Always be original
Sometimes rules are meant to be broken
Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they'd never, ever do in high school.
Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he's broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It's either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.
Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they've actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.
**REVIEW CONTAINS POSSIBLE SPOILERS**
Love was people creating memories for each other...
I'd always meant to read Adi Alsaid's Let's Get Lost, but for some reason that never happened. When I read the synopsis for Never Always Sometimes I knew that this would be the book to introduce me to this authors writing. And the very first thing that jumped out at me was how beautiful that writing is. I connected with it so easily. It was descriptive and perfectly paced. It was so easy to read and get swept up in the story. I was hooked right from the first page!
Never Always Sometimes is split into three sections and told from the POV of our two main characters Dave and Julia. They've been best friends for years, and early on they compiled a list of things that they would never do in high school. A list of cliches that they would avoid at all costs. The list of Never's. But as high school is coming to an end they decide to make things interesting and actually do everything on the list. From partying at the Kapoor brothers house to dying your hair a colour of the rainbow. Everything is fair game.
I loved both Dave and Julia immediately. I loved their closeness and their banter and their ease. Dave is a romantic. He thinks beautiful, romantic things. He's so sweet and caring. And Julia has such a zest for life. She was infectious! But it wasn't until Julia's POV that I realised how much substance she had. She's not just out to have fun and do crazy things. She's so much deeper than that. She cares much more than she lets on.
He'd been a cliche all four years of high school, in love with his best friend, pining silently.
As Dave and Julia complete each of the never's they begin to question the way they viewed things previously. Not just the relationships and interactions they've had with their classmates, but also their feelings for each other. I absolutely loved this aspect of the story. I loved watching their opinions and presumptions evolve and change. I loved seeing the growth of new relationships and new friendships.
One of the things on the Never list related to hooking up with a teacher. And it was here that the author lost me for a bit. I found the whole thing a little odd. I don't know about you, but hooking up with a teacher never entered my mind when I was in high school. I mean sure there's been teens who've had a crush on a teacher, but the lengths Julia went to were just a little bizarre for my liking.
Outside of that I loved everything. Until the ending. Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing really wrong with it besides it not being what I'd imagined. As readers we picture things in our minds. We have visions of how things will play out. And this ending never entered my head once. I'm sure lots of people will love that the author didn't take things down the predictable route though. I just wish I could be one of them. It did guarantee that I'd be thinking about it long after I'd finished reading it.
Rest assured that I will be reading more from this author in the future. Loved, loved, LOVED his writing!
People were always belittling teenage heartbreak. But heartbreak was heartbreak was heartbreak.
4/5 Wonderfully Written Stars
Thanks so much to Harlequin Teen for providing me with a review copy.