Shouldn't a girl get to star in her own love story?
Seventeen-year-old Megan Harper is about due for her next sweeping romance. It's inevitable—each of her relationships starts with the perfect guy and ends with him falling in love . . . with someone else. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, Megan focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theater, and fulfilling her dream college's acting requirement in the smallest role possible.
So when she’s cast as Juliet (yes, that Juliet) in her high school’s production, it’s a complete nightmare. Megan’s not an actress, and she’s used to being upstaged—both in and out of the theater. In fact, with her mom off in Texas and her dad remarried and on to baby #2 with his new wife, Megan worries that, just like her exes, her family is moving on without her.
Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright inspired by Rosaline from Shakespeare's R+J. A character who, like Megan, knows a thing or two about short-lived relationships. Megan agrees to help Owen with his play in exchange for help catching the eye of a sexy stagehand/potential new boyfriend. Yet Megan finds herself growing closer to Owen, and wonders if he could be the Romeo she never expected.
In their fresh and funny debut, Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka break down the high school drama to find there's always room for familial love, romantic love, and—most importantly—self-love.
Emily Wibberley attended Princeton University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Austin Siegemund-Broka, with whom she is author of The Roughest Draft, as well as several love stories for teens.
4 1/2 stars. This is such a deeply cute book that I screamed for 300 hours. Theater romance ft. cute play tropes ft. great characters ft. being totally, utterly bingeable, but also a really nice dissection of the feeling of being totally in the background.
Megan is the forgotten supporting character in her life, the Rosalind to everyone else’s Romeo and Juliet. Instead of romance, she focuses on directing theatre. But her plans quickly crumble when she’s cast as Juliet in her high school’s production - even though she's never acted before. And maybe also meets a boy.
What I really loved about this book was the subversion of the slut trope and also, basically Megan’s entire fucking character. Megan is, essentially, the school slut. But she doesn’t fit that mold. The authors are very clear not to slutshame her or indicate she should narratively pay for having dated so many guys. Megan is a character who believes she is not worthy of a permanent relationship and has trouble being confident in her relationships continuing. But she also faces the negative beliefs of those around her, who aren’t willing to consider that perhaps she truly cares about each relationship.
The other great thing was the truly adorable romance. Owen and Megan are best friends who... maybe flirt with each other. But Megan has seen so many breakups that she's putting on a show, wanting to push everyone away. But their dynamic is so... sweet? They flirt with each other in the sweetest way possible. It helps that Owen is a genuinely really good guy, not the bad boy trope I'm not a fan of.
When you add this character strength and adorable romance with Owen together with some truly fantastic writing, this book is one of the strongest contemporary romances I’ve ever read. I know I never read romance but I'm such a slut for drama-program-focused stories and I just... fucking love everything about Megan’s character.
also, this makes the greatest slump read! I binged this whole thing in two sittings and I think my slump might have just broken. So yeah, I'd highly recommend this!
To hope one day I’ll be the one chosen and not just the girl before.
This is the kind if book you want to curl up with on a comfortable couch and never stop reading. It is really quite amazing, the blurb made the book out to be about a girl who’s relationships end and her boyfriends finding their ‘true love’, but I loved that the protagonist was not overly sorrowful about it but chooses to make peace with it and have fun. She has a great vibrant personality and I feel like she’s the perfect protagonist for this story. The story majorly focuses on the characters who are involved in the production of Romeo and Juliet, including the protagonist who is cast as Juliet against her wishes. Weird right? Who wouldn’t want to be cast as Juliet, but Megan Harper has never wanted to be in the spotlight, her passion lies in directing and she is known for her great scenes. And on top of that Romeo happens to be her ex-boyfriend who happens to be dating her best friend.
I love the dynamic of the characters in this story, I feel like this story was very character driven and the characters were very well suited to the role. Each character brought something new to the story and also brought out a different part of the other characters. For me, Megan and Owen were definitely the highlight of the story and their relationship was so so sweet that it is a marvel I’m still sane. Their personalities were just wonderful, there were so different yet so perfect together. I still can’t get over how perfect Owen is, he’s just so sweet and thoughtful it surprises me it took so long for the protagonist to realise she likes him.
