Monday 7 July 2014

Book Review - Face Time

Face Time
Author: S.J. Pajonas
Series: Love in the Digital Age #1
Genres: Contemporary | New Adult, Adult
Release Date: 25th April 2014
Publishers: Onigiri Press
No. Pages: 286
Source: Review Copy - Onigiri Press
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
After the best first date ever, Lee thought Laura was funny, intelligent, and impulsive; a whirlwind of bright laughter and happiness. Laura loved Lee's sweet smile and the way he expertly filled in every awkward pause. He held her hand and then pulled her in for the most perfect kiss she’s had in years. What could possibly be wrong? Just the 7000 miles that separates them the next day.

Even though Lee has gone home to Seoul, Laura can't stop thinking about him. What starts as an innocent text thanking him for their dinner date becomes something much more: someone either of them can't live without. But Laura's got a live-in mother going through a midlife crisis, and Lee's stressful traveling schedule means they'll be apart for some time. Life, family, and a complicated past also get in the way, and they're both going to need actual face time to figure it out.

This book and/or review may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due its use of language, sexual content, drug and alcohol abuse and/or violence. Please bare this in mind before reading.

After a slow reading period, I went looking for an easy, quick pick-me-up contemporary with a cute slushy romance and some simple reading and when I started Face Time, I thought I'd found just that, but Face Time ended up surprising me in so many ways. For the life of me, I cannot remember who it was, but I do know that a very lovely blogger commented on my blog a while ago and put this book on my radar, and while their name escapes me, I'd like to thank them for putting this beautiful, wonderful and absolutely perfect book in my line of sight.

I very rarely read adult books which strikes people I meet as a little odd, (being 19 years old and all) but personally, when I'm searching out a contemporary, I want something with a romantic balance and real life issues thrown in and sometimes with Adult you can get one of these features overpowering the plot line, but Face Time had a perfect balance of sweet slushy romance, some well written and well executed sex scenes (not for the young readers out there, that was some steamy stuff) but also had a wide range of features explored throughout the novel; it went into the prejudice and almost racist morals of some ethnic families, it developed the scaring truth behind poverty and homelessness, it highlighted the physical and mental scares behind pregnancies, starvation and verbal abuse in families and you'd think that with so much going on, this book would just feel clogged up, too busy and would generally flop, but I personally think it was these features that gave the novel it's depth and beauty. You can put any type of romance into a novel and I'll more or less read it, but there has to be something more, something to work alongside the romance that can develop it, strengthen it and make it something worth fighting for, and it's almost hard to believe that I didn't even know who Pajonas was until a few months ago. The pacing of Face Time was perfect too; it had the wonderful flowing feeling between both the perspectives and Pajonas managed to create a different voice and slight different style between Lee and Laura and I thought this was absolutely wonderful.

Diving into more detail about Lee and Laura, I have to admit, I'm extremely impressed by the dynamics Pajonas provided in Face Time. First port of call is her use of Korean cultures which I absolutely adored; I might not be Korean myself, nor do I consider myself educated in the culture, but Pajonas developed and educated me even the slightest of ways through Lee's family and want they wanted for him, and I also love that Lee isn't Caucasian like other authors and novels would have painted him as, the whole dynamics between Lee being Korean and Laura being American was so perfectly executed, I could not have imagined these two people any differently than what I did. I also loved how much effort Pajonas put into developing their characters throughout this novel. Both characters start off pretty reserved, aloof and and not interested in much else other the life they're currently loving, but as the story progresses, as they talk more and more and their feelings develop, the lives slowly begin to unravel and the truths behind them also start to reveal themselves and I do think that this was wonderful; they each found that they're lives were changed and brought back into a lighter parts of themselves and how they affected one another and the decisions they made was just beautiful. Lee is definitely boyfriend material even though he may be 15 years my senior, but for me, Laura was my favourite of the pairing. Her inner strength and power to make herself a better person throughout everything she's been through, her emotion and her personality shone through in this novel too, she had this wonderful way of lifting you with her positive moods and sense of humour, but also touching you and making you appreciate the life you have because of what she's been through. There are no two couples that I could have wished for a more beautiful romance for, and beautiful and steamy romance it was; with fantastically written sex scenes, to absolutely slush romance, these two had possibly my favourite romance of year and the balance between them and their romance was, you guessed it, perfect.

