Face Time By S. J Pajonas
Love in the Digital Age #1
Published April 25th 2014 by Onigiri Press
Disclaimer: I received a review copy c/o the Publisher via Netgalley.
Summary: 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.
Told from both Lee and Laura’s point of view, FACE TIME is a funny, romantic, modern-day story about two people who connect across the world.
Face Time is a little difficult for me to rate. As I’m writing this review I’m leaning towards a three-star rating for the simple fact that I did enjoy the first half of the book. I wanted to like Face Time, and I really tried my best to try and get into it but it just wasn’t for me.
There are two main factors why I couldn’t enjoy this book as much as I’d hoped:
- The plot
- The repetitiveness of said plot
Face Time was a compelling read at the start. I enjoyed getting to know Laura and Lee and seeing how they tried to make this whole long-distance relationships worked. I’ve been in two, and I found it somewhat relatable and I understood the struggles behind LDRs. I struggled with the plot line, namely because I was expecting different struggles/plot, wherein distance played a part in their relationship and not the difference of culture. I hadn’t expected a vast majority of the plot to be so culture-centric and focused on the struggles of being in an interracial relationship.
Lee is Korean-American, but he acts more American than he is Korean and yet somehow this becomes a spiderweb of problems and drama. To me it felt that Laura was obsessed with the fact that Lee is Korean, and slowly I felt that the relationship was very superficial in that sense. Needless to say, it stopped being cute. I absolutely understand why Lee’s mother behaved the way she does but Laura’s mother, I just don’t understand. She seemed to be kind of a bully and I don’t think I fully grasp why she’s so nasty to her own daughter.
It seemed that to the end, Laura is like an onion. She keeps shedding so many layers of herself and seems to consistently keeps part of herself closed even though she loves him so much. I don’t know, maybe my idea of being in a relationship is to bare your soul to your partner. Is it just me? I’d say my problem lies more with Laura and her seemingly desperate need to fit in into the Korean culture. It’s not a bad thing, but I just wanted her to love herself enough to see that people accept her for who she really is. There isn’t much I can say about Lee. He does come off like a robot sometimes but there’s nothing particular I want to talk about with him.
It became very apparent throughout the book that the problems seem to stem from being of a different culture, making the plot somewhat stagnant and repetitive.
Overall an okay book, but probably not the book I’d recommend to someone.