Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid | Book Review

Never Always SometimesNever Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

2.5 Stars

Publication Date: August 4th 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Young-Adult
Series Status: N/A—Stand Alone
Page Count: 320
Source & Format: Bought, Hardcover

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

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Hello bookworms, and happy Thanksgiving for all of you Canadians out there! ❤ I hope you all enjoyed your day. 🙂 On this fine Monday, I have for you a review on the book Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid! Now, I’m kind of sorry to be posting this right now, because, as you can probably infer from my rating, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book, and really, it kind of goes against the whole warm, happy feeling of this day…I really wanted to love this book, and I really thought I would, but overall it was not the best of reading experiences.

Plot

“No point in living a life less ordinary if you don’t know what the other side looks like.”

I wish so much that I could’ve enjoyed the plot more. It has so much potential to become a story I’d love! It’s the fact that it could’ve been so much better is what gets on my nerves. The idea of the Nevers list sounded fun and creative, and the whole implied best friend romance thing is one of the things that drew me to the book in the first place. But somewhere in the execution of the plot, everything just went all wrong for me. It was quite hard to even get through the first part of the story, and as the story went on, I just wasn’t okay with the direction it was taking. I suppose this is more of a personal situation; of course this may not apply to all readers. To be honest, what really frustrated me in the end was how misleading the synopsis was—and how much the characters ruined the plot for me. A few of them simply lacked some much-needed consistency and they made the story feel all over the place. I know that doesn’t explain that much, so let’s continue on to the…

Characters

As you probably have guessed by now, I wasn’t a big fan of the characters. Although I liked the banter between Julia and Dave, the two main characters, after a while it wore off when the characters got on my nerves.

I’d say Dave was one of my biggest problems with the book. Remember when I mentioned above that I had a hard time getting through the first part of this book? Yeah, well it was written in Dave’s perspective—and I didn’t particularly enjoy it.

“If the lights ever went out in her presence, Dave was pretty sure the brightness of her eyes would be more useful than a flashlight.”

Umm, yeah, no thanks. These things tend to fly over my head sometimes, but this is a tad too cheesy, and under the many circumstances throughout the book, I’m not falling for it.

Of course, I didn’t immediately dislike him or anything. He seemed pretty nice, but that didn’t last for long. Dave was just too much of an inconsistent character, and was a pretty spineless character.

(—POSSIBLE SPOILER AHEADNot exactly sure if it’s a spoiler since it’s not in the synopsis, but it’s a pretty big part of the plot that you discover soon enough) I also wasn’t a big fan of the love triangle. It came out of nowhere, and although I commend the author for writing a less traditional love triangle, I simply didn’t care about Dave or it (the love triangle). I know I’m starting to kind of repeat things here, but really, that’s the main point—I just didn’t care about or like Dave. Harsh, but it’s true.

Moving on to Julia, the other main character whose perspective we also get. In a nutshell, she’s eccentric, wild and utterly ridiculous. I was a cross in between indifferent to her and annoyed with her for the first part of the book, though I guess after we get into her POV, I started to warm up to her more. I was enjoying her character quite a bit, but then there were several things that got me miffed about her. Very cryptic, I know, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. 😉 Bottom line is, my feelings varied several times throughout the book; lots of negatives, I have to say, but overall she was an okay character.

Writing Style

I wasn’t completely sold on the writing style, at first. Just putting that out there. Not saying it was bad or that I didn’t like it, just that it felt really pretentious (kind of going with the plot and characters, I suppose) and I was unsure about it. However, there’s no denying that it was great writing! There were definitely some beautiful passages in there, and it was quite easy to fly through. There was a really nice simplicity to the writing that ended up really working for the story.

“We like to think that we’re formulas that even out exactly, that we are perfect matches with each other. But we’re not. We match up with lost of people, more or less.”

Overall…

I didn’t enjoy this book. I wasn’t a big fan of the characters, since they basically ruined the plot for me with their personalities and the choices they made. That being said, I definitely think if they were improved, and I cared about them more, I would’ve loved this book. This book had a very John Green feel to it, and although I wouldn’t exactly recommend it in a blink of an eye, I know other readers may enjoy it more than I did. There was definitely a slight unique touch to this book, but there were also plenty of cliches—so it’s your call! Just remember that this is not your average best friend romance… don’t go into it expecting an amazing cute romance! If that’s the case, I recommend heading for Rainbow Rowell instead.