The last place I want to venture with this review is to Pajonas' bravery to include the 21st century in every nook and cranny possible with this novel. In contemporaries, I usually come across somebody with an Iphone, or maybe a laptop, but Pajonas took it to a whole new level and created the dynamics of the relationship through this technology. To most people, the idea of a 7000 mile relationship sounds completely insane, but I've always personally wondered whether somebody's number one is in a different country, battling different things, and feeling just as lost as they are and Face Time developed this idea and made it huge. All of Lee's contact with Laura was through Ipads and Iphones and it was the simple things that I enjoyed about this feature; searching for a coffee house close by for your after date meeting, or googling something for a personal joke, to even including Goodreads, Facebook or other social sites in the novel, it was all executed wonderfully and the fact that this story was one so clearly taking place right now just made it even better. It enabled me to connect to the characters and the story in away I've never been able to before with a book and it just put the cherry on top of this wonderful contemporary cake.

Face Time looks and sounds like just another long distance slushy romance, but believe me when I tell you it's not. Face Time delves into the depths of pain, suffering and mental and physical illness, as well as racism and judgemental families. Yes, the romance is absolutely adorable and cute in every way, and yes, it takes place over a short amount of time, but the development involved is beautiful, the physical connection is to die for and the characters are two that will stay in your heart for a very long time. Face Time, without a doubt, made it into my favourites list, and I cannot recommend this book more. It's a beautiful read that you can absorb yourself fully into to, and I'm already waiting to see what story Pajonas will provide me with next.


  1. Fantastic review Amanda! I was intrigued by the idea of a Korean character but after reading you review this book looks like a lot more than that. Despite being in the 21st century and reading many new releases I've come to notice that authors are very reserved in their addition of technology into their books. The idea of a story about a long distance relationship in our time sounds fantastic. Great review!


    1. This book has so much to give to people, it's wonderful, I hope you try it soon! :) Thank you!

  2. Hah, I wouldn't have thought this one was as good as you say it to be because of that cover. I admit that I do judge books by their covers sometimes, as I believe it should be given equal effort to look visually-enticing. In any case, I may have been wary to try this out before, but that definitely isn't the case now. Gimmeeee!!

    Faye at The Social Potato

    1. I would never have considered it if it hadn't been for a lovely blogger, but thankfully, it was beautiful. Hope you read it and love it too Faye! :)

  3. Awesome review Amanda, I love the sound of how technology is used in this novel. It sounds really relatable with the way technology is these days. I love how Korean culture is touched upon here, yay for diversity! Glad you found a book that hit you in a perfect way.

    1. Thank you Jeann, as diversity goes, there's plenty in here! It really was a wonderful book, so glad I read it! :)

  4. I love to read books that handle different cultures well. This sounds very interesting.

    1. It's worth the time to read it for sure :)

  5. Brilliant review! I have to admit that the cover snob in me wouldn't have wanted to read this because of the cover. But after reading your review I have completely changed my mind - especially since you said it's your favourite romance of the year! I love the idea of modern technology being used so much in this, it's very realistic. Before my friends got married one of them lived in London and the other lived in Miluakee and they had to use things like FaceTime to stay in touch. I might have to give this one a try :)

    1. Thanks hunny! I wouldn't have considered it if it wasn't for the blogger who recommended it to me, from that moment on, I knew it was a good book just waiting for me! I do think you'd like it actually, it's got some good important features in it and would be great for beating your slump :)


We appreciate the time you take to leave a comment and do our very best to reply as soon as possible.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...