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Opposite of Always

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Debut author Justin A. Reynolds delivers a hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving.

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.

449 pages, Hardcover

First published March 5, 2019

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About the author

Justin A. Reynolds

18 books1,290 followers
justin a. reynolds has always wanted to be a writer. The earliest documentation of this desire was recorded on a sheet of green, learn-how-to-write-with-a-jumbo-pencil ruled kindergarten paper, which can be found prominently displayed in his mom’s office. OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS, his debut novel, was an Indies Introduce Top Ten Debut, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2019, translated in 17 languages, and is being developed for film with Paramount Players. He hangs out in northeast Ohio with his family, and is probably somewhere dancing terribly, or as his sister likes to say "doing the sports". His second novel EARLY DEPARTURES will publish in September 2020.

It's far more likely you can reach justin via Twitter (@andthisjustin) IG (@justinwritesya) or his website. Thank you so much for your support!

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Profile Image for Justin A Reynolds.
Author 18 books1,290 followers
February 12, 2020
I heard this was good, but I know the author (we hang out in the same coffee shops!!) so I don't think you should take my review seriously. I guess just read it?

I stopped hanging out at the same coffee shops; he always beats me to the power outlet and then stays FOREVERRRRR...ARGHHHH RUDE!

okay, seriously, this guy sucks! he spilled coffee all over my notebook and barely apologized; just soaked it up with his shirt and ran out of the coffee shop hella quick—like, ummmm 🤔 this book can’t be good!!

--UPDATE #3--



okay, so i told myself i wasn't going to post here anymore, but this author...i mean, he's THE WORST (i mean i actually took the time to capitalize those two words so you KNOW i mean it)!!

first of all, i'm sorry, man, but just because you're wearing earbuds doesn't mean no one else can hear your music!?! ummm, hello, we're only a table apart, that's like four feet at most, author guy; not the entire continent you seem to believe it is. TURN YOUR MUSIC DOWN!

also, hasn't anyone ever told you that's TERRIBLE for your eardrums. i mean i know this goes without saying but i'd hate to be his audiologist.

but wait, there's more! when i tried to give him the universal signal for "hey, buddy, turn that noise down" (you know, where you twist your face into the most annoyed expression ever while simultaneously rolling your eyes and forming your hand into a down arrow and then on a non-stop loop pointing that hand-down-arrow at the floor--you know the one) but he had the nerve to smile at me and wave. ummm, no, author guy, this isn't me attempting to initiate a friendly game of table charades. TURN YOUR MUSIC DOWN! finally, after about two minutes of my gesturing i got his attention again and this time he removed his earbuds.

"hey," he said all coolly.

as if he had no idea what this was all about. can you believe that? "hey"--like he doesn't know that he's THE WORST!

and you know me, i was ready to give him a piece of my mind except here he kept looking at me with that goofy, lopsided grin and those pathetic i'm-a-sensitive-artist-who-just-wants-to-be-loved-please-love-me eyes and well, i'm not a monster, people.

"hey, cool playlist. we should trade sometime." okay, okay, i have no clue how those words came out of my mouth, but don't worry, i quickly get back on track.

author guy laughs like he's embarrassed. "actually i have pretty terrible tastes in music but it's nice of you to say. by the way, i'm not playing it too loudly, am i? i'd hate to be THAT GUY."

i shrug. "hahaha, no way. noooo waayyyy. hahaha. hey, believe me, if you were, i'd tell you hahaha."

ugh, did i mention he's THE WORST?!?! i didn’t have the heart to tell him this, but i am telling you; there’s NO WAY this book is any good!!


So, this book is out and against my better judgment, I’ve started reading it and I gotta say I can absolutely admit when I’m wrong about something...except I was NOT WRONG!! I KNEW WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING THIS BOOK WOULD BE SUPER SUCKY AND I’M HERE TO TELL YOU ONCE AGAIN MY INSTINCTS HOLD TRUE! Not that I’m taking any pleasure in reporting my accuracy, mind you. I actually WISH it had been different but I sorta feel as if I’ve gotten to know this author guy so, yeah, I’m not at all surprised. Just remember—I warned you!


