Release Date: August 4, 2015
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.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Harlequin Teen
Never Always Sometimes is an endearing friends to lovers story with tons of laughs, feels, and discoveries.
- Never Always Sometimes is a special story. It’s a story that’s incredibly real and yet feels like a fairytale. The magical friends to lovers story is something that many yearn for and are too afraid to risk. The despair lies in the notion that if it doesn’t work out, your best friend could become an enemy or worse, indifferent. Never Always Sometimes explores one of the potential outcomes of taking the leap and maybe, despite the ending, that the journey was worth it.
- Julia is a loud, quirky, feisty young lady with a shade of awkward that’s more than unique-she’s like a unicorn in a land full of horses. Her lines are brilliant, hilarious, and colorful, they had a light and happiness to the plot with lots of sarcasm and wit. Julia’s relationship with her mom is heartbreaking. The intense longing she has to impress her, to make her proud is bittersweet and downright sad. The yearning is potent and carries through the story in everything Julia does. From the “nevers” list to her phrases, her mother is there in an almost worshipful way. Julia clings to this idea, she becomes it, and it defines her.
- Julia and Dave are a perfect fit. They know each other so well they don’t even need to speak but when they do, it’s with warmth and laughter. Knowing each other on such a deep, personal level is what everyone thirsts for in a friendship, they’re a beautiful example. They complete each other and it’s easy to see why they’d think romance would be the next level.
- An important lesson, one that is both painful and powerful is that there are many kinds of love and that sometimes, no matter how great and fierce that love is, it’s not the kind that’s needed. Sometimes that love, though enough, is a substitute for the earth-shattering wonder of true love.
- Sections were slow and uneventful. I got a little bored. The story is relatively laid back and shows the average day of a teen well. Despite the humor, parts fell flat.
- Dave was sort of lost in the cracks. The story switches POVs from Dave to Julia but because Julia has such a huge personality, Dave slips into the background. There’s not a lot of memorable characteristics, it’s almost like without Julia, he doesn’t know how to be, what he likes, or how to find himself.
- Secondary characters were fleeting and hardly functioned in the story. Gretchen and Brett have a few good lines but only appear to add to drama or facilitate plot movement.
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