth it. Far too much going on, had no clue what the hell was going on most of the time. Fen, what on earth was his deal? And Jane, boy she felt kind of infantilized and then was Fen's manic pixie dream girl. If Alex, Approximately was reminiscent of CW/WB teen dramas from the 2000's, Always Jane is like a daytime soap opera that's already way too deep into the story line. Bad. Really don't want to spent a lot of time ragging on this book, it's simply not worth it. Far too much going on, had no clue what the hell was going on most of the time. Fen, what on earth was his deal? And Jane, boy she felt kind of infantilized and then was Fen's manic pixie dream girl. If Alex, Approximately was reminiscent of CW/WB teen dramas from the 2000's, Always Jane is like a daytime soap opera that's already way too deep into the story line. Bad.

  19. 5 out of 5

    caitlin e.

    Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss Jenn Bennett is one of my favorite contemporary YA romance writers out there, but this book was a little different than her previous books, and I think it was weaker for these choices. Jane being split between brothers made the romance much weaker, and the narrative switching between Jane and Fen left the story lacking. Even the cover seemed off - I really have loved the cool photography of her previous releases, and this cartoony cover just made the book seem le Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss Jenn Bennett is one of my favorite contemporary YA romance writers out there, but this book was a little different than her previous books, and I think it was weaker for these choices. Jane being split between brothers made the romance much weaker, and the narrative switching between Jane and Fen left the story lacking. Even the cover seemed off - I really have loved the cool photography of her previous releases, and this cartoony cover just made the book seem less dramatic as it really was.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Angela (HEAs only)