Get this, so I heard that author guy was starting to tour, so I thought you know what, maybe I should give him another chance because if there’s anything I’ve taken away from his painfully crappy book is that sometimes people deserve the benefit of the doubt, you know...and I’ve decided that for 2019 I really wanna be a better person and do things like not steep my tea for too long and so adding ‘not holding onto grudges’ seemed like a perfect addition to that list, right...

Okay, so you know how sometimes you think you’ve gotten a sense for how someone is (like how this author guy is a terrible writer and super awkward human being) buuuuut then you meet them in person and you’re like OMGGGGG I WAS SOOO WRONG ABOUT YOU, YOU ARE ACTUALLY SO AMAZINGLY COOL AND SUPERRR AUTHENTIC?!?!

Yeah, that didn’t happen here. He is 100% just as I thought except maybe worse!! I mean, at one point after he’d read an except from his book (he said it was an excerpt but it felt like he read THE ENTIRE THING!! SAVE US ALL!!) he looked me right in the eyes and he said “hey, don’t I know you from the coffee shop? It’s good to see you! How are you?”

Umm, how am I? Eeewww, GROSS, author guy!! Talk about being PUSHY, right?? Like, I just came here to try and support your not-good-at-all book and because I have a thing for indie bookstores; I DIDN’T come for a personality quiz!! GEEZ!!

I think you guys can tell by now that I am NOT a judge-y person, you know, so it really makes me feel bad to say this but also I feel like I’m just the kind of person who HAS to speak my truth no matter what. So, listen, if you wanna get this book just remember I’ve tried and tried to warn you off. And honestly I wish someone had done the same for me!! THIS AUTHOR IS THE WORRRRRSSSTTTT and I mean that in the nicest possible way, because like, at the end of the day I care so much about everyone, including you and me, and even him. I feel so sorry for him because he actually has to read this awful book out loud to people in PUBLIC SPACES—he must feel absolutely horrible when he walks away from these events and not only has NO ONE HAS BOUGHT HIS BOOK but also EVERYONE IS AVOIDING MAKING EYE CONTACT WITH HIM BECAUSE WE REALLY FEEL HIS PAIN. Its so palpable!! I mean, guys, I have a heart, too, you know. Anyway, have a great weekend reading OTHER BOOKS!!


Okay, I know what you’re thinking—‘umm dang, man, didn’t you JUST give us an update yesterday and you’d be absolutely correct. I did. BUUUUT trust me, this couldn’t wait.

So, I’m not sure if you guys know this but pretty much everyone on the planet advises authors to AVOID GOODREADS LIKE THE PLAGUE (i’ve always thought that expression was odd—“avoid something like the plague”. It gives me the mental image of a person going out of their way to not make eye contact with a potential threat, like maybe a bully. Which makes sense because bullies suck and they just want attention. But also averting your eyes away from The Plague makes me chuckle, like, “aww man, The Plague is coming!! Quick, everyone act like you don’t see him and maybe he’ll just leave us alone.” okay, this was a very long digression and not at all the point of this post so my sincerest apologies.) ANYWAY.

So I’m at the notorious coffee shop (i know, i know, i said i wasn’t going back but their house roast is soooooo amazing and it’s really close to my house, and i’m super into proximity-based decisions, so.) and author guy is there, too. he’s in the back corner and he looks incredibly sad. and by sad i mean he’s full-on sobbing right into his ciabatta bread and everyone is gawking at him, possibly because they're wondering why anyone would waste a perfectly good piece of ciabatta, or maybe just because he's CRYING SOOO LOUD YOU LITERALLY CAN'T HEAR THE CHEESY ELEVATOR MUSIC PLAYING OVER THE SPEAKERS.

but apparently author-guy is completely oblivious or he just doesn’t care, that’s how sad he is. past the point of embarrassment. and i'll be honest, this sorta pulls at my heartstrings because i've been similarly so publicly sad that i ignored the snot-hammocking from my nostrils until some stranger came over to me and basically wiped my nose for me--which wow, stranger, you are pretty bold, but also thanks for the tissue.

so, author-guy is clearly devastated and at first i'm thinking about all of our previous encounters and i almost didn’t go over there BUT GUYYSS, at the end of the day this is a fellow human being (i guess i don’t actually know he's human but chances are fairly high) and i hate seeing people in pain or distress.

