The Blurb

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 clichés so 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; 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. 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 they’ve actually been missing out on high school.

And maybe even on love.

The Review

Having read (and loved) Let’s Get Lost in 2014, I was eager to get my hands on a copy of Adi Alsaid’s new novel Never Always Sometimes. Now obviously, Alsaid had a lot to live up to; Let’s Get Lost was a brilliant road trip book and an adventure I would gladly take again. Thankfully, Never Always Sometimes did not show any signs of second album syndrome. In fact, I think it outshines Let’s Get Lost.

The story is of an unbreakable friendship between Dave and Julia. Friends for five years they have always been loners together. However, in the final weeks of high school they try to cram in as many clichéd high school experiences before they graduate. It is through this experience that feelings are felt for the first time, feelings are hurt and relationships become broken.

Never Always Sometimes is wonderful. Our two protagonists, Julia and Dave are presented so well that you feel like you are watching your own friends going through this treacherous high school experience. You frequently want to bang their head together and tell them what you think. What I think is very clever but very subtle is the way that Alsaid uses their familial back story to shape the people that they have become but without using it as a justification tool. Smooth move Alsaid!

The story is about acting out teenage clichés but that is one thing that Never Always Sometimes definitely is not. The story is fresh; it pops off the page and urges you to read on. Personally, I wish I had friends like Dave and Julia when I was in school. It would have made it a lot more of an enjoyable experience.

Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid is available now.

Follow Adi Alsaid (@AdiAlsaid) on Twitter.

Never Always Sometimes

Hudson has it all figured out. He is going to be a doctor; he already has his admissions interview with the Dean of the University of Mississippi. Everything is going according to plan However, when Leila pulls into Hudson’s fathers mechanic shop, he knew his life was changed forever. He couldn’t say how or why but he knew she was special.

Bree is a drifter. She wanders up and down lonely highways night after night thumbing for a lift. She keeps herself to herself, distancing herself from her past. She is a tough kid with protective emotional barriers surrounding her. That is until she meets Leila. Leila somehow brings out the truth in Bree. Bree swiftly learns that no matter where you run to your past will always be one step behind you.

On Elliot’s prom night he is nearly run over by Leila. He is already having a pretty crappy night but being run over takes the biscuit. Leila is the driver that nearly mowed him down. That night she becomes his saviour convincing him not to give up on love. She pushes him into a series of wacky adventures (much like the ones that happen in the 80s movies that he keeps referencing) to try and win the heart of the girl he loves.

Sonia feels likes she is betraying the memory of her boyfriend. Sam died of a brain haemorrhage but his family have kept Sonia at the heart of it. However, Sonia feels guilty because she has fallen for another man. So now she is torn between her new boyfriend and her ex’s family. It all comes to a head when they are both taking part in the wedding of Sam’s sister; it is too much for her to take so Sonia runs away. During her turmoil she bumps into Leila who becomes a confident and a superhero trying to get Sonia back to the wedding.

Firstly, let me say I loved this book, not only the unique and quirky stories that were in it but also the clever style in which it was written. I loved that Leila, who was clearly the protagonist, was presented as a secondary character in the lives of the people she met.

What I also loved was that all the characters all had something missing. Something that they were searching for and that it took Leila, who was arguably missing for the largest thing, to help the other characters to find/realise it. The stories had a clever fluidity about them.  It is almost a book about the kindness and good nature of strangers along with the surprises that the people that you love can give you.

What can definitely be said is that YA is currently kicking ass in the fiction world.

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid is available from August 1st 2014

Lets Get Los

Due to my excessive gluttonous nature when it comes to all things book like I excessively clicked the request button on NetGalley and ended up with a butt load of books to read. Yes, I know that I have an over flowing kindle and no less than four book shelves but hey I have learned my lesson the hard way…kind of. Ok, so yes I keep checking NetGalley for the latest offering but really I think we can all agree that this isn’t my fault. It is in fact the fault of the publishing groups that keep on saying yes to me (if any of you are reading this please don’t stop…I love you).

That being said I have decided to take control. I have seven books that I am going to try and read over the next week that are due for release and hopefully if I get those read I will be able to go back to the list of books that have already been published but I have yet to review them.

The books on this week’s list are:

Men Manhattan

 

 

 

 

 

What Happens to Men when they Move to Manhattan? by Jill Knapp

Published:   24th July 2014

Lets Get Los

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Published:   29th July 2014

before You

 

 

 

 

Before You by Amber Hart

Published:   29th July 2014

since you've been gone

 

 

 

 

Since You’ve Been Gone by Anouska Knight

Published:   29th July 2014

The atlas of us pb font

 

 

 

 

The Atlas of Us by Tracy Buchanan

Published:   31st July 2014

Where Kive ies

 

 

 

 

Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen

Published:   31st July 2014

what-would-mary-berry-do-978144725349501

 

 

 

 

What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy

Published:   31st July 2014

 

Wish me luck J