Title: Never Always Sometimes
Author: Adi Alsaid
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 320 Pages
Expected Date of Publication: August 4th, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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Summary: 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 received an ARC copy of Never Always Sometimes through the ARC-hop chain that I'm a part of (because I'm part of the Let's Get Lost Street Team). When I got this book, I was literally jumping around and screaming (and I was glad nobody except my brother was home to witness my crazy frenzy of excitement). I couldn't contain my excitement - my neighbors definitely thought someone was being murdered at my house, from the sound of my screeching.
Anyway, back to the book. As the summary explains, Dave and Julia start a pact (which they write down and title the "Nevers List") right before high school, swearing off participating in any of the "dreadful" high school cliches that were just bound to arise. Just some of these cliches included:
Never go skinny dipping.
Never hook up with a teacher.
Never be known for the same lunch spot.
Never go to a party.
Never pine over someone silently.
Never throw a party where the invite is simply the word "BEER."
And, of course:
Never date your best friend.
Fast-forward four years, and now Dave and Julia are seniors. Dave has been pining over Julia silently (breaking one of the Nevers but without her knowledge), for as long as he could remember. As for the rest of them, they stuck by their guide - until Julia proposes doing every single thing on that list before they graduate high school. Dave goes along with it, of course - he would do anything Julia asked him to, just short of murdering a guy (but he may have actually done that, if the circumstances were right - I wouldn't give him the benefit of the doubt).
This was such a great book. Julia and Dave's charisma and just the whole entire vibe of their friendship was so great - and they were so freaking funny, too. Adi Alsaid is a mastermind when it comes to creating witty banter between two characters. There were several times throughout reading this book where I had to take my pen and underline a few lines and spent a few minutes laughing about them to myself.
(And before you start saying that writing in books is WRONG, part of passing this ARC around was that we had to write our own high school cliches in the book - and everyone was underlining and commenting on funny lines throughout the entire thing, too. It was like reading one big annotated book for English class, except much more entertaining.)
The way that Julia and Dave executed some of the Nevers was hysterical, too. (The irony of the whole book is that Julia was so resistant and hateful towards typical cliches (such as jocks, nerds, parties, etc.), but she fit one herself - the role of a rebellious teenage girl who hated the entire high school social hierarchy.) They had absolutely no issues with regret - they dyed their hair crazy colors, seduced math teachers, and built an epic tree house on school grounds, all without a single hitch. (In retrospect, I'm mildly intrigued by the fact that not a single school official had anything to say about the fact that a mysterious tree house popped up overnight.)
The only thing about this book that made me a little frustrated (although not much, because Adi Alsaid is a freaking epic writer) was the ending. There are some spoilers ahead, so please go on to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet! I was rooting for David and Julia to be together for the entire thing, even though Gretchen was still a nice girl. I'm impressed with Adi Alsaid's ending, though, because he went the complete opposite way of what anybody else expected. In the beginning of the book, when I read the Nevers list and saw that the last one was Never date your best friend, I was like "wow, that's it." I knew they would end up dating and living happily ever after. Which definitely isn't a bad thing. But I hate when things are expected. So, Adi Alsaid gave us all a firm punch to the feels when that didn't end up happening. Which I was impressed with - but still frustrated! I was glad that I was surprised, but sad that they didn't end up together. :( The only thing I managed to predict correctly was the thing between Julia and Brett.
All in all, Never Always Sometimes was a story about love, loss, and the cliches of high school. I really enjoyed this book and I am so happy that I got the opportunity to read an ARC of it! I would like to thank author Adi Alsaid not only for providing me with a copy, but for yet another book that blew me away!
DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Neither author Adi Alsaid nor Harlequin Teen received a copy of my review (or had any prior knowledge of it) before its publication on The Book Bratz on the 2nd of July, 2015.