    My beloved, my bright light, my baby, my shining star, my prince who deserves all the stars, my 𝐹𝑒𝓃𝓃𝑒𝒸. This boy was absolutely magical. M A G I C A L, I say. I am: a simp ~ Fennec’s relationship with his mama? Yeah I cried, and am currently in mother-love. ~ I love that Fen was already in love with her/felt their connection from the beginning, and the only part I really cringed at was Eddie’s texts to Jane. ~ Doesn’t Jenn just write the absolute best kissing scenes? The answer is yes btw. ~ And for s My beloved, my bright light, my baby, my shining star, my prince who deserves all the stars, my 𝐹𝑒𝓃𝓃𝑒𝒸. This boy was absolutely magical. M A G I C A L, I say. I am: a simp ~ Fennec’s relationship with his mama? Yeah I cried, and am currently in mother-love. ~ I love that Fen was already in love with her/felt their connection from the beginning, and the only part I really cringed at was Eddie’s texts to Jane. ~ Doesn’t Jenn just write the absolute best kissing scenes? The answer is yes btw. ~ And for some reason unbeknownst to me, a lot of people think Fen’s creepy?? I just don’t get it. ~ I am seriously surprised that there are more bad reviews than good… but for me, this book definitely would have made it into my all-time-favourites shelf if the ending would have been a little bit more exciting. Maybe them in the future, lovey dovey style, seeing his already strong, undying love for her mature with age. <3 “Fen gave me a dark look that I couldn’t identify—but one that set off a few more crackles of lightning in my chest—and then his mother interrupted what was between us, cradling his face with both hands. “Scram, my Fennec. And you’d better hope your father doesn’t catch you here, or there will be hell to pay. I love you forever and ever, until the sun burns out.” “I love you so much it feels like the sun already died,” he responded darkly.” Pg. 92-93 “I dared to reach for her hand, just to brush her knuckles with the backs of my fingers. Barely, barely, barely. She shivered lightly and sucked in a breath. But she didn’t pull away. So I stepped closer and inhaled near that little swoop of hair above her eye that looked like meringue. Sun peeped through the pine branches above, and it was so hot. I wanted to taste the salt on her brow. If I just kept my eyes there, not on her face, maybe it would be okay. I was losing it. Boundaries melting. I should care more. Cool wind blew off the lake, rustling through the pines. Her voice was almost a whisper. “I feel like you’ve been there the whole time, and I couldn’t see you. But I can now.” Her index finger hooked around my thumb. A thousand warm chills ran up my arm as her face turned upward. It was a mistake to look at her eyes. I dropped the limeade cup. Cold droplets splatted across my ankles when it hit the ground, but neither of us made a move to pick it up. My head bent. Lower. Our faces were too close now for this to be chaste and decent. She could move away, though, right? I should tell her to go. “Jane?” I managed, voice cracking like I was thirteen. I swallowed hard and repeated, “Jane.” Not a question this time, but a warning. Her face was turned up to mine, and it was so small. I was aware of how her lips parted and the shallowness of her breath… how it matched mine, an expectant rhythm. I felt it in my body like a call. Something sent from her that pulled inside my chest. A low noise dislodged from me. She murmured a question back, indecipherable. I just wanted… everything. I wanted all of her. Wanted her to want me. I was trembling with it and terrified that she was going to duck away. Come to her senses. Leave. So I slipped my hands around her face and closed my eyes, savoring all of it—the intoxication of being this close, the almost of it all. But my mouth found hers. Barely, barely, barely. Touching, breathing. I gave her a soft and small kiss. A little awkward, like trying to get bearings in unfamiliar territory. Then it was no longer almost. It was happening. A real kiss—she kissed me back. One kiss, and then another. Intoxicating kisses, deep and miraculous and so fast. It felt like we were trying to outrun something, or maybe catch up with it. Not what I’d fantasized about all these years, but that was all gone now. There was only this, and it was everything. My world shifted to accommodate the newness. Her arms wrapped around me, pulling me closer. Like she held me when we lay together in the grass at the dam. I nearly died. Nearly wept. Nearly begged her to lie down with me again right here and now. I was on fire, and I wanted her.” Pg. 200-203 “I found my gaze trailing down Fen’s chest. I forced it back up to his face, but that was just as dangerous. Maybe more. Fen bent his head to mine and kissed my tearstained cheek. Kissed my jaw. My ear. He slung an arm around my back and tugged me closer, until I was straddling his lap on the bench. And the same hands that had played those stormy, cascading notes on the piano were all over me. His skin felt damp and feverish under my hands, and his hair faintly smelled of eucalyptus and mint. I wanted him. And where our bodies connected, I could feel that he wanted me too.” Pg. 271 “He kissed my throat as I wrapped my arms around him. My body caught on fire, and I couldn’t get close enough to him. By the time my flats were slipping off my feet and falling to the floor with two soft thunks, I wasn’t nervous at all. I was aching for him to touch me. “Remember what I told you back at the tree?” he whispered, sliding his hand beneath my clothes. “Nothing has changed. You have all the power. I am yours to destroy.” Pg. 273

