Never date your best friend.
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.
Adi Alsaid is an author I have been keeping an eye on ever since I finished his first book, Let’s Get Lost because I really loved that book. So when I found out about Never Always Sometimes, I clambered to read it. Then, being a blogger, it took me a while to finally get around to it. But I’m glad I finally did, but also relieved I waited. Unfortunately while I did enjoy this book, it simply was not as good as Let’s Get Lost, in my opinion. Fortunately, the book was still entertaining, still had Adi’s writing style and still kept my interest throughout. It just wasn’t quite the right book for me.
Aside from the author, another thing that drew me to this book was the summary. It sounded interesting and reminded me a little of Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone. I have to admit, I love lists! The plot of this book was a little cliche – although that is sort of the point – and I just struggled with it a bit. Normally I don’t mind when books don’t break the mould as the characters usually keep me addicted but sadly I found it really difficult to connect with the main character, Julia. I really struggled with her character and that made the plot harder to swallow as a result, which is very unfortunate.
While I struggled to connect with Julia’s character, I have to admit that I did like Dave. I didn’t think he was an amazing character but in comparison to Julia, he was a lot easier to read. What I liked most about Dave was how kind and caring he was. There was a plot between these two characters that I really disliked which also just made it really hard for me to fully enjoy this book. On the other hand, I quite liked some of the side characters in this book such as Dave’s brother and Olivia. Adi did a very good job writing these side characters.
Can Be Broken?
It may not seem like it, but I did enjoy Never Always Sometimes. Yes, Julia frustrated me and there was one part of the plot that I really disliked, but I also loved a lot of the book – especially the ultimate journey that Dave goes on. Plus the story was addictive and easy to read and had a very “aww cute” factor to it as well. Never Always Sometimes is one of those lovely books that can lift your spirit if you let it. I would still recommend it to others, especially if you’re a fan of YA Contemporary books.
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **