Published by Harlequin Teen on August 4th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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.
I received a physical ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Even though it’s been quite some time since I was in high school, I thoroughly enjoyed this book that took me back and made me wish I had made a Never list with one of my best friends.
Long time best friends, Dave and Julia, are determined not to be the typical cliches you see in high school. They even go as far as to write their own list of nevers to do during their high school years, but as graduation is only a few short months away, Julia decides they should start marking these nevers off their list one at a time. With Julia being a ball of energy and fun, Dave doesn’t think twice when she suggests they become the cliches they said they’d never become.
As these two best friends take on this high school riddled nevers list, they start to realize that they’ve actually missed out on quite a bit of high school and excitement. They dye their hair crazy colors, in which Julia can rock pink hair and green just doesn’t work for Dave. They throw a “beer party” that leaves Julia’s house in shambles and her friendship with Dave on the rocks. And Julia even tries to seduce a teacher which is a disaster in and of itself. You’ll have to read just to see how that plays out. It’s hilarious though, I will say. 🙂
Never Always Sometimes was such a fun book to read. It’s filled with it’s fair share of hilarity, tender moments, serious moments, and a few in between. The relationship between Dave and Julia is one I really enjoyed reading about, even when things got a little rocky. Dave is such a sweet heart and the more sensible of the dynamic. He grows so much from start to finish, they both do, but I really feel like Dave’s growth stood out. You can tell he genuinely cares about those he has feelings for, whether they be romantic feelings or just friendship. He doesn’t like to see those he cares about hurt and if they are, he feels it too.
Julia is such a free spirit! The complete opposite of what I was in high school, but such a fun character to read. She intimidated me at first, but the more I got to know her, the more respect I felt for her. There were times I grew frustrated with her, but she redeemed herself for me. The small glimpses of her life allowed for me to really get to understand how she ticks. She has two awesome dads, there is a part of her that longs for her birth mother. She has somewhat of a relationship with her mom, but there is still parts of her that misses her and longs for more. Julia also learns a lot about herself from taking on this list of nevers. It’s a journey for both Dave and Julia and one I think you will enjoy seeing them take.
Never Always Sometimes was such an honest read and one that I think anyone, whether you’re in high school, recently graduated, or you’ve been out for some time now, will enjoy. Adi Alsaid has a way with words that anyone can relate and make connections to. I can’t wait to read more from him!
Four out of five stars