Megan Harper is also known as the school flirt. She goes into relationships head first but always believing that they are bound to end. I liked that she wasn’t a heartbroken, lovesick character but I also wasn’t a fan of how she undervalued her own feelings. Which is also why I like Owen so much, he understands her better than anyone else and once he sees how she undermines herself, he constantly encourages and supports her and would not give up till she saw in herself what her saw. If you can’t already tell I absolutely love Owen. Megan’s parents are divorced and each have their own partners, and Megan lives with her father, his wife, and their child. Megan constantly feels distanced from her family as she feels like there is no longer a place for her in the family that seems to have moved past her.
Owen has been cast as Friar Lawrence and has no idea how to play his role and takes her help in learning how to play his role in exchange, he agrees to help Megan gain the attention of Will, the stagehand. Owen happens to write his own plays and provides song lyrics for the Will’s band. He is currently writing a play about Rosaline, who he believes to be a very underrated character and would like Megan’s insight on the character.
This story played out exactly as I hoped it would. The ending was quite satisfactory and I loved how the characters ended up. Overall, the book is amazing and I recommend to all contemporary lovers.
Oh, this was so perfect for me! I truly think that this writing duo is my favorite in all of contemporary! Their books are just so heartwarming, yet realistic, and also discuss important themes! Love can be so very messy, and families can be so very messy, but unconditional love is powerful enough to overcome any messiness. Also, the Shakespeare backdrop of the story was utterly amazing, too. And you all know I love hearing the voice of characters that went unheard, like Rosaline. Megan and Owen both truly had a piece of my heart, and this story was exactly what i needed tonight.
HEY. YOU. LOOK AT THIS COVER. DO YOU SEE HOW CUTE THIS COVER IS? LOOOOOOOK ATTTTTT ITTTTTT.
okay, now that we've talked about the most important thing.
as we allll know (because i cannot shut up about it), pretty much the only genre i read in the summertime is contemporary. like, don't get me wrong: i'm constantly reading contemporary. and constantly rating it really harshly. but that's a topic for another day. in the summer it's a whole new ball game: it's like the only thing i'm even CAPABLE OF READING is contemporary.
and oh my god i run out so fast. which is maybe why i've been feeling slumpy?
unfortunately this book did not break me out of that fresh fresh almost-a-reading-slump feeling we all know + love completely detest. it was pretty fun, though.
i never realize how many female protagonists in YA are literally the same character until i read one who isn't. honestlyyyyy, enough of these innocent virginal good girls with fine-to-good grades, one extracurricular activity, and a coffee shop they frequent with their perfect squads of between one and three shiny-haired female friends. WE'VE COVERED THE TOPIC.
Megan Harper, our protagonist, is basically typecast by her peers as the school slut. she's had seven (count 'em: SEVEN) boyfriends. she's not ashamed of that fact, and the book doesn't try to shame her either. which. is. rad. we love a YA girl who's not scared of her own sexuality!!
the fun thing (otherwise known in real words as the conceit) of this book is that every time Megan dates a boy, he breaks up with her for someone who ends up being the love of his liiiiiife. including one who leaves her for her best friend!
if it seems like this book is a messy dramatic mess, it's because it IS. in a mostly entertaining, sometimes boring/repetitive/get-me-out-of-here way. we're talking fake italian girlfriends, infant half sisters, infidelity to the power of a thousand, countless blowout friendship fights, and all the drama that comes with high school drama.
it's a lot. but in a usually good way.
also this book gave me a newfound appreciation for romeo & juliet??? so that's cool i guess.
bottom line: yeah sure okay! also look at that cover again. i don't think you looked hard enough the first time.
newly washed sheets. puppy cuddles. sunshine. freshly baked cookies. a hug from someone you love.
if you took all those feelings and put them into book form, it would be this book. this book was so pure and wholesome and too good for this world. and lets take a moment to appreciate that this was written by two high school sweethearts?! how precious is that?? emily and austin were able to capture a cute contemporary romance that is reminiscent of nicola yoon and jennifer niven. but what i was most impressed with was their main character, megan. she was so unapologetically herself, which was so refreshing. her endearing journey of being herself when so many people tried to tell her otherwise is something i think most young girls will be able to relate to. very well done!
also a special thank you to penguin teen for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Okay, I'm officially obsessed with Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka. THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN. I could have done with a little less cheating, but overall I really loved this and I cannot wait to read more!
