The Compulsive Reader: Like No Other by Una LaMarche

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Like No Other by Una LaMarche

Devorah, a Hasidic Jew, and Jaxon, son of West Indian immigrants, meet in a Brooklyn elevator during a hurricane. They’re trapped for over an hour when the electricity goes out and the connection they form takes them both by surprise. When they learn that they live very close to each other, they risk their social statuses and their families’ trust in order to be together.

It would be a stretch to call Devorah and Jaxon star-crossed lovers as they barely know each other, and their story unfolds in the course of one month, but LaMarche certainly captures the urgency and excitement of first love, and the wonder of a whole new world opening up beyond every day life. The story is told in alternating first person, and while Jaxon’s sections are smooth and easily readable, Devorah’s often get bogged down with awkward first-person explanations of her lifestyle and family rituals. Her life is interesting and she is a sympathetic character, but her narrative feels jerky and uneven. Because the timeline is so compressed, tensions are high and drama is easily created, but the story doesn’t have much room to breathe and all of the plot points feel very carefully contrived. Like No Other is a fascinating glimpse at a world that is likely unfamiliar to most teen readers with a romance that they’ll want to root for.

Cover Comments: This is a nice cover. I like the colors. I feel bad because it looks so much like the Eleanor & Park cover that the comparison is inevitable.

ARC provided by publisher.

1 comment:

LinWash said...

Great review. I see what you mean about the cover. It has that Eleanor & Park feel.
The premise sounds interesting though.