I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Harlequin on August 4th 2015
Also by this author: Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love
Format: eARC (320 pages) • Source: Fantastic Flying Book Club
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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.
Friendship & Banter
David and Julia had some amazing chemistry. Dave, who was in love with Julia for YEARS, is obviously harboring some romantic feelings for her (no spoilers on whether or not that pans out!)… but they have such great banter and overall friendship chemistry! The inside jokes about Mr. Marroney (throughout the whole beginning of the book) seriously made me laugh out loud. I knew I would like the two of them right off the bat.
The Never List
Like I said, I’ll probably read any book about a bucket list. This one, oddly enough, is kind of the opposite of a bucket list! They make a list of things they’ll never do in high school – all of the cliches that high school can be to other people. They decide, with a few months left in senior year, that they’re going to make up for lost time and just DO them all. I absolutely adored the premise. Very reminiscent of Since You’ve Been Gone, which I also loved.
I loved that Julia and David have different family backgrounds and situations. I feel like this allows for really anyone to relate to them in some way or another. Julia was adopted and has two fathers. David’s mother died and he now lives with his father and brother, who don’t talk with him much. Dave is secretly in love with his best friend. I feel like everyone can relate in some way or another to these characters, or even to the high school cliches they’re trying to complete before the end of senior year. I could also relate to the codependency of their relationship. I had a few friends in my younger years that I was practically addicted to – spending every second with the other person and not bothering to keep up with other friendships. It’s not exactly healthy, but it happens.
I already mentioned how much I love the banter and humor in this book, but its worth mentioning again. It goes beyond the characters, in my opinion. Adi Alsaid has such a great writing style! There’s humor and relatability in all of his words. I don’t know how else to explain it, but honestly this is the kind of writer I would love to be someday. I laugh at something on nearly every page.
Two Points of View
I was getting so used to Dave’s voice and I really, truly didn’t want it to move on to Julia’s at first. After reading it, I was so glad it did! I was still curious about what was happening in Dave’s head, but it was such a perfectly timed POV switch I wanted to scream from happiness and despair at the same time. I won’t explain any more in the interest of spoilers!
Overall, I really loved this book. I was so pleasantly surprised by the characters and the story. They felt natural and real to me in so many ways. The one issue I have is the ending, to be honest. Even then, I don’t really think it’s an issue. I think that some people may not be happy with it but I can appreciate where its coming from. I won’t spoil anything else! … but read this book.
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Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, then studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in class, he mostly read fiction and continuously failed to fill out crossword puzzles, so it’s no surprise that after graduating, he did not go into business world but rather packed up his apartment into his car and escaped to the California coastline to become a writer. He’s now back in his hometown, where he writes, coaches high school and elementary basketball, and has perfected the art of making every dish he eats or cooks as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he’s lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas, and Monterey, California. A tingly feeling in his feet tells him more places will eventually be added to the list. Let’s Get Lost is his YA debut.