Review: Never Always Sometimes


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Never Always Sometimes
Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was okay for the first 80%, and then the last 20% was all blah and not convincing. It also made me question the point of the story, and now, I am not not sure there even was a point to this story.

It’s a backwards twist on a bucket list, which was fun. The best part is the adorable relationship between these two best friends. The worse part is that the story lies about character emotions, throughout, in order to inform the final outcome, which is typical and uninspired, at best.

Page: 288

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Review: Seven Ways We Lie

Seven Ways We Lie
Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This has 7 POVs, and they aren’t all distinct. The female voices, in particular, really blend together. I listened to this on audiobook, which made it even harder to settle in to the story.

Overall, it’s still a good story. Typically, I love multiple POVs, but this felt like a gimmick, instead of an effective storytelling solution. In fact, I think the story would have been significantly better, had it been reduced to only a few POVs.

It’s 3.5 stars for me, but I rounded up, since it attempted to maintain my attention. The writing is decent. The story is okay. It’s just hard to fully settle down or get invested in anyone, and the lack of voice can be really disconcerting at times, especially when you’re trying to keep 7 different perspectives straight.

So now I’ve made it sound really terrible, but there were still things I enjoyed about it, including the writing style, in general. I kept reading, which means it kept my attention, despite the fact that I was unclear about 70% of the time which character was currently telling the story.

I don’t recommend the audiobook. The performance is good, but it makes it even harder to differentiate between the 7 POVs. This is one where you need to pause at the start of every section and think about who is talking before you start reading, otherwise you’ll spend half the book uncertain who is currently telling the story.

Pages: 352

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Review: When We Collided

When We Collided
When We Collided by Emery Lord
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is chaotic and delightful on so many levels. Vivi and Jonah are complex, well-developed characters who are dealing with a lot of big issues, such as Vivi’s bipolar disorder, and the fact that Jonah’s mom checked out after his father died, leaving him to carry the burden of parenting his younger siblings.

This story manages to be both playful and heavy. It probably deserves a 4.5, but I’m going to stick with my original gut-impulse rating system.

Pages: 352

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Review: Tiny Pretty Things

Tiny Pretty Things
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a dramatic and diverse story set in a cutthroat ballet world.

This is not a novel where you love all the characters. It’s a story where you tolerate all the characters, while still finding their stories fascinating. You won’t want to hang out with them or befriend them. This is the kind of story where you enjoy the ride but are happy the characters are stuck in the book and not part of your world.

Pages: 464

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Review: Stolen: A Letter to My Captor

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is unique, in that it is written in second person narrative, as a letter from Gemma to her kidnapper. Since second person is rare in fiction, it did, upon occasion, jolt my brain, and I’d have to reset to keep reading.

However, I enjoyed the story overall and thought it was well-written. Nothing really worked out the way I thought or expected. It’s a bit intense, in a weird and twisty sort of way, and it’s basically never fun or lighthearted. So don’t expect that. Expect unusual with a sad undertone.

Pages: 320

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