“Human beings are more or less formulas. Pun intended. We are not any one thing that is mathematically provable. We are more or less than we are anything. We are more or less kind, or more or less not. More or less selfish, happy, wise, lonely.”
For a novel that has been mentioned a lot last year, Never Always Sometimes has quite a low goodreads rating. I have been doubting whether to read it, but curiosity won over and I picked up a copy of this novel by Adi Alsaid anyway. I have to say that after reading it, I’m having mixed thoughts about this story. At first glance it’s a fast read and quite entertaining. The ‘playful’ friendship between Dave and Julia makes for quite a few funny moments and I like the fact that they decide to fight the high school cliches by actually doing every single one of them on their Never list. BUT. And now comes the big but: what is supposed to be them fighting cliches and being original actually turns out in quite a cliche plot and character development. And then I’m not even talking about the love triangle OR the ending. The love triangle is annoying and kind of ruins the original chemistry between the two main characters. And the ending… I don’t want to spoil things, but let’s just say it was completely unsatisfying. Would I recommend Never Always Sometimes? Maybe, but only as long as you like the genre, don’t set your expectations too high and aren’t allergic to crappy love triangles.
Dave and Julia have been best friends for years. Before starting high school, they vowed to never end up as cliche high school kids and made a list of Nevers: things they shouldn’t do during their high school years. Never sit at the same lunch table, never dye your hair a color of the rainbow, never hook up with a teacher… Some of these rules are simple, but what about never pining secretly after someone or never dating your best friend? Dave has a secret Julia doesn’t know anything about: he has been in love with her for as long as he can remember. So when Julia suggests to do every Never on the list, Dave sees a chance to maybe finally confess his feelings to her. And not only that: they both discover they might actually have been missing out on high school by not doing all those cliche things…
I liked the general idea behind Never Always Sometimes and the friendship between the two main characters Dave and Julia. Their interactions in the first part of the book are quite funny, especially Julia who doesn’t have a clue Dave is in love with her. But as an overall this book was too much of a cliche for me, the love triangle was really annoying and the ending was not satisfying at all. Slightly original, yes, but I don’t think I’m the only one who wished the story would have been over after the roadtrip.