Review: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid


Title: Never Always Sometimes
Author: Adi Alsaid
Pub. Date: August 2015
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Rating: ⭐⭐


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.

The Review

I am not having good luck with reading! I know I’m not too crazy about contemporaries, but I do love the “best friends fall in love,” or similar type stories. so I thought I would enjoy Never Always Sometimes. Yet it was a slight disappointment. The ending felt cliché for the book, too. How fitting.

I found myself skimming through the chapters. After Dave told Julia about Gretchen, I didn’t even finish the part from David’s perspective. I thought Dave’s love for Julia was sickening – in that way too mushy, borderline Edward from Twilight, kind of way. Sometimes I don’t understand why the guy can’t just say “hey, I really dig you.” I’ve been in high school . . . I don’t remember it being that hard.

Then, Julia only notices how she feels for him when he mentions that he likes Gretchen? How typical! I really liked Julia, though. Despite how she suddenly felt about Dave, she kept it in and the three would hang out and she even helped Dave ask Gretchen to prom (even though they promised they’d go together). Then of course there’s the ending . . .

Once Dave got what he wanted with Julia . . . everything changed. Which left a sour taste in my mouth. Then Julia did what she did, despite everything, and I don’t know if I could’ve done that even if I loved someone the way they supposedly did about each other.

I read a review where it said Julia was a bitch – I really ought to not read reviews before I write my own, but whatever – so I actually kind of agree to some degree. She had her bitchy moments, but it was more of a being straight-forward. There were some questionable acts – especially those with her teacher that were way out there, though. Dave, actually, sounded more like a pushover. Let Julia walk all over him and take advantage of him.

What really gets me about Never Always Sometimes is the ending. I was really hoping for a happily ever after with Dave and Julia. I don’t read any contemporaries anymore where the best friends end up staying together. It always just ends in a platonic best friend love where they try the dating but it doesn’t work out. I want stories where it does work out!  😦


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