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kaley

    Quick Stats Age Rating: 14+ Over All: 4 stars Plot: 3.5/5 Characters: 4/5 Setting: 4/5 Writing: 5/5 Disability Rep: 3/5 Special thanks to Simon Teen and NetGalley for an eARC of this book! All thoughts and opinions reflected in this review are my own. I love Jenn Bennett. I’ve read and loved all of her YA books, and though Always Jane isn’t my favorite of her books, it’s no exception. There was a lot going on with this book. Jane is dealing with being back in the place where she had a serious injury, some Quick Stats Age Rating: 14+ Over All: 4 stars Plot: 3.5/5 Characters: 4/5 Setting: 4/5 Writing: 5/5 Disability Rep: 3/5 Special thanks to Simon Teen and NetGalley for an eARC of this book! All thoughts and opinions reflected in this review are my own. I love Jenn Bennett. I’ve read and loved all of her YA books, and though Always Jane isn’t my favorite of her books, it’s no exception. There was a lot going on with this book. Jane is dealing with being back in the place where she had a serious injury, some familial stuff with her dad and Mad Dog (her employer), a absentee boyfriend who isn’t who she thought she was, and more. Fen has a whole bus load of familial baggage, and a fair share of unrealistic expectations of Jane. I liked the book and the relationship in the sense that it was dramatic and fun and a good read, but it was also highly dysfunctional and toxic in a way that was never fully addressed. Fen was a tad melodramatic, and I think he made Jane out to be this dream girl destined for him—his living dead girl, his Ophelia—in a way that was… not healthy and never exactly called out. They danced around it, but I do wish it had been more directly addressed. However, as dysfunctional as it all was, every character was loveable and relateable and so well written. I couldn’t help but enjoy the book, and I flew through it. There is disability rep, too. Jane has aphasia from a near-drowning (or a drowning? She was dead for a second, I don’t know the technical term). It’s a side effect of her head injury that sort of makes words tricky for her to grasp. The book mainly focuses on the forgetting of words as she speaks. Jane calls it her word-pixie, who flits around in her head and steals words from her memories as she tries to speak them. I liked the way Jane addressed this and interacted with it. I think it felt realistic. The book also touched on having issues with understanding long strings of talking. How at the end of a long sentence or paragraph that someone was saying, the words started to lose meaning and it became hard to understand and remember, later on. She mentioned that this made written directions much more accessible than spoken ones. However, this is only touched on like, twice. Jane mentions it when she first explains aphasia to the reader, and it’s briefly mentioned one or two times in passing later in the book. We never get to see it play out, and that disappointed me a little, because I feel as if that would be a big part of living with that disorder, and seeing her have to accommodate that would have been nice. However, I’m not too put out that it didn’t happen. My main issue with the rep were some throwaway lines here and there. People—Jane, Fen, friends, family—were constantly clarifying that Jane is “all there” and putting a lot of emphasis on the fact that she’s not “too intellectually disabled”, or something. And that is just… not helpful. It adds to the stigma against people with other mental disabilities such as autism, and makes it out like Jane is superior to people who have more intellectual challenges than her. There were a few other types of throwaway ableism—both against Jane and generally against people who are more disabled than Jane. The book portrayed Jane in a good light, and as far as I can tell (I don’t have aphasia or a TBI, so please defer to own voices reviewers), had positive representation of her disability. It just also made some ableist remarks, as well. So I feel kind of conflicted on that point, because I doubt the author intended it. There is just so much casual ableism of this type in our world, and we need to point it out when we see it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ariel • The Book View

    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 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. Blog • Instagram • Twitter