“hey, author guy, you okay, man?”

at first he doesn’t look up from his tear soaked bread, so i ask again.

this time his head slow rises and his entire face is saturated in salt-water (the tears) and ciabatta bits. "yeah," his quivering lips manage to get out.

"you sure? because i couldn't help but uh...you know...notice you, uh..."

"they hate my book."

"huh? who? what do you mean?"

"i don't know. people. people hate my book."

"umm, could you maybe be more specific?"

but instead of answering, he turns his laptop screen toward me.

"oh," i say, scrolling through his goodreads page. "oh, wow."

"yeah. wow."

"listen, man, i don't think you should be looking at this...i don't think authors should be on here...this is for readers only, man..."

"i know. i was just replying to a message and my curiosity got the best of me and...well..."

"c'mon, man, they're not all bad. a few of them are quite lovely actually."

"no, i know. it's not so much the ratings. to each his own, you know. it's more so this one guy."


"look at the second most popular review. that guy, he HATES me."

and of course i know EXACTLY which review he's talking about. "well, uh, i mean, i wouldn't say HATE...hate is pretty strong...maybe umm 'strong dislike' is more fitting."

"you know what the worst part is?"

"what's that?"

"apparently he comes to THIS coffee shop, too. he might even be here right now. can you imagine coming to your favorite coffee shop, where you're the most productive, only to find out someone there hate...ahem, i mean, STRONGLY DISLIKES you?"

"i mean, yeah, i could see that being, uh, tough, sure, but you have just as much right to be here as anyone so i wouldn't let...it's not like that guy is the coffee shop mayor or something...i mean who does this guy think he is..."

"he says i hog the outlets and play my music obnoxiously loud...i didn't even REALIZE I was doing that. i wish he'd just said something. i totally would've adjusted everything. I hate the idea that i was unknowingly annoying someone so much. i think that's the sucky part. he didn't even give me a chance to make amends before he just judged the crap outta me, you know."

"well, i mean, i wouldn't say he JUDGED you, per se...more like he might've made some premature conclusions about your character. a few bad assumptions. but i'm pretty sure he actually likes you more than you think."

"naahh, you really think?"

"you know what they say, man. bullies target people that they're jealous of, or that they like, so."

"well, that's pretty not cool. bullies stink."

and he's right, of course. bullies DO stink. BULLIES STINK SO BAD. "i don't know, maybe this guy was just having a bad day when he wrote this review."



"you said day, but there are like 5 updates so he put that review together over the course of several days."

"oh. yeah. good point. okay, so he was having a bad WEEK. i wouldn't put too much stock into it. i mean, it's not like he knows you personally."

"i know. you're right. i just have this problem where i wanna make everyone happy. i know it's stupid and impossible but i'm like a chronic people-pleaser and...sheesh, it's so embarrassing, i'm sorry i..."

"no, no, i get it. i've had that same problem."

"how'd you get over it?"

"honestly? i'm not."


"yeah. so i'm probably not the person you should be asking for advice. but i do understand. sorry i can't be of more help."

"hey, no, don't be sorry. you came over here and you don't even know me and you've been so incredibly awesome."

i shake my head vehemently. "no, no, i wouldn't give me too much credit. to be fair i..."

"no, no, i mean it. i REALLY appreciate it."

"listen, may i make a small suggestion?"


"maybe just stay off goodreads for a while? i mean, at least while this guy is doing these updates. i could even let you know, you know, when the coast is clear and it's safe again..."

he laughs. "yeah, i think that may be a good idea. and maybe i should find a new coffee shop for a while, too."

i shake my head. "nah, man, and let that ol' cranky guy win?! no way!!"

"you think? i really dislike confrontation."

"no, i don't think. i KNOW."

"wow, thanks, man. you're really cool. i'm sorry. i'm being so rude. my name is justin, what's yours?"

and my face drops because..."ummm, you're not gonna believe this but my name's...uh...my name is jasper..."

"jasper, cool name. why wouldn't i believe that?"

i shrug. "no reason. that's just something i like to do sometimes--start off a sentence with 'you're not gonna believe this' and then say something super mundane."

"ah. well, that's actually kinda funny. and good to know, too, haha...listen, it's sorta crowded in here today, you're more than welcome to sit here with me if you'd like. i promise i'm done crying, so."

"oh. yeah. sure. lemme just get my stuff."

so, yeah, i just wanted to let you guys know that even though i was nice to author-guy, this does not in any way change the way i feel about his book. that being said, i'm no monster. that being said, i'm gonna take a small break from these updates. i'm not sure when i'll be back. but please, please, if you take nothing else away from this whole story, let it be this:

that ciabatta bread deserved better.

someone please check my blood pressure bc my heart is pounding and NOT in that "i have glorious news" way.

y'all, i heard this dude wrote ANOTHER STUPENDOUSLY SHI**Y BOOK!! this can't be true!! please, please, PUH-LESE someone, anyone, tell me this isn't real!! i mean, the AUDACITY!! the ABSOLUTE NERVE!! i don't wanna believe this but if my far-away observations of this guy are any real indication of his character, then i guess we shouldn't be surprised.

and listen, you didn't hear it from me but word on the street is: his new book early departures (what a stupid title btw! i mean, what?!) is so dreadful it has already forcibly induced spontaneous vomiting!!

GUYS, i'm not even joking. you know i wouldn't say it if it weren't true and easily fact-checkable. so, all i'm saying is, if you wanna avoid throwing up all over yourself, you better give this supernaturally-terrible book wide berth.

i haven't read it yet--and the only reason i'm going to is so i can verify the nausea (no, i'm not brave, just tryna be strong for you guys!)--but i have definitely read this author's guy's face at the coffee shop he frequents & let me tell you, it has one permanent expression: SMUG AF!! which, dude, you wrote a SUPER MEDIOCRE debut so i don't understand how in the world u could look so self-satisfied. talk about obliviousness! let's see him keep that same energy when his next book causes a GLOBAL STOMACHACHE EPIDEMIC--i bet he won't even acknowledge the increase in stomach viruses we're gonna see. i hear the CDC is already prepping vaccines, so...

here's the silver lining tho: if THIS guy can be a published author, there's hope for all of us!!

anyway i guess stayed tuned for updates. more BIG feels coming soon!
Profile Image for Warda.
1,208 reviews19.7k followers
March 2, 2019
This story was a delight.
It’s a debut novel on love, friendship, time-travel and what you would do if you had the power to go back and alter the future in some way.
I loved the loop we were thrown in. I wasn’t sure whether it would work for me, but it worked. It was addictive and kept me on edge as the constant changes that occurred due to him wanting to change the future, added different elements and layers to the story and to the wonderful cast of characters.
And I love what that portrayed overall. Changing the future is pointless. Just focus on doing the best thing you can do.

What the selling point was for me though were the characters and the writing. I don’t know what I liked more. The writing was playful, quirky, emotive, heartfelt and hilarious and I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face throughout.

I LOVED that it had two black main characters as the leads of this story. Black love, ya’ll. (I need me some more). I instantly fell for them. The friendships were awesome and the side characters played as much of a significance as our main characters. The story felt whole.

Also, I need a Jake.

And the families in this! *insert sobbing emoji*
Especially Jack’s parents, they were amazing! Sweet, loving, supportive and understanding.

This was a debut novel. And it makes me so damn excited to see what the author will produce next.


Just received an arc for this book. 🤩
I’m a lucky little shit.

Thank you, Macmillan Books!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
May 19, 2019
ive always found time travel loops to be difficult to enjoy as a reader. they can be quite tedious, as you are experiencing the same situation over and over again. and if the writing isnt amazing, the repetitiveness gets really old, really quickly. and unfortunately, i think this story suffered a little from that.

as a debut novel, i think this kind of story is quite ambitious (for the aforementioned reasons). but i do think its strength is in its characters, specifically jack. it was very rewarding to see what he learned from each loop. he has great character growth and i found his feelings to be relatable and real.

so even though the book length and writing style dont do the story any favours, i do think this decently examines friendship, love, and how far one is willing to go to save those relationships.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,304 reviews44k followers
May 22, 2022
Four futuristic, “Back to the future” meets “Groundhog Day”( 4 months repeating version) meets “About Time”, creative, gripping, heart-felting, fast pacing, in the love of YA books stars!

Three “S” words perfectly define this book: Sarcastic, sweet and swoony!

I think the cover gives us some clues what’s going on inside by showing different version of the couple sitting on the ladders. But you may always open yourselves to the surprises.

Let’s raise our hands to clap the author and give him his statue from one of the best debut writers of
2019 from YA romance/science fiction category.

And my other awards are coming up:

The best outstanding and likable couple: Jack Ellison King, your last name is wrong because you’re “Knight in shining armor” and has everything for perfect boyfriend material. And smart, funny, creative, fighter Kate captured our hearts. I love them as individuals but I loved them more as a unique, genuine, adorable couple.

I chanted for them to win the war of life against dead! I wanted to see their HEA passionately.

Best of the best supporting characters: Jillian and Franny were not only best sidekicks, but they should be also considered as leading characters. At some parts they had so many important roles for improvement of the story and their characters couldn’t be written more impeccably and meticulously.

And let’s not forget Jack’s parents who are the coolest, enjoyable, entertaining and supportive, vivid adult couple of the story.

Best couple dialogues: I enjoyed smartass and sarcastic tones of the dialogues developed between
Jack and Kate. They made me laughed, sighed, cried. They are so natural, heart-warming, realistic.

Best loop you may be stuck in: It was like a butterfly’s wings changed the air and you saw the upcoming earthquakes broke out two continents away. As long as Jack tried to change his last four months of his life, every time something got wrong or some piece of the puzzle was always missing.

Best ending for this got in the loop and paradoxes of time travelling story: Of course it didn’t make me fully satisfied but at least it was reasonable, logical and fair.

Want to read something different, original and be a honest witness of a new writer’s brilliant mind, go and pick up this book! It is really worth your time, energy, soul!
Profile Image for chloe.
244 reviews28.5k followers
September 15, 2019
This was SO much fun! I loved the writing style, the characters and I just always love stories where the main character is stuck in a time loop.

I highly recommend listening to the audiobook for this one, the narrator was great!
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,513 reviews29.4k followers
March 24, 2019
4.5 stars.

Do you believe that there is one person out there for each of us? If so, should we do everything we can to find that person, and once we do, never let them go, no matter what it takes?

Jack King has spent most of his life pining for his best friend, Jillian. (Come on, their names are Jack and Jill. How could that not work?) She's everything he's ever wanted. But she's in love with Jack's other best friend, Franny (short for Francisco), and he can see how happy they make each other. So instead of finally working up the nerve to tell Jillian how he feels, he figures he'll live a lonely life, forever a third wheel instead.

One night at a party at the college he and Jillian will be attending in the fall, he meets Kate. She is beautiful, quirky, hysterically funny, and claims to be as awkward as he is. And suddenly, it's like, Jillian who? He falls quickly and totally for Kate, and even though she tries to resist him a little bit, he can tell she feels the same way.

"You're moving along life, doing your thing, managing your priorities and commitments—And then suddenly you meet THE ONE. And you fall completely out of the orbit you've been spinning in. And now you're doing laps around this new world. And you're hoping gravity can sustain you. But there's no way of knowing if it can until you realize it can't. Guess it's all an orbit of faith."

As the last few months of his high school days fly by, Jack's relationship with Kate grows more intense. And then one night, everything changes when she doesn't show up for an important occasion. He finds out that she's in the hospital, suffering from a genetic disease. She tries to push him away, saying she doesn't want his pity, but he wins her over. Victory, however, is short-lived, because she dies not long after, and his true love is gone.

But somehow Jack finds himself back at the moment he and Kate met. He can't explain it but he doesn't care if it doesn't make sense. All he knows is he wants to spend as much time as possible with Kate, which is, of course, hard to explain to someone he's just met. Armed with the knowledge that Kate's life may be short, Jack is determined to save her. But he quickly learns that altering the way life is supposed to flow has consequences, not just for Kate, but for his relationships with Jillian, Franny, and his parents.

Yet no matter how hard Jack tries, he keeps failing and Kate keeps dying. But even worse, he can't figure out what he's supposed to learn by having to live the same few months over and over again. And when he tries to make even more drastic changes, he winds up causing more hurt and anger in others' lives, and even putting those he loves at risk.

The Opposite of Always is a fascinating, thought-provoking, poignant book, one I enjoyed tremendously. Justin A. Reynolds has created a group of memorable characters and dropped them into the middle of an inexplicable situation, and then each time, it's like he shakes the dice a bit and a whole new scenario reveals itself, giving his characters even more to deal with. Jack and Kate are adorable, even if they're not always completely sympathetic characters.

I love YA rom-coms, and throwing a little time travel into the mix certainly took this book to a different dimension. As if the teenage years aren't confusing enough without time travel! Obviously this book requires a healthy dose of suspending your disbelief, but if you're a sucker for love stories, even tragic ones, and you like time travel, The Opposite of Always is one for you. It's a powerful reminder that sometimes the person most in need of saving is ourselves.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yrralh/.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,114 followers
July 25, 2019
3.5 ⭐️

This was cute. I wasn't entirely sure by the end

Jack and Kate meet at a party and immediately hit it off, but about 3 months into their new relationship, Kate dies and Jack finds himself transported back to when they first met. It was a really interesting concept - that he keeps reliving the same few months of his time with Kate. Jack thinks it is because he is meant to save her, but as we see the events unfold 4 different times we notice how every choice Jack makes changes everything around him and affects those he loves.

I liked all the characters - his best friends Jillian and Franny, Jack's parents and Franny's abuela. The only part I didn't like was

I don't love time travel as a plot device, but here I thought it was pretty good and done well. A bit cheesy in places but overall an enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Kezia Duah.
391 reviews345 followers
May 22, 2022
Well damn.

So Jack likes Kate. Like really, really, really likes her. Unfortunately, Kate is really sick and then she dies. Yes, sad….anyways, he goes back in time to save Kate. Well, he doesn’t go back on purpose, but the universe for some reason gives him a second chance. And a third. And a fourth. And a….you guys see where this is going right? If you are familiar with the concept of time travel in movies, tv shows, or books, then you know that if you try to change one thing in the past, something else that is usually bad is bound to occur. Is Jack able to save Kate?

This started off really cute and funny, but over halfway, I just kept cringing. It just felt really dramatic. Jack and Kate for example are the kind of instant love I detest in books so already I’m trying to understand what exactly Jack feels that makes him feel the need to try multiple times to save Kate. Then throughout the many timelines, he makes many weird, stupid, dramatic decisions that had me literally laughing. His friends also regularly come up in the timelines and I really didn’t see much significance in them. I did like his parents, who were quite heartwarming and funny. The author also manages to slip some racial issues here and there!

Overall, even though I wasn’t really blown away, I was still anticipating the outcome of Jack’s decisions. The ending was quite unbelievable though. I would have prepared something more realistic, which is weird since this is literally about a book that has a high school boy that keeps coming back to a certain time to save a girl who he falls in love with after being in love with his best friend 10 minutes ago. It’s safe to say I shouldn’t have expected anything realistic.

Profile Image for Anniek.
1,869 reviews692 followers
June 16, 2020
I have some very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, parts of this contemporary were rather cute and the idea of a Groundhog Day "retelling" is really fun. But I'm not a fan of the execution, and I'm especially not a fan of how women were portrayed in this novel and just how invasive the main character was. (Possible spoilers below.)

Let's start with the execution. The two redeeming parts of this book, to me, are both the start and the ending. Those are exactly what you'd want from a contemporary, and I loved seeing a contemporary romance with black characters, where race isn't a central theme of the story. But the middle part of the story was really dragging, and I couldn't stand the main character's self importance when it came to his self-proclaimed mission to save his girlfriend's life.

Which brings me to the girlfriend's portrayal. If I never have to read another book where a girl's illness is a plot device for a male character's coming of age, it will be too soon. Rather than being a fleshed out character, this girl, Kate, is someone the main character is instantly attracted to, and when he finds out she has sickle cell anemia, he sets it upon himself to save her life. We don't learn anything else about her. I'm not even exaggerating, we just really didn't get any other information about her personality. Oh yeah, she likes movies and she can't dance. That's about it. Please note, the main character hardly knows the girl, and his reasons to save her are entirely selfish. No one asks him to butt in, but yet he does, and he genuinely thinks he knows better than her family. He visits a doctor on her behalf and this doctor shares medical information with him, even in the scenario where he admits the girl doesn't even know him. I really can't...

On top of that, this book also uses the "girlfriend stealing" trope. You'd hope it wouldn't be necessary to still have to say this in the year of 2019, but people: girls are not "things" you can steal from someone. Period.

Overall, the women in this book just seemed to lack any agency, and this, combined with the way Kate's illness was only ever meant to be a plot device so that the male main character could save her, just really rubbed me the wrong way. I would expect this from a 90s romcom like Groundhog Day, maybe. But surely we've come further than that by now?
Profile Image for Amy Imogene Reads.
970 reviews849 followers
September 3, 2020
I enjoyed this so much. Opposite of Always was heartfelt, funny, and an honest portrayal of the ties that bind in family, friends, and the family that you make among those close to you.

Concept: ★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★
Feels: ★★★★★

Let's get real: I'm not a fan of Groundhog Day. I don't love Bill Murray (don't hate me pls), I don't like the whiplash effect of day after day on repeat, and I find the romantic comedy to be extremely strained given his love interest doesn't even know him, and has to take his word for it. Whew. Now that's out of the way, let's talk about why I loved this modern YA diverse version of Groundhog Day.

Jack King is the "king" of Almosts. This fact isn't my favorite fact about the series, but it's what the blurb highlights. He almost got with his best friend's girl, he almost succeeded at something, etc. I found this motif to be "almost" cute, but not nearly as pivotal as other aspects of Jack's character. Jack is one of the most authentic and complicated YA male narrators that I've read in quite a while. He has complicated feelings for his best friends, his relationship with his parents has its cliched moments as well as its authentic ones, and he's interested in a girl in the painfully awkward way that will throw you in your feelings.

Kate is Jack's love interest, and she's great. She's in college, she's complicated, and she's not a perfect version of a girl (Reynolds does a fantastic job of keeping her portrayal realistic as well as romantic from Jack's limited POV). She also has sickle cell disease.

Time out: Opposite of Always doesn't just deliver on a YA romance—it also delivers on educating its audience about sickle cell disease and its effect on the African American community. Here's to hoping that books like Opposite of Always open the door to other novels revolving around lesser-known illnesses/issues in diverse communities.

Jack and Kate have a beautiful months-long romance that comes to an abrupt end when Kate dies—this isn't a spoiler, it's in the blurb. At that moment, the real plot begins as Jack finds himself in a time loop repeating his relationship period over and over again.

Now, the cool part about this Groundhog Day inspired romance is that it doesn't repeat one day over and over—it repeats the same several months, and it takes its time delving into the ramifications of Jack's decisions as they change with each new cycle. I loved that we spent enough time with Jack in each of his cycles that we could see the fault lines of each new decision radiate out into his parents, his two best friends, and Kate. One of the strongest aspects of Opposite of Always is its focus on Jack's relationship with his two best friends and his family—he might be wrapped up in Kate's situation, but the rest of his life is also affected and it shows. This context and human element added another level of emotional resonance to me and really elevated it to a 5 star. It's not just this relationship happening in a bubble...because that's not reality. Looking at you, other YA romances with 2D parents.

Also, can we gape at the fact that this was Justin A. Reynolds' DEBUT? If this is how he enters the arena, I can't wait to see what he brings to the table next.


I’ll be damned if I don’t give this 5 full stars - felt way too many feelings for less. Review to come!!

Profile Image for Alana.
685 reviews1,307 followers
February 23, 2019
"Don't be afraid. Take chances. And when those don't work out, take more"

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

This book will make for an excellent movie one day, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if we hear this will be turned into a movie shortly after the book is released. With that being said, I honestly, think this will work better as a movie rather than a book. The story goes like this... Jack meets Kate at a party, they instantly hit it off and their relationship begins, Kate dies, Jack time travels back to meeting Kate for the first time over and over again with the opportunity to change something and help save her life, only every time something else in his life goes awry.... annnnnd repeat. The premise is SO GOOD, but as a book it gets a tad bit repetitive.

