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DNF Review: Never Always Sometimes

Adi Alsaid - Never Always Sometimes
Published: August 4th, 2015 by Harlequin Teen
Pages: 320
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: N/A. (A sad, sad DNF.)

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.


To be quaint, Dave and Julia are intolerable.

Dave and Julia are best friends. The thought of high school clichés disgust them, so they devise a list of "Nevers," a list of high school clichés they hope to avoid. But when they are finally deigned seniors, they realize how much of high school they've missed out on and decide to complete it. Fabulous concept, right? Right.

The only problem, Dave has obsessed over Julia since Day 1. Not just: "Oh, I like her hair that way." I mean: "omg I love when Julia touches me, when Julia has her ankles in my lap. That look in Julia's eyes. How fierce." Have you ever seen Maroon 5's music video for Animals? I was waiting for him to begin snapping photos outside her bedroom window.

From her eyes to her ears, truly the girl is perfect in his eyes. Lucky for Dave, Julia just so happens to recuperate those feelings. Not that he has any idea. But after he meets a girl named Gretchen at an infamous Kapoor parties, he's absolutely besotted by her and her crooked teeth. (His words.) However, Julia is not yet forgotten. He pinballs back and forth between Gretchen and Julia, and Julia is all sorts of pissed.

Also, Julia is so touchy. I get the occasional shoulder-bump. Little things you do with your best friend, you know. But she was constantly all over him. Head on his shoulder, lying on his chest, licking frosting off his finger. Sleepovers. What if she didn't even like Dave? You can seriously give someone the wrong impression with all that drama.

I'm not impressed by either of them, but I liked Julia somewhat, despite her being a non-angsty version of Mary Sue Spiegelman Margo from Paper Towns. Gretchen was interesting, too. She's bubbly and weird and likes soccer and books, but she's a rare mention. Dave and Julia see one another in such a grand light, there's no room for an actual plot. Your best friend is not perfect. If either of them were semi-disgusted at each other's qualities at one point, as normal best friends are, I would've probably been able to finish the book, but they were exactly alike. If you want an actual best friendship turned romance, I'd suggest you watch When Harry Met Sally.


  1. Wow, it definitely sounds like a bad combination of characters! I am not keen on the manic pixie dream girl that the guy character is obsessed with too. I hope your next read is better Peach!

    1. Have you heard of Gretchen McNeil's upcoming YA, parodying the manic pixie dream girl trope? Literally, the best thing, haha. Thanks, Jeann! :D

  2. I unfortunately read this til the end and I was not happy. I don't even remember the ending, I think nothing even happened? And Dave was an idiot. AND JULIA TOO. Like if you BOTH LIKE EACH OTHER JUST SAY SO. This book really aggravated me, and you made a great decision to stop.

    1. Omg really??? How lame! I love the cover, too! That's always my thing. If you like each other, just be real and approach each other. I hate to hate on a book with a super cool, but yeah, this was really such a mess tbh.

  3. I actually enjoyed this one, despite their nonsense, until the end. Then I got pretty stabby with it. It kind of like, made the whole thing pointless for me. Actually, the more I think about it, the less I like it, in hindsight. I feel like they DID grow during the book- well, Julia did, Idk what Dave's issue was- but probably not enough to make you not hate them hah. Sorry this one didn't work for you!

  4. it's cool! I DID like Julia somewhat, but Dave seemed so stalker-y. I was like, "Um, can you please calm yourself slightly?" yeah, but it was really something. haha.


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