Friday, July 10, 2015

Book Review: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

Never Always Sometimes
Author:  Adi Alsaid
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen, 320 pages
Expected Publication Date:  August 4, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
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'm torn about this book.  The first half of the book is told from Dave's POV and I really liked Dave.  He's smart, a good guy, and he's in love with his best friend Julia. For some reason they've created a bubble around themselves, never really getting to know the rest of the people in their high school.  Everyone else is a cliche, and they're above that.  But Dave starts realizing that he's been missing out and people he assumed were one way are actually more complex than their stereotype.  I loved that.  

But then the POV shifts to Julia after a certain event and then I just didn't like Dave. At all.  Sure, he was confused and he didn't know what to do, but I just didn't like how he handled things.  It made me so sad and maybe it was realistic, but I hated it.  I'm not saying that I wanted things to end differently, I think it ended the way it should have, but I hated HOW it happened.  I know this is really vague, but I don't want to spoil it.

The other thing that bothered me about the book is the dialogue between Dave and Julia.  It didn't ring true.  It's like they were always on, trying to be smart, witty, etc. and it didn't seem to fit two people who had been best friends for five years.  It read more like dialogue between two people who were being filmed, trying to be interesting and fun.  

Don't get me wrong, I did like the book, but I'm a little heartbroken by what happened.  Maybe that's a good thing, that I can feel so strongly?

Posted by:  Pam


  1. Hmm, that's interesting. Liking, and hating a character from one half to the other. I think I should probably skip this one. I mean I want to feel strongly about a book I read, I'm just not sure if it's going to be the feelings I'm looking to feel. Not sure. Great review, Pam--gives a lot to think about.

  2. Out of curiosity, do you think your dislike of Dave was partially because the second part of the book was told from Julia's POV (seeing his actions from a different perspective) or because of his actions in the latter part of the book? I've never heard of this book, but the summary intrigues me. Good review! :)

    1. It was because of his actions in the latter part of the book. I can't say more without spoiling it. I did like the book, but maybe it was too realistic for me? Basically, a high school guy acting like a high school guy. :) ~Pam

  3. I was so conflicted too!!! I gave it four stars because I really cared for Dave and especially Julia (though I wish her part was longer because she could develop so much more). Their journey totally hurt my feels, but agree, maybe it was more realistic that way? Great review!

  4. We talked about this one so you know my thoughts on it. I like what you say in your last paragraph that maybe it's a good thing that this book made you feel so strongly even if it wasn't all good feelings. I personally think that marks a good book!

  5. I was really disappointed with Let's Get Lost, and this book especially does not sound like it's for me. :/
    I'm sorry you were mixed on it! I hate when the dialogue sounds forced.

  6. Hmmm... I have a copy of this and I'll probably read it, especially because now I'm super curious about this event you speak of... I hope it works out better for me! Sorry you weren't a huge fan!