Author: Adi Alsaid
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Aus
Date of Publication: 1st August 2015
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
Harlequin Teen Australia have very kindly provided 5 copies of Never Always Sometimes to be given away. See the end of the post for details.
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.
ReviewDave and Julia have been best friends forever. Worried about becoming another pair of high school clichés, they create the Nevers - a list of things they will never do. Four years later, as graduation approaches, Dave stumbles across the list. To fight the end of school boredom, Dave and Julia decide it's time to do the Nevers and experience the things they've avoided for the past four years. As they work through the list, Dave starts to think that maybe they've had the wrong idea the whole time. After all, he's already broken one of the rules.
Is there anything worse than being in love with your best friend when they are oblivious to the fact?
Dave resigns himself to the fact that he and Julia will never be more than friends and when the Nevers give him the opportunity to expand his social circle and meet someone else, he makes the most of it. But when Julia starts to see him in a different light, things get more complicated than he could have imagined.
I loved this story. Reminiscent of films such as Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful, Adi Alsaid captures the pain of unrequited love in exquisite detail. I loved Dave. He's sweet and thoughtful and everything I'd have fallen in love with in high school. Julia I didn't like quite so much, but she's the character who has the biggest emotional journey to take.
Will the guy get the girl? Should the guy get the girl? You'll have to read to find out, and maybe you'll discover that being a cliché isn't the worst thing in the world after all.
My rating description would definitely trigger a hyperbole alert, but I don't care. I loved it.