I have to say, I have mediocre feelings about Never Always Sometimes. I enjoyed the story, as well as the characters and relationships. It was fairly well written as well, but I just couldn’t bring myself to love it. Maybe it’s because I just didn’t feel quite as attached to the characters as I have to some other characters in other books. As I’ve mentioned in many a review, feeling a personal connection or attachment to the protagonists is an important aspect in a good book. I liked these protagonists, but I just didn’t love them, nor did I feel a personal attachment to them.
Julia is the more reckless and volatile of the two friends. She’s determined to not be a high school cliche, and not just to be a rebellious girl. She also wants to impress her adventurous mother. I enjoyed Julia’s character, especially since she was never short of a witty retort (no rhyme intended). She’s the kind of girl I’d be friends with. Her humor is rather amusing, as well as some of her objectives in the book (*cough* teacher). While Dave was a nice guy, I did end up feeling more of a connection with Julia.
Dave is your typical nice guy. He’s a loyal friend and shocker, he’s been in love with Julia his entire life. This boy has the word ‘nice’ ingrained in his bones, he has trouble being anything but. He’s always thinking about other people’s feelings and trying to keep Julia happy. My point is, he’s a nice guy, just not my type, I guess.
I feel like this book was angling towards you rooting for a romantic relationship between Julia and Dave. I just wasn’t seeing it. Sorry. I don’t know, maybe I wasn’t supposed to be rooting for them, but I just didn’t want them together at all. Sorry, again.
Anyway, surprisingly, my favorite character in this entire story had to be Brett, Dave’s elder brother. At first I wasn’t his biggest fan. He just seemed like a blockhead, but as we got to know him better, I just fell in love with him. Dave might not be my type, but Brett sure is. If there is ever a spin off book to this novel, I highly vote for it to follow Brett. Maybe after the events of this story as well?
My favorite aspect of this story was probably the banter and witty remarks. I really enjoyed the light moments. The drama was fun, but I just found myself liking the smart retorts Julia came up with and the teasing between friends. I do really love reading about a good friendship, this one may not have been one of the best examples of a good friendship, but it was interesting to see how Julia and Dave interacted.
In the end, I found myself pleasantly surprised with the story ended. It was not what I was expecting, but it was what I’d been hoping for the entire book. Well, I’m just going to leave my imagination to choose what happens after the ending of the story, but overall I found it to be a good ending.
I’m giving Never Always Sometimes a 7/10 stars. It was a nice book, but not something that particularly sticks out to me. It’s a good contemporary novel, and I would definitely read the next one, if another book comes out from this series.
Here’s the synopsis:
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 dye 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.
SPOILERS BELOW FOR NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES
I did like that this book didn’t glorify cheating. I was seriously hoping Julia and Dave would not end up together, and to my relief, they did not. Actually, ever since I realized Brett had a crush on Julia, which was pretty early on, I shipped Julia and Brett so hard. I’m really hoping a short story is published someday about how Julia and Brett got together, because they just seem to cute together. I like Gretchen and Dave together, too, and I do really congratulate Gretchen on her ability to forgive. It’s much better than mine.
Back to the cheating thing, even if Dave and Julia had ended up together, it just wouldn’t have felt right. I don’t know, there’s something about cheating that really puts me off a relationship, there are very few occurrences when I actually enjoy the cheating aspect of a book. Very few. I just can’t help but think about how much they’re hurting the one who’s being cheated on. Cheating is just so selfish, and I just have trouble enjoying a relationship that started with cheating.
Anyway, thanks for reading, I have to cut this review short ‘cause school starts tomorrow and spring break ends tonight :(