“We are more or less kind, or more or less not. More or less selfish, happy, wise, lonely. Just like things are rarely always true or never true, we aren’t ever exactly one thing or another. We are more or less. It’s like that in our love lives, too. We like to think we’re formulas that even out exactly, that we are perfect matches with each other. But we’re not. We match up with lots of people, more or less.”
When David and Julia were getting ready to start high school, they wrote a list of Nevers. These nevers were comprised of high school cliches that they vowed they would never do during their 4 years in high school. Flash forward to a few months before graduation. David and Julia are still best friends and they have never dyed their hair a color found in a rainbow, never hooked up with a teacher, and never been recognized by their lunch spot. But Dave has a secret, he’s broken #8 never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. When Julia decides it’s time to make the last few months of senior year full of cliches, they vow to do everything on their nevers list. It turns out, they’ve been missing out on a whole lot of experience. And maybe, even love.
It’s funny because I received this book a week early because of a mistake by Amazon. I’m clearly not complaining. So, today is this book’s official birthday. I figured it would be the perfect time to post this review!
“There was no greater proof of an underlying human connection than the universal hatred of Monday mornings.”
I kept smiling when I was reading it. It was fun and witty. I loved reading it. Until I stopped caring. The moment it switched from David & Julia, I saw it coming. I knew that was what Julia was feeling. I know it wasn’t supposed to be a big reveal or anything. So, I guess that shows that Alsaid knows how to write characters that are easily understood. Don’t get me wrong, I only stopped caring for a few pages. Then I snapped out of it. I think the predictability hurt it for a second but then I came to my senses.
Once I got past that moment of knowing, I was once again swept away into the world of high school uncertainty and hope. Alsaid’s writing is easily read and wonderful. The conversations are ones I wish I had with my friends. His banter is on point.
“It was lazy. Love was lazy as hell. Love laid around in bed, warm from the sheets and the sunlight pouring into the room. Love was too lazy to get up to close the blinds. Love was too comfortable to get up and go pee. Love took too many naps, it watched TV, but not really, because it was too busy kidding and napping. Love was also funny, which somehow made the bed more comfortable, the laughter warming the sheets, softening the mattress and the lovers’ skin. “
It’s not how I wanted it to end. But I understand. Nothing’s perfect. People make mistakes. High school, especially, is for learning. Dave and Julia were so sheltered. So reminiscent of me at that age (Catholic school will do that to you). I’ve made so many mistakes simply because I didn’t make them before. Everybody needs to learn. There’s a curve. Some people hit it sooner than others.
“People were always belittling teenage heartbreak. But heartbreak was heartbreak was heartbreak.”
This is random, but Julia’s slam poem is brilliant. I kinda really loved it and could picture the scene so perfectly in my head. You know you like a writer when their words make you seem images and scenes in your head.
Alsaid writes about teens like he remembers vividly what it’s like to actually be a teenager or that he just spends a decent amount of time with them. It’s nice. I wish these books were around when I was in high school. Maybe it would have changed my experience. I really liked this book and I kinda wish I was friends with David, Julia, Gretchen, and Brett. I can’t say my life wouldn’t be interesting.