Review: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

August 5, 2015 Review 45 ★★★

Review: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher
Pages: 320
Release Date: August 4th 2015
Genres: Dating & Sex, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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 die 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.
This book may be unsuitable for younger readers due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence. Note that this review itself does not contain any inappropriate material.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Longtime friends Dave and Julia create a list of Nevers or cliches they never want to experience or do but come senior year they begin to realize how much they have missed out on and decide to complete every Never on the list.

The concept behind NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES is a fun one, I really liked the idea of the Nevers list and enjoyed experiencing (and reminiscing about) some enjoyable and memorable high school moments right alongside the main characters.

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

Dave and Julia themselves are very personable and have a great dynamic with each other, throwing around humorous banter and overall just complementing each other. There is a love triangle that lead to a lot of drama, but I liked how it was wrapped up.

The writing is very easy to get into, and it flows well with the story. However, there were some pacing issues and I wish more time had been spent on romantic development and less on angst and parties.

“We are not any one thing that is mathematically provable.”

My favorite aspect of this novel was how it did not end like I expected. It is refreshing to read a contemporary novel like this where you cannot immediately predict the endgame.

Overall, NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES is a novel that fans of the genre will enjoy.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.1

45 Responses to “Review: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid”

    • Alise

      It has some flaws, but if you are interested I say give it a go. I think it would be, shouldn’t it be warming up there in a few months?

    • Alise

      I haven’t read Let’s Get Lost yet but I hear this one has kind of the same feel. Yeah, there really were some funny bits!

  1. Laquesha @ We're All Bookish Here

    I am super excited to read this novel because I love best friend romances and the concept sounds very cute! I do own Let’s Get Lost by this author but I have yet to read it so for my wallet’s sake, I should probably read that before I run out and buy this one.

    Great review, Alise!
    Laquesha @ We’re All Bookish Here recently posted…BOOKTUBEATHON DAY 2 UPDATE

    • Alise

      The romance in this one takes a bit of an unexpected turn but it really does have cute moments! Haha, I know what you mean. Thanks :)

    • Alise

      I have a copy of Let’s Get Lost, now I’m really curious! There is some angst and drama that could get a little annoying but it had some fun parts. When in doubt, the library is my answer too ;)

    • Alise

      I’m so glad you are enjoying it! The endgame kind of surprised me, but only because I’ve read so many contemporary books that ended the opposite way.

  2. Vane J.

    Hmm, i’m not sure about this book. It doesn’t seem like the kind of thing I usually enjoy, but I’ve ended up surprised many times, so I guess I can try it; besides, I like the concept. Great review!
    Vane J. recently posted…My Life In 10 Books

    • Alise

      I haven’t read Let’s Get Lost yet but I have heard that more than a few times, which makes me wary. Understandable! Thanks :D

    • Alise

      I have a copy of Let’s Get Lost so I will have to check it out! Julia also got on my nerves and Dave definitely made some poor decisions. Me either!

  3. Faye la Patata

    I became a rebel earlier when reading a review for this book and opened the spoiler tag regarding the ending… and I do admit that it wasn’t something that I expected either and am actually quite surprised it took that route considering so many readers out there are not fond of endings like that! But then again, if it’s for the sake of a message or value to be learned from, then I’m fine with more unconventional endings XD
    Faye la Patata recently posted…Discussion: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson – I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS

    • Alise

      Those spoilers tags-they get me nearly every time! Right? I really was surprised but pretty happy it took a different approach since like you said, it’s unexpected. But yeah, I can see some might be upset if they liked a different ship.

  4. Sydney

    I’ve heard so many mixed things about this book and it makes me nervous. I haven’t read an Alsaid book yet (even though I want to read his debut), but I’ve heard he’s a good writer and does great things with contemporary. I will admit I’m annoyed to hear there’s a love triangle thrown in for drama, but since I don’t hate them I might read it anyway.

    Great review, Alise! I’ll probably get this one from the library and see what happens. :P
    Sydney recently posted…A Collection of Mini Reviews [1]

    • Alise

      Yeah, I’ve seen the mixed reviews as well, it seems to be one you have to decide for yourself because some elements might be more frustrating to some than others. The love triangle itself didn’t bother me but the angst -_-

      Thanks :D

  5. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I actually met Adi Alsaid at BEA last year and I remember that there was a lot of buzz for his debut at that point, but sadly (or predictably) I still haven’t read anything by him. I was curious about this new one of his as soon as I found out about it and I think it sounds like a story that I could get into – when I actually get around to reading another contemporary heh. I like the sound of the characters and the surprise ending! Lovely review Alise ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Let’s Discuss…(3)

    • Alise

      Yeah there was a lot of hype surrounding Let’s Get Lost! I haven’t read that one yet, either. The characters were fun, and the ending refreshing but I might be hesitant to rec you this one because I know contemporary is a tricky genre for you.

  6. Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    This one sounds like a fun read! I love the concept of this book with the list of Nevers. The love triangle makes me hesitant, but I can’t wait to meet Julia and Dave and see their personable characters and awesome banter. Lovely review <3

    • Alise

      The Nevers list is what initially drew me to this one too! There is some drama that comes from the love triangle but I like how it was resolved, if that makes sense. Thanks! :D

    • Alise

      It had its cute moments, and definitely reminded me of my own high school experience! The ending was refreshing, especially for contemporary YA.

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