Book: Permanent Jet Lag
Publisher: NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Publication date: May 29, 2017
Length: 222 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Nineteen-year-old Lucas Burke prefers being alone. He likes the silence, and he loves not having to care about anyone else’s problems: the less he’s forced to feel, the better. But after a year of college-induced isolation from everyone he used to know, the wedding of a former classmate sends Lucas back home, and that means reconciling with a group of friends that now might as well be strangers.
His sister hardly knows him, his “genius” best friend is nothing more than an addict, and his ex-boyfriend is still in a coma. All the while, wedding preparations send Lucas head first into a relationship with the groom’s best man—a recently cancer-free ex-Olympian who can’t stop talking.
Lucas knows that if he wants to survive the summer, he’ll have to learn to be a friend again, but it doesn’t come easy, and it might already be too late.
In this impressive debut by author A.N. Casey we get a story about life, loss, and love. Permanent Jet Lag is a book that will definitely leave its mark on you once you've finished and I can guarantee it'll stick with you long after as well. I know for me it will be a long time before I forget Lucas, Chris, Clay, Rylie and Todney. Characters that were so well developed they leaped off the page and who you couldn't help but love.
I wouldn't say that Permanent Jet Lag is a traditional romance. That doesn't mean that there's not plenty of it, far from it, and I don't know that I'd refer to this as a coming of age story either, but it has some of the same elements. Lucas Burke is back in his hometown after his first year away at college. He's cut off all but bare minimum communication with friends from back home but that all changes when he returns for one of his friend's wedding. And the groom's best man, former Olympian Chris seems like a nice, easy diversion from the wedding madness and the fact that all his friends have changed.
Lucas was such a contradiction. At nineteen not many of us have our lives figured out. And it's not so much that Lucas does, it's that he thinks he does. He thinks it's better to be alone and isolated if only to keep yourself from being hurt. It's made him bitter and cynical and it's not until Chris enters his life that he begins to question everything he's tried to tell himself. There are times when it was really difficult to like Lucas and others where you just wanted to give him a hug and cookie and tell him everything would be okay. Getting to know Chris causes Lucas to take a hard look at himself, and sometimes what he sees isn't all that pretty. Chris is recently cancer-free and even though his Olympic dreams will never come true, it's Chris's outlook on life that affects Lucas the most.
Permanent Jet Lag wasn't the easiest book to read, but it was very emotional and authentic. Growing up is hard. Life is hard and messy at times and bad things happen to good people. Like Lucas's ex-boyfriend Nathan who has been in a coma for months and months and to Chris when his cancer comes back. Lucas learns some hard life lessons throughout the book and his growth from the beginning until the end was something to see. I liked all of the relationships in this book. Lucas and Chris, Lucas and his sister, Lucas and his parents, and Lucas's with his friends. They were all important and play such a pivotal role in Lucas's growth.
I’d run cities away to make sure no one was ever counting on me; I had never wanted to be anyone’s anything, never wanted to be depended on, but it was impossible, and I knew that now. We’re dependent creatures, humankind, and I was no different. Rylie might need me now, might need us all now, but I’d needed her too. I had needed Rylie to remind me how to fight for what you wanted; I had needed Clay to lean on; I had needed Chris to remind me of all the things I’d forced myself to forget. And maybe the me in the mirror didn’t look like to me I knew, but I finally felt like him: better than what I remembered.
I'm so impressed with this book. Extremely well written, memorable characters, tons of emotions and intensity and a realism that I found so refreshing. Like I said, Permanent Jet Lag isn't all sunshine and roses, but it does show that life, in all it's messy, beautiful ways is never quite what you expect. Do yourselves a favor and be sure to check out this stunning book. You'll be sorry if you don't!
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