I’ve seen other mixed opinions on this book, some positive, and some negative, and I just wanted to say, if you’ve read this book and loved it, great! This book seemed like it was pretty hyped for a while—I hope no one rages on me for not liking it, haha. 😀 So, my opinion on this book is; if you think it’s for you, go for it! The last thing I want it someone missing a potential favourite because of my review. And as I said, a lot of people loved this book, maybe I was too harsh?

Either way, let me know your thoughts on this book below, whether you’ve read it or not. I’d love to hear from you! 

Analee 4

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews | Book Review

Me Earl and the Dying GirlMe and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

2.5 Stars

Publication Date: March 1st 2012
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Genre(s): Contemporary, Young-Adult
Series Status: N/A—Stand Alone
Page Count: 295
Source & Format: Owned, Hardcover

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

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Hi! Welcome back to another book review, on, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews! I know some of you have waited on this review for a while, so I’m glad to finally have this posted—and to finally let out my frustrations on this book, since, as you can see, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book. Though I can understand why so many others have loved this book, it just wasn’t for me.

Plot

This book, I felt, had no real purpose to the whole story. I mean, it kind of has a semblance of a plot, but really, it didn’t feel like one, to me. I mean, there are some books I find, that can really pull off the plot-with-not-a-big-focus thing. Not often, but it’s possible. This book, however just didn’t do it. I didn’t find any big thing in the plot that kept me entertained or compelled to read more. Kind of harsh, maybe, but true. For me, anyway. A lot of the time I felt I continued reading simply for the sake of finishing it instead of for something more. The fact that I hardly DNF books also played a factor. However without those two things, I might’ve quit reading much sooner. I just couldn’t find myself interested in the plot. It had the potential to be really good, but I think it just fell flat and was poorly executed.

Characters

I couldn’t care less about most of the characters in this novel. I’m just going to put that out there right away, because that’s pretty much the gist of my feelings on the characters. Not only did the main character, Greg, not go through any development throughout the novel, but he also really bothered me with his insensitivity to Rachel’s situation. The girl is dying, for goodness sake, can’t you come up with at least some kind of genuine emotion? I was very happy when Earl called him out on this. However, that all being said, one thing I did kind of like was his self-deprecating personality; at least he’s not completely oblivious to what an idiot and jerk he is.

Moving on to Earl. With basically the whole book revolving around Greg, there wasn’t much space for Earl, to be honest, and although I wasn’t his biggest fan, I more or less liked him more than Greg. I actually don’t even know. On one hand I suppose I can understand why he acts the way he does, but on the other hand it really bothered me sometimes, with his whole dirty humour and all. I know this is probably how most teenage boys act, but come on. It got really tiring afterwards.

Rachel, to be honest, was not much better.  I feel like the most there is to her is that she’s dying. Period. I didn’t find anything in her that truly stood out, which was a bummer. I am actually struggling to come up with more to say about her, since there isn’t really much to say. I didn’t dislike her exactly, but she wasn’t any better than the other characters either.

Writing Style

“If after reading this book you come to my home and brutally murder me, I do not blame you.”

The writing definitely took a more unconventional and unique approach to things, with readers getting a close up of how Greg thinks. Greg really spoke to the reader, and this kind of style really stood out to me since a) we don’t get that many books written as such, and b) we don’t get many books written in this style that are done well. There were also parts of the book where there are scenes being depicted as a movie script thing, which I guess was a neat thing to try and also made sense, since Greg made films and all. The writing style was definitely one of the better parts of the novel.

Overall…

This book is not your average cancer book, but it certainly isn’t anything mind blowing either. I think that’s kind of what my main problem was; there’s nothing special about this book, nothing that really interested me. While I can commend this book for being unique and written very skillfully, and for its little bits of actual humor, when it comes down to it, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wish I did. The lack of true purpose really bothered me, since there wasn’t anything else that was keeping my attention. All the characters except Greg lacked depth and Greg himself wasn’t much better. Some may argue the characters are portrayed this way to be realistic, but whether or not this is the case, it doesn’t change the fact that they were not very interesting to me, and mostly became a hindrance to read abut. I did like the writing, it was very different and was interesting to read, but unfortunately that isn’t enough to change the whole reading experience.