Always Never Yours is co-written by fiances Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegmund-Broka. They wrote this book together seamlessly. The cover is gorgeous and I enjoyed the content just as much!
After reading the blurb, the first thing that drew me in was the setting of the theater. I was into drama through high school and I always love reading books taking place in this setting. Give me all the plays, musicals, and Shakespeare! Megan wants to be a director. It's what she loves to do. Being on the stage isn't anything she has interest in, but her college of choice requires one acting credit so she tries out for her schools play of Romeo and Juliet. She wants a small role, but to her surprise, is cast as the leading lady.
There is a lot going on in Megan's life. Her home life, with her divorced parents and her step-mom expecting baby number two, and her relationship status. Always the girl before. Megan has had many boyfriends, but none of them really stick. She's always the girl the guy gets with before he gets with his true love. She feels doomed. But she's willing to try again. Megan becomes friends with another guy in drama, Owen. Owen and Megan help each other out. Megan helps Owen with his screenplay and Owen helps Megan with her next catch.
Megan does not expect to start catching the feelings for Owen. And she's not sure what to do about it. Amongst all this, family things going on, best friend drama, Megan's life feels like a mess. At times, Owen feels like the only thing she has going right. They grow closer and closer...
Megan was by far my favorite character in this book. I loved watching her growth and seeing her finally stand up for herself. I feel like Owen really helped her come into her own. He was pretty great. I also loved her friend Anthony. Overall, I thought this book was awesome. I love a good coming of age story and this was well written, enjoyable, and had that addictive quality that made me never want to put it down. I can't wait to read more from these authors.
If the world’s a stage, like Shakespeare wrote, then I’m a supporting role. Or hidden in the wings.
After being blown away by the cuteness that was If I'm Being Honest, I thought this one would go the same way.
Unfortunately I just didn't gel well with the main character. She just frustrated me to no end and I felt like I was dragging my way through this book.
Hey, maybe it's my own fault. I did start this immediately after finishing If I'm being Honest. Maybe I was comparing them too much in my head? Or maybe it's because this was a debut for the authors.??
Por libros asi yo sigo romantizando mi vida. So fucking good.
Oficialmente estoy obsesionado con los libros de estos dos autores. Sabía que se iban a convertir en algunos de mis favoritos desde que leí I'f I'm Being Honest, pero esto libro solo lo confirma.
Always Never Yours tiene todo lo que me puede gustar en un libro de romance juvenil: un friends to lovers que es sex positive, una protagonista sarcástica y atrevida, una obra de Shakespeare, específicamente Romeo y Julieta y por último, pero no menos importante, mucho drama del bueno. Este libro es el contemporáneo que necesitan para un bloqueo o si simplemente quieren suspirar de enamoramiento.
El romance es, fácilmente, uno de mis favoritos de todo el año. La forma en la que Megan y Owen comienzan como amigos, cómo su relación se vuelve de platónica a romántica y cómo hablan entre ellos. De verdad, los diálogos que escriben estos dos autores son perfectos. Se siente una química tangible entre ellos y es simplemente un deleite leerme sus conversaciones y morirme de la risa con lo buenos que son. Supongo que el hecho de que los autores están casados tiene algo que ver con que toda la relación se sienta tan real, y eso es un plus enorme.
Me encantó el mensaje que da el libro. Las discusiones sobre la familia, el amor propio, el darte tu lugar y junto con ello darte una oportunidad de dejarte querer fue *cheff's kiss*. Megan como protagonista me pareció alguien entrañable, fuerte y madura. Disfruté demasiado verla saber lo que quiere y nunca avergonzarse sobre quien es; me identifiqué con sus inseguridades y sus miedo y me dolieron sus momentos difíciles. Pero Always Never Yours es de esos libros que te va a hacer sentir de todo un poco, y lo hace muy bien.
No le doy las 5 estrellas porque hay un detallito que ocurre en el libro que no me gustó. Nunca me gusta y es algo que genuinamente me molesta. Mi corazón me dice que lo ignore y que le de las 5 estrellas perfectas, pero si es algo que la verdad, no diría me incomoda, pero si me hace enojar al menos que se explique de una mejor forma o que haya algo detrás de eso, pero en este libro no fue el caso (super vago porque no quiero hacer spoiler).
Verdaderamente si no han leído a estos autores no se qué hacer con ustedes. Literal me la vivo hablando de ellos, tanto que estoy seguro que los tengo hartos. Pero gente, pura calidad con estos dos.
This was a humorous and cute read that I actually felt was somewhat reflective of the 'typical' (what is typical really though) teenage experience. It had the unrequited love, the awkwardness of being a teenager, the friend-to-lovers, and the drama (both in friendship and in romance).
I knew from the start that this was going to be a funny novel but I didn't expect the literal laughing out loud moments. For instance, the conversation about "sausage pizza" had me laughing to the point of being close to tears. Even though it's a simple joke, I didn't expect it. There were quite a few of those moments within the story that warranted a laugh.
There were aspects of Megan's character and personality that had me mildly irritated but again, I think it was an accurate representation of the emotions and experiences of a teenager. Heck, I'm sure if I looked back at my past teenage self, there would be aspects of my own personality that would have me more than mildly irritated.
As for Owen though....oh sweet, precious, Owen. I felt for Owen. I actually know of many 'Owens'. However, they didn't often have the resulting ending that Owen did in high school (avoiding spoilers here). But trust me, the good guys win in the end down the road. To all the guys out there: be an Owen.
Overall, this was a cute contemporary romance. I do admit it took me longer to get through than I expected but it was still an enjoyable read nonetheless. I'm looking forward to reading more from these authors both in this series along with other works in the future.
Yes, it's great that this book doesn't shy away from teen sex and relationships, and nobody is slut-shamed for flirting or having hook-ups but GOD it sure is dry. Serious lack of plot here other than Meghan is boy crazy but also wants to go to theatre school for directing and has to complete an acting credit in order to do that.
I also was really put off by the way Meghan was forced to play Juliet in order to receive her credit. There's a scene that takes place in a bed directly after sex and Meghan feels uncomfortable having her Romeo pressed up against her and kissing her earlobes in front of an audience, but her teacher is like "have to do better than that Meghan or you're not getting into college!" It is wildly inappropriate to make teens (who may be totally inexperienced or uncomfortable with sex) perform sex scenes and then hold it over their head like that. I wasn't okay with it. Felt super weird.
this book is SO SO SO cute. UGGGHHHH i loved it. i had a feeling i was going to love this so when the authors were giving this one away at yallwest I stalked the booth for an entire hour to get it and i do not regret it because THIS BOOK WAS ADORABLE OMG. characters were super realistic. dialogue and inner thoughts were realistic and funny. also megan is one of my favorite characters ever. SHE IS GREAT. THE ROMANCE Y'ALL. slow burn friendship to romance. honestly this book is filled with lots of romance tropes but done so well. this was just so charming and i really want to read more books from this cute author duo couple.
Definitely all the stars. This book had me grinning and gushing right from the beginning and I didn't want the story to end. I love the characters and how Megan's self discovery is portrayed in the book. It was beautiful and is something everyone shoul read about. The writing was beautiful and I love the Shakespearean concept and twist the story has and it made me love the book even more if that's possible. Definitely a contemporary to add to your tbr. Also did I mention that there are Harry Potter references?
Cheating is not cute! I don’t care if we’re supposed to care about Megan and Owen. Cheating IS Cheating.
Really?! People are really praising this book? Seriously? Have those people truly read the book?
1 angry star.
This book was not what I expected... Already unhauled.
For now, I just wanna say that cheating/participating in infidelity ain’t cute. Stop 🛑 romanticizing cheating.
Really?! Really?! Megan’s was supposed to be depicted as this feminist sex-positive heroine but she slut shames Owen’s girlfriend Cosima, belittling her, comparing how prettier she is than Cosima, HOOKING UP with Owen when he was already for Codina that’s just 🤢🤮. And Owen just lets everything happened and is okay to cheat on his long-distance relationship… I JUST CAN’T! This book severally belittles long-distance relationships. Owen is a coward. He did not have the balls to break up with Cosima first before starting a thing with Megan. I am not rooting for these jerks.
Megan, stop belittling Owen’s relationship with his Italian girlfriend Cosima. She is not respectful at all while kissing and almost hooking up with a guy who has a girlfriend. She clearly knows about it. Megan is not ashamed to bash a long-distance relationship. Even if it’s a long-distance relationship, that doesn’t give her the right to openly flirt with Owen and pushing him to cheat on Cosima with her. Owen is trash too by the way.
I can believe that we were supposed to root for them.
-At least the ending was cute and I appreciate the family theme in this.
-The multiple love interests were...useless. I wish Owen was single and that the story focused more on a slow-burn romance between Megan and Owen. Without their respective boyfriend(s) and girlfriend drama.
Trigger warning: Cheating, slut-shaming, mention of parental abandonment, mention of divorce, and aftereffects of divorce.
Always Never Yours was really hard to miss. Back in December 2017 it was everywhere. I was pulled in because of the synopsis and cover. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!
Megan is always the girl before. Over her high school years she's come to terms with that. After all her best friend Madeleine is dating her ex-boyfriend of six months Tyler. Regardless of the situation the two best friends are as close as ever.
Megan's dream is to go to SOTI her favourite university. Thus far Megan has met the directing requirements. The only thing she needs is an acting credit. Jody (the drama teacher) is holding auditions for Romeo and Juliet. Megan has never acted before therefore she safely assumes that she'll have a small role. Much to Megan's surprise she is going to be Juliet.
I'm so happy that I liked this book! I was a bit hesitant at first but all in all it worked out. The book is written in first person following Megan's point of view. There are chapter numbers, text messages, and at the beginning off every chapter there are quotes from Romeo and Juliet.
If I could describe this book in one word it would be 'Natural'. Always Never Yours felt so real! Everything just made sense in the way the story progressed. All the conflicts felt realistic and also in the way said conflicts were handled.
I thoroughly enjoyed the large emphasis on plays'! It wasn't just Shakespeare, Megan and her drama friends mention various plays. It was fun to read about Megan's directing experience and her skills.
I really liked Megan! She wasn't afraid to go after what she wanted. Even if it meant her love life. I was surprised and pleased by how mature Megan was! She thought through conflicts realistically and didn't look to blame everyone but herself. Her friendship with Madeleine was amazing! They supported each other through and through. It was nice that Madeleine didn't judge Megan for her relationships.
Owen was so sweet! His interactions with Megan were so good! They really saw through each other. The two start off as friends then gradually grow to be something more. It did take awhile and I enjoyed how slow-burn it was.
Megan and Owen agree to help each other. Megan will help Owen with his play, while he will help Megan to get the attention off his friend Will. They really did bring out the best in each other. Their growth due to their relationship was amazing! Most off their conversations were so funny too!
There was diversity! Owen was Japanese, Anthony black and gay, and Alyssa Spanish. Each of the characters identities were integrated so well into the story. You do have the chance to see Megan's exes. And see kind of a pattern with her relationships. Even in her new crush Will. It was interesting to see the difference between Megan's relationship with Tyler vs. Madeleine's.
All the main characters' had fantastic development! It was nice to read about Anthony's relationship woes alongside Megan's. I liked how conflict arouse with her friends in the beginning of the book. Usually it happens towards the end but not here. Their conflicts made all them stronger and their relationships with one-another improved. I felt for all of them.
Family also played a huge role. Megan's parents are divorced. With her father remarried and half-siblings. Her mother was in a relationship, but Megan assumed her mother hadn't moved on from the divorce. She truly believed that she was replaceable. As Megan's step-mother was pregnant. Megan struggles with this for a majority of the book. I was happy when Megan realized she was wrong. I enjoyed reading about her relationships with each member off her family. Especially her half sister Erin.
I did have some problems with the book. I was pretty mad at Owen for cheating on his girlfriend. I can't believe it was Megan who had to remind him off Cosima! There was so much cheating. I didn't expect that at all. And despite Megan being comfortable with herself there were still people who slut-shamed her.
I don't really know how to feel about the Alyssa situation. Part off it felt like a cop-out. Just an easy way for Megan to the opportunity to play Juliet. While I do understand that Alyssa cut it close to the checks, it just wasn't portrayed that well.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I recommend it for contemporary fans.
You know what, i don't give a shit about you megan. I don't give a shit about all your exs finding "true love" right after you, about your whole Rosaline-Juliet shit and about you not doing shit about it.
I just feel so mad and if i offended you by this crappy review then be my guest and ignore it.
I find this book quite interesting. I kind of like Megan's positive attitude like she doesn't wallow in bitterness and jealousy despite her claim about her funny effect on all her romantic relationships. She always seems like the guy's springboard to finding true and lasting love. Lol.
It's the weirdest most awkward situation to be best friends with her ex's girlfriend and presently have that ex the literal Romeo to her Juliet in an actual play but Megan is handling it just fine. It's actually kind of refreshing to read about a YA main character like her when in typical YAs, she’s usually designated the sidekick position to the main character. Her family situation is also unusual and it's also refreshing to read about her parents' respective new families being able to maintain a friendly relationship.
Oh, and it's even more interesting that a sort of dorky Owen becomes her friend and her confidante and of course something more later. Romeo and Juliet and plays in general are a huge part of the entire story making it familiar and entertaining.
This was so CUTE!! It was theatre-y, and romance-y, and sweet.
I loved the characters! Megan (please tell me that was her name!) was a really likeable protagonist, but she was also quite flawed, so she felt real.
Owen was great too! He was so sweet.
And the ROMANCE! It was soooo cute, and I shipped it so hard!
The side characters (and the side romance!!) were great too!
Plus I always love reading about theatre!
My ONE complaint was Megan's attitude towards her acting. She CLEARLY didn't want a big role, and it irritated me that she couldn't appreciate it, because do you know how badly I want a big role? Really badly. And she got THE LEAD ROLE, and she was just annoyed because she didn't want such a big role. And like, hello? I'd switch roles with you in an instant, so stop complaining girl.
And THEN, once she started to embrace her role, she had a little relationship issue or something, and she skipped out on practise. On a big, important rehearsal at that. And I'm sorry, but you do NOT do that. You miss rehearsals if you're so sick you can barely stand. You miss rehearsals if your dog died. You do NOT miss your rehearsal because you had one little relationship blip, and can't force yourself to get out of bed.
Okay, but despite the amount I just ranted about that, I adored this book! It was fun and cute, and the theatre aspects were awesome still! Plus it was SO funny!
“It started when I was eleven. I’d just proclaimed to Lucy Regis my undying love for Ryan Reynolds with the intention to marry him. The next day we found out he’d married Blake Lively.”
Enter Megan Harper: The class flirt and go-to director for all things thespian at Stillmont High. Megan’s not your average boy-crazed senior though. I mean, yes, she’s kind of a horndog who’s constantly jumping from one relationship to the next, but it’s not her fault. You see, Megan’s love life is pretty much cursed. Well, not cursed exactly. It’s more of a coincidence really.
“I’m not the girl in the center of the stage at the end of a love story. I’m the girl before, the girl guys date right before they find their true love. Every one of my relationships ends exactly the same.”
Resigned to the inevitability of her plagued love life, Megan chooses to focus on the humor of her time-sensitive fate rather than the heartbreak. She'd rather highlight the elation of her relations instead of dwelling on her repetitive story of woe. But one cast list changes everything. Soon she’s forced to confront her coping mechanism because she’s cast as one of the titular roles in her school’s production of Romeo & Juliet. A role she can’t back out of because her dream school requires an acting credit. A role she has to nail in order to secure a spot in SOTI's coveted directorial program. With her college admission on the line, Megan craves a distraction she can control.
Enter Owen Okita: The soft-spoken new kid and striving playwright. Owen also happens to be the connection Megan needs to cozy up to her newest crush. Fascinated by Megan and her “curse,” Owen agrees to assist in her boyfriend quest in exchange for serving as his project's muse.
And once that deal is struck and that scene is set this adorable contemporary truly finds its legs. Toggling between scenes in the theater wing (which truly brought me back to my high school days) to info dumps and cast parties at Verona Pizza, Megan's fall semester is full of laughs, tears, some A+ flirtation, and a dash of discovery.
My favorite part of this Shakespeare-inspired novel was the confidence that Megan acquires throughout the story. Not only in her acting ability, but also in her role as friend, daughter, and girlfriend. She's pushed, challenged, and forced to face her fears and realizes that everyone deserves to be center stage in their own lives.
Although it's predictable this is a cute adaptation of the "greatest love story of all time." It bites its thumb at some of the genre's typical tropes, and teaches a valuable lesson that all teenagers need to learn: “Don't waste your love on somebody, who doesn't value it.” If you're a theater geek or simply in the market for a bingeable summer read, Always Never Yours is sure to be the star of the season.
Think about something extremely soft, add some extra softness to it, and you get this book.
“You’re irreplaceable. To your family, to your friends—to me.”
I loved Megan. I think it’s important to acknowledge that sometimes, yes, she does things without thinking, but it doesn’t make her unloveable. I loved her because she’s so unique, she has a mind of her own, she’s extremely different from some of the characters I’m used to read about. I really appreciated that. But I also liked her storyline: the girl before, the one guys leave to find their one true love, always the same thing happening again and again. She’s obviously a Rosaline, so why does she have to play Juliet?
Megan gave up on herself in a way. She’s so sure that the boy she’s with will her that she sets herself up for failure. Her boyfriend left her for her very own best friend? It’s okay, she’s his perfect girl, so that makes it okay…… but does it, really? Even with her family. Her dad remarried after divorcing her mom, and now his new wife is expecting their second children, where does that left her? She kinda feels like, no matter what, everywhere she goes, no matter who she’s with, she’s replaceable. And that’s the end of it. But it’s not.
To win over a guy she has a crush on, she asks this shy and quiet guy, Owen Okita, to help her, and if he does, she’ll help him with the play he’s writing all about Rosaline. And that, my friend, is the real beginning of this story. It’s obvious who she’s going to finish with by the end of the book, but what is interesting is the journey, especially because Megan is so sure that she’s not endgame.
Owen and Megan start as friends, they have this cute friendship, with a mix of jokingly flirting with one another — or more like Megan trying to make Owen blush — and this deep trust and understanding. Owen never ever judges Megan for all the boyfriends she’s had, and why would he? First, it’s none of his business, and two, he cannot seem to like any of them for dumping Megan. In one word, they’re assholes. I loved reading about their respective feelings developing, seeing their friendship growing and turning into something more. That was simply adorable. I liked having this very confident girl falling for the quiet and sweet guy. Big uwu mood.
I think this book deals wonderfully with slut shame. I was expecting this book to deal with it, it would have been a shock if it hadn’t. But it did, and I’m glad of it. Megan is written off as not caring about her relationships, as always having a new boyfriend, as being this crazy-about-boys girl. And people assume it’s their right to hurt her, because why wouldn’t they, it’s not like it would hurt her if her boyfriend cheated on her, she’s used to that…. but why should this be okay? Why should her having had 10 boyfriends in High School mean something bad about her? There are several discussions throughout the book about this subject, and I really think it’s important for books sets in High School or College to talk about slut shaming and condemning it. This book did a beautiful job.
I’m really excited to see what this author-duo will come up with in the future, I could see them becoming auto-buy authors.
P.S.: one of the authors said on his insta story that my review was one of his favourites ever and I cried. Bye.
I definitely appreciated the sex-positivity and little to no slut shaming, though there was plenty of comments regarding amount/frequency/duration of relationships, and there was some other good stuff, too, but honestly I'd give this one a miss and skip right over to IF I'M BEING HONEST.
I think the main reason I enjoyed this book a lot is that it's not defined by its genre. Don't get me wrong, it is a very cute and wholesome YA romance; but I've also got from it a commentary on slut-shaming and other horrible tropes surrounding young girls.
Our main heroine Megan has been in quite a few relationships and she's also known as the "flirty one" at her school. And it was interesting to see how people actually treated her and made assumptions about her feelings/personality just based on these facts. Like, we all know that the exact same situation with a guy would be so different and it's messed up. So while I'm a complete opposite of Megan, all this stuff really made me feel for her.
I also liked the theater aspect of the novel, I thought the authors did a great job at presenting the atmosphere of school plays and Shakespeare's quotes before every chapter helped a lot. As for the love interest, he was fine, I just didn't manage to warm up to him but he's far better than a lot of guys in YA.
Overall, a fun, cute and exciting story which actually had more depth than I had anticipated.
Woah, a YA contemporary that I'm actually interested enough to write a "review" before its release? What are you, book? A magical unicorn?
But honestly, this novel sounds amazing and the cover is hella cute. I'm excited.