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I first want to give mad props to Jenn Bennett for writing something different, and I tried to really respect that and not compare this to her other books when reading. But ultimately I didn't enjoy Always Jane. I think the marketing really didn't do it any favours. This is not a fun summer romp with a sparkling and adorable romance. It's a lot closer to literary fiction, and had I known that I probably would never have picked it up, as that's not my cup of tea. I didn't really fall in love with I first want to give mad props to Jenn Bennett for writing something different, and I tried to really respect that and not compare this to her other books when reading. But ultimately I didn't enjoy Always Jane. I think the marketing really didn't do it any favours. This is not a fun summer romp with a sparkling and adorable romance. It's a lot closer to literary fiction, and had I known that I probably would never have picked it up, as that's not my cup of tea. I didn't really fall in love with any aspects of this book. The best I can liken it to is when your favourite band releases a new album that's a complete departure from the music that made you fall in love with them. You respect them, but you don't have to love the new music. The writing style in Always Jane really didn't do anything for me, whereas I couldn't put down Alex, Approximately or Starry Eyes. If someone from California can clarify for me whether it is a colloquial practice to just drop pronouns from sentences that would be much appreciated. It drove me a little bonkers in this novel. I can really appreciate the journey that Jane went on in the book as a character, but I was never really drawn to her. One other comparison I will make to Jenn Bennett's previous books is her characters that come right off the page. They are so alive and real, with passions and quirks and definitive characteristics and interests. Jane was really lacking that for me. I felt like I didn't know her at all. As for the other characters, there were too many that we didn't spend enough time with to really develop attachments. Fen was way too intense for me, but he was the character that did come off the page the most, and I did feel that he was really well written. The book really didn't have much of a plot, which is fine because it was character driven, but without a deep attachment to any one character I never really felt compelled to pick it up and read it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Thanks to Goodreads and Riveted by Simon Teen for sending me an ARC of this book through the giveaway program! This book has been one of my most anticipated for a while now. Jenn Bennet is an absolute auto-buy for me and one of my favorite authors. She has this superpower where she takes a book summary that already sounds good and turns into something I can't get enough of and want to reread again and again. That's Always Jane. I'm not a big music person. I love listening to it, but I don't know Thanks to Goodreads and Riveted by Simon Teen for sending me an ARC of this book through the giveaway program! This book has been one of my most anticipated for a while now. Jenn Bennet is an absolute auto-buy for me and one of my favorite authors. She has this superpower where she takes a book summary that already sounds good and turns into something I can't get enough of and want to reread again and again. That's Always Jane. I'm not a big music person. I love listening to it, but I don't know the deep-cut tracks or what makes a record rare or not, but that didn't really matter here because I fell for the characters, the location, the storyline in Always Jane much more than the minutiae—although I'm sure I would have loved it even more had I gotten all the subtle music references. Fen Sarafian may not be for some people, though. He's intense and obsessive with his desire for Jane that may come off as over the top, but I saw it more simply as a boy who loved a girl for a long time, went through a tragedy with her and finally, finally got what he always wanted. When you read his thoughts, hear the way he talks about Jane, you know exactly how he feels, and that's all credit to Bennett and her wonderful writing. I'm already looking forward to reading this one again on my iPad so I can highlight the crap out of all my favorite lines because there were many. Jane was such a strong character as well. Despite her lack of confidence, she was doing the best with what she was dealt. She found ways to work around her aphasia, did her best with being a "domestic" and sought a better life for herself in the end even though it was hard to leave behind so much. Then there's all the side characters. Jane's dad Leo just seems like an overall good dude, Jasmine in her harmless games, Frida!, even Eddie who was ultimately a jerk but had so much depth and so many layers to him. Overall, this was such a multifaceted story with so much depth. Bennett is a pro at writing characters and storylines that aren't just rainbows and puppies but whose characters face real problems and have fascinating backstories. Stories with plot lines that are unlike anything you've ever read before or may ever read again.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne (The Bookish Libra)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm usually a huge fan of Jenn Bennett's novels, but Always Jane was just an okay read for me. I liked it but I wanted to love it. It definitely has some things I loved, like her cast of flawed, messy and very realistic characters, and I thought Bennett did a wonderful job her the Aphasia rep, but overall it just still felt like there was something missing or maybe just that there was too much going. First, I was baffled by what exactly Jane's job was supposed to be. She works as a personal assi I'm usually a huge fan of Jenn Bennett's novels, but Always Jane was just an okay read for me. I liked it but I wanted to love it. It definitely has some things I loved, like her cast of flawed, messy and very realistic characters, and I thought Bennett did a wonderful job her the Aphasia rep, but overall it just still felt like there was something missing or maybe just that there was too much going. First, I was baffled by what exactly Jane's job was supposed to be. She works as a personal assistant for Velvet, the daughter of a famous person in the music industry, but for as much as the book talks about her work, all she ever seems to do is try to keep Velvet out of trouble and take care of Velvet's dog. The dog was adorable but the work situation mostly just felt in the way. Second, there's a weird love triangle situation between Jane and two brothers, Fen and Eddie. I'm not a fan of love triangles so the main thing that kept me reading was that Eddie was clearly a jerk and their relationship seemed to be more wishful thinking on Jane's part than an actual relationship. It was definitely Fen that Jane had a connection with. Third, I love drama, I really do. That said, it felt like there were too many dramatic things competing for my attention. Jane had a lingering injury caused by an accident that she was dealing with and I thought that would be the focus of the book, but then she also had drama relating to rumors that her dad wasn't really her dad. Then Fen and Eddie had major family drama in addition to having the same girlfriend. And even Velvet had drama going on. In spite of those issues, I still did like the story overall. It was sweet watching Fen and Jane grow closer. They really did have lovely chemistry and I was rooting for them to find their way through all of the other drama to each other. As I said, not my favorite Jenn Bennett novel, but it's still a solid read. Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  26. 4 out of 5