Looking at this review, I know it seems really harsh, but I just wanted to emphasize that I’m not trying to bash the author or the book. I’m simply trying to be honest; my final say on this would be it’s a matter of personal preference. Hit or miss, you know? If you’re looking for a unique non-cheesy-romance novel about cancer, then I think this book would be a good fit for you, but otherwise, proceed with caution. 

Movie Trailer

On a completely different note, the movie for this has been released! You can check out the trailer for it below. I haven’t seen it yet, but I definitely hope it will be better than the book.


So tell me: Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Do you agree with anything I’ve said? Do you want to read this book? Feel free to let me know below! I’m honestly very curious as to what other readers have to say about this book.

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Bossypants by Tina Fey | Book Review

(Stand-Alone)

Published: April 5th 2011

Synopsis:

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.


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My Rating:2.5 stars 2.5/5 (Okay)

Book Information

Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books

Genre(s): Autobiography, comedy

Page Count: 290

Format: e-book


This was used for the Popsugar challenge: A nonfiction book.

I know lots of people who loved this book might be looking at my rating and be like, what?? But unfortunately it’s not a mistake. I wanted to like this book, and I thought I did while reading it, but now, I’m more like, meh. It was okay. It was mostly a disappointment. So let me get onto the review to explain more in depth why this book didn’t cut it for me. Oh, by the way, I’m going to be skipping the quick summary for this book.

My Review

So, the plot, or, I don’t know, whatever you call the story in an autobiography, was alright, but not the best. I mean, first of all, for a comedy, I did chuckle or smile a few times, but nothing struck me as particularly hilarious or that funny. Also, a lot of the parts I felt like skimming, and often I was just reading simply for the sake of finishing the book faster. I wasn’t truly interested in it much. Maybe because I prefer to listen and watch Tina Fey’s humour in action than read it? I don’t know. All this to say, the reason I didn’t enjoy this stems from the fact that I’m not a huge fan of biographies, and that I didn’t find anything substantial to keep me interested in the book.

I did like the writing style though, it had a pretty light and easy feel to it which I enjoyed amidst it all. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to have me enjoy the book. I will probably try re-reading this someday. Maybe my perspective will change then, who knows?

This is definitely one of my shortest reviews for a full-length novel, but there really isn’t much else to say. :/

Overall…

I didn’t particularly enjoy this book. Mostly due to the fact that I hardly ever read and enjoy biographies, I think. This just wasn’t my kind of book, and that’s basically all there is to it. That isn’t to say you won’t enjoy this book; if you like biographies/nonfiction novels, and comedy, by all means try this out. This book did have Tina Fey’s signature humour and style, I guess it just didn’t affect me much in writing, but who knows? Maybe it will be what ticks for you!

Did you read this book? Let me know your thoughts on it—I’d love to know if you enjoyed it more than I did! (In fact, I hope you did!) And if you didn’t read this book, but have it on your TBR, please don’t be discouraged by my rating! I wouldn’t want you to miss a book you might enjoy because of my review.

This wasn’t too tasty for me, but maybe it will be for you! In which case, happy eating!

Analee 10

Flash Point by Nancy Kress | Book Review

Stand-Alone

Published: November 8th 2012

Synopsis:

Reality TV meets a chillingly realistic version of America—and the fame game is on!

Amy had dreams of going to college, until the Collapse destroyed the economy and her future. Now she is desperate for any job that will help support her terminally ill grandmother and rebellious younger sister. When she finds herself in the running for a slot on a new reality TV show, she signs on the dotted line, despite her misgivings. And she’s right to have them. TLN’s Who Knows People, Baby—You? has an irresistible premise: correctly predict what the teenage cast will do in a crisis and win millions. But the network has pulled strings to make it work, using everything from 24/7 hidden cameras to life-threatening technology to flat-out rigging. Worse, every time the ratings slip, TLN ups the ante. Soon Amy is fighting for her life—on and off camera.


