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It hurts to write this review because I am a Franklin White fan. Potentially Yours is an example of this author's work at its finest. Unfortunately Joy and Pain is not. Let's start with the positives. It's a quick read and a very fine story concept. Now the negatives. The book's back cover doesn't accurately describe it's contents. The cover mentions exploring the drama of friends and lovers. That didn't occur. I wanted to read much more about Lala's and Keith's relationship and what lead up to their drama-filled situation. Readers are told Lala and Keith were together six years and Lala "wasted" so many years with Keith. Too bad readers aren't given a chance to read about this experience. The book instead begins with Lala's and Keith's untimely demise when the father of Lala's best-friend Adria's baby is revealed. It gets very interesting but there was no closure. And that plot is practically abandoned when Lala decides to volunteer at a youth center and eventually fights to save a little boy and his family while being guided by her mentor, a mysterious man named Sydney who is old enough to be her father but has been burdened with relationship problems of his own. There was hardly anymore mention of Keith and Adria. I didn't get it. The book was boring and lacked substance and entertainment value. It would have been much more interesting had the author stuck to the original plot--the love triangle between Lala, Keith, and Adria.
Franklin White is one of my favorite authors and I was really looking forward to enjoying his latest novel. I was highly disappointed when I finished it. His characters were not colorful and none of them really stood out. I didn't really care what happen to any of them. This book was very predictable and I figured out the ending before I even got to the end."