    kayleigh

    2 stars i’m not a huge fan of jenn bennett’s books, but i do normally enjoy them, so i expected to probably give this one three or so stars. but there’s really nothing i liked about this book. if i didn’t save the one stars for books that are truly horrific, i’d probably give this one star. i disliked all of the characters—jane and eddie are bland as hell and fen just sucks. i couldn’t connect with the writing, the story was so boring, and nothing happened. overall, i didn’t expect to love this, 2 stars i’m not a huge fan of jenn bennett’s books, but i do normally enjoy them, so i expected to probably give this one three or so stars. but there’s really nothing i liked about this book. if i didn’t save the one stars for books that are truly horrific, i’d probably give this one star. i disliked all of the characters—jane and eddie are bland as hell and fen just sucks. i couldn’t connect with the writing, the story was so boring, and nothing happened. overall, i didn’t expect to love this, but i didn’t expect to dislike it this much, either, unfortunately. i knew better than to read a young adult book with a love triangle in it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    It's been two years since Jane has been to the music festival her boss sponsors; the same place she had an accident that resulted in her developing aphasia. Now that she's back, secrets and scandal regarding her socialite boyfriend Eddie begin to arise, and Jane finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Eddie's brother and arch-nemesis, Fennec. Bennett's novels are always a perfect blend of romance, drama, and adolescent shenanigans! Take a trek through the California forests in Always Jane, with a pl It's been two years since Jane has been to the music festival her boss sponsors; the same place she had an accident that resulted in her developing aphasia. Now that she's back, secrets and scandal regarding her socialite boyfriend Eddie begin to arise, and Jane finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Eddie's brother and arch-nemesis, Fennec. Bennett's novels are always a perfect blend of romance, drama, and adolescent shenanigans! Take a trek through the California forests in Always Jane, with a playlist (and a tiny dog) for the journey.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Athena Goddess Of Books

    This was way darker than I expected. Not a cute fluffy romance if that’s what you’re looking for. I also thought the first half of the book was incredibly boring and dragged. The romance between Jane and Fen was fine, but something that really bothered me was that it was like insta-love. I didn’t see any reason for them to be madly in love with each other right as the book started, but that’s pretty much what happened. The one thing I did like was the idea of a “word pixie.” I thought it was rea This was way darker than I expected. Not a cute fluffy romance if that’s what you’re looking for. I also thought the first half of the book was incredibly boring and dragged. The romance between Jane and Fen was fine, but something that really bothered me was that it was like insta-love. I didn’t see any reason for them to be madly in love with each other right as the book started, but that’s pretty much what happened. The one thing I did like was the idea of a “word pixie.” I thought it was really cool that the author included aphasia as a prominent part of this story- especially after I read that she struggles with it herself. Overall, I didn’t really like the book but for some reason I kept reading, hence the 3 stars. I don’t recommend unless you maybe want a dark romance with some heavier topics.

  29. 4 out of 5

    KatForsyth

    This one didn’t quite work for me. I didn’t feel the magic I did with her early books, especially Anatomical Shape of a Heart (aka Night Owls) and the glorious Alex Approximately. A half star rating of 2.5 would probably be accurate, but I’ve rounded up because this is definitely not as bad as some of the books I’ve given 2 stars to! But it hovers somewhere between “it was okay” and “I liked it”.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Reynolds (Jillian Loves Books)

    I don't even need to read the synopsis. I see "Jenn Bennett," and the book is an auto-buy. I don't even need to read the synopsis. I see "Jenn Bennett," and the book is an auto-buy.

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