Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid (YA)

 

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Dave is best friends with Julia. At the start of high-school, they make a list of things to never do in high-school; a list of clichés, like never dye your hair, never have a keg party etc. They all chime true to Dave and Julia as they remain best friends, but with one exception to the list of nevers. Never date your best friend. And Dave is in love with his best friend.
Never Always Sometimes is a clever commentary on the clichés and stereotypes that have emerged in high-school pop culture and the inevitability of finding yourself falling into some of those same stereotypes. As Dave and Julia consciously break the nevers list as a kind of social experiment, it becomes a will-they-won’t-they as the reader starts to grow exasperated with Dave’s seeming inability to tell his best friend how he feels.
There are strong supporting characters revolving around the main pairing also, like Dave’s brother and Julia’s dads. Another interesting character is an absentee one, Julia’s mother, a figure she worships, perhaps unwisely so.
To say any more would spoil a lot of the plot, but suffice to say Never Always Sometimes is a good read, with plenty of highlights, plenty of willing the main characters to act, and lots of funny dialogue, particularly Julia’s sparkling input.

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