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Rating: 2.5 stars2.5 (Okay)

Book Information

Publisher: Viking

Genre(s): Young-adult Dystopia

Page Count: 502

Format: Hardcover

ISBN: 0670012475


Used for the Popsugar challenge: A book set in the future

Hey there! Glad I’m finally reviewing this. I finished this sooner, but hadn’t gotten the chance to review it yet, but I got some time now so here I go!

I had this on my TBR list and started reading it a bit before I officially started the Popsugar Challenge. I finished it after a few days of my challenge, and let me just say this: It was a disappointment. A flop. As you can see from my rating, this wasn’t the best book I’ve read. I had such high hopes for this one, but it just didn’t click for me.

The only reason it does not have a 2 star or even 1.5 star rating was because I was able to finish the book without hating it, as well as the writing style helped make the book more enjoyable. It was only afterwards where my opinions changed.

Quick Summary

Our protagonist, Amy, would’ve had a comfortable life if it wasn’t for the Collapse. Now she’s desperate to keep up with financial problems while taking care of her younger sister and sickly grandmother. When she gets the chance for good pay with medical benefits by being in the running for the new TV show Who Knows People, Baby–You?, Amy is quick to audition, ignoring her misgivings. When Amy ends up being one of the people starring in the show, she realizes the show isn’t as fun and simple as it seems when her life (and the lives of the people with her) is put in jeopardy.

Plot

So starting with the plot. The concept itself was really interesting, however Nancy Kress made it fall flat. I mean, it was a super cool story line, with the whole TV show risking lives, and the Hunger Games-ish idea, but Nancy Kress just wasn’t able to pull it off.

The main point of the story is about how the TV producers are risking the lives of Amy and the other stars on the show for the sake of having good ratings from viewers. The problem however is that while there were a few scenes where it was interesting, the actual ‘flash point’ or, climax kind of flopped. It reminded me a bit of The Maze Runner, except done worse.

Another thing that added to that problem is that although in the synopsis it is said that every time the ratings slipped, the TV producers ‘up the ante’ of the scenes the stars go through, really, the scenes weren’t all that great, to be honest. There were maybe a few select scenarios that were decent and mostly interesting, but not that many.

And finally, the last problem I had with the plot is the unnecessary and confusing ‘phantoms.’ Apparently Amy is some kind of clairvoyant, and gets these ‘phantoms’ that lets her see through the scenarios set up by the producers?For something so crucial (or so Kress makes it seem) to the story, you’d expect an explanation. The true story of what was happening to Amy in those moments was not explained at all throughout the entire book, and that really annoyed and frustrated me.

Overall, there were some parts I enjoyed, such as a couple of plot twists, but the plot definitely did not live up to its full potential.

Characters

To be honest, most of the characters were pretty predictable, save for a couple which goes back to the plot twist I mentioned above. Most of the people I thought were kind of useless and bothersome. Amy herself I found annoying, someone who I couldn’t relate with at all. She came off as a bit whiny at times, easily falls for a pretty face, and although she’s supposed to be all smart and everything, the very first couple of decisions she made sucked. Overall, I didn’t find Amy that enjoyable, and she definitely wasn’t a strong female lead like I was hoping for. I don’t specifically hate her, but I’m not her biggest fan, that’s for sure.

There is some romance in here, or at least a love triangle. I’m usually fine with love triangles as long as they’re done well. Sadly, this was not done all that well. I honestly did not care for either of the interests much, especially not for the one Amy first thought herself to be in love with (the pretty face). It was so obvious who actually likes her and who has more common interest with her, that I literally felt like shaking Amy to tell her to wake up.

Writing Style

The writing style wasn’t phenomenal, however it was quite enjoyable. The writing style is one of the main things that made me decide on a 2.5 stars rating instead of something lower. It flowed nicely, and was descriptive enough when need be. Note: there is swearing multiple times. That bothered me, as it was unnecessary to use such language, however I did my best to simply ignore it.

Overall, I don’t particularly recommend this book. If you’ve read Nancy Kress’s other works and are interested in this, then by all means try it out. I actually would love to hear your opinions on it! Perhaps it will shape my perspective into a more favorable opinion.

Not that hungry? I understand, this review isn’t increasing you appetite, is it? But if you are hungry, go eat it! I’d love to hear what you think of its taste.

-A