Before you let that deter you from picking this up let me just say if you are looking for an excellent character driven story do not pass this up. This story has such amazing characters who are almost all POC, and the two main characters Jack and Kate are both black. From the friendship, to the family dynamics, to the romance, you'll find yourself with a big ol' grin on your face because it's such a genuinely heartfelt and witty story (plus this banter deserves an A++). For the friendship and the family dynamics alone this book is so easy to read in one sitting and will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.

This book is so much more than a love story, it's about the choices we make and the consequences we have to deal with for those choices. It's about how every choice we make opens a new door and possibility at life. It's about failing and never giving up. It's about how hiding things to protect others can only end up hurting them even more. It's jut about so many different things. I loved how each time Jack got a redo with Kate we got to see how one tiny action on Jack's part meant life or death for Kate and could also potentially ruin his longtime friendship with Jillian and Franny. As far as the ending of the story goes I feel just okay about it, but I enjoyed this so much more for the life lessons this book talks about rather than the romance.

Favorite Quotes

"The thing is, you don't forfeit your whole world to prove your feelings to someone. You bring your  worlds together. You get more world, not less."

"Nothing good in life comes easy, but it's about deciding each day that you will stick with it. You choose to stay, to work heard, to love, and you keep choosing."

"You can try your hardest to change something - exhaust every possibility - and sometimes it's still not enough. But almost means were there. You did all you could. "

"It's odd - you put so much time and energy into something, and then it's over, a new thing already forming in it's place."

All in all, despite my 3.5 rating this was still an excellent book for a debut author and I can't wait to read more of the authors work in the future. If you're looking a unique love story with amazing friendships and even more amazing side characters then mark your TBR's, friends! This one hits the shelves March 5th and is sure to leave a grin on your face for weeks to come.

P.S.- I really do want this to be turned into a movie, I'd be the first person on line to see it.

Thank you Katherine Tegen books for a review copy in exchange for an honest review!

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Profile Image for Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura).
522 reviews759 followers
November 16, 2018

Thank you Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review

"Remember me, remember us, as a time of day."

Okay, I haven't read many contemporaries but oh my goodness you have no idea how much I loved this!!

Jack Ellison King is absolutely my favorite character in this entire book. More than anyone else. The sweetest most brilliant person to ever exist. He was funny, lovable, caring and just downright amazing.

Now I probably should move on before I write three whole paragraphs on why Jack King is an amazing main character. The story was absolutely intriguing. I loved every bit of it. Towards the end it felt a bit repetitive but even then this book was already on my favorites list. I haven't laughed this hard in a long while. The book was witty, fun and heartfelt.

Jack makes multiple attempts at changing events. Each attempt leaves something amiss in Jack’s life. The most important part of all this was him trying to find the balance between all the things that he holds dear. In a way this is about Jack’s love life but it also is a lot more than that. It also includes his friendship with his two best friends, Jillian and Franny, and his parents. I loved the mix of contemporary/romance/sci-fi vibes that I got.

I loved Jillian and Franny just as much as Jack and Kate. Jack’s parents were also so very supportive and understanding, and the book just left me so warm and fuzzy. I loved the representation and I loved the whole dynamic of the story. I would recommend this to everyone! Every single reader out there to pre-order a copy of this wonderful book.
Profile Image for O Williams.
48 reviews
Want to read
June 26, 2018
Do you mean to tell me that this author has written a contemporary YA romance sci-fi novel featuring black main characters AND hosting those beautiful black characters on the cover? SO MUCH YESSSS
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,404 reviews11.7k followers
September 30, 2019
This book had no chance with me.

Overwrought instalove + dying girl + wish fulfillment fantasy ending = ya tropes I've lost my interest in a very long time ago.
May 20, 2020
”The thing is, you don’t forfeit your whole world to prove your feelings to someone. You bring your worlds together. You get more world, not less”.

Opposite of Always es uno de esos libros que juega con loops infinitos de viajes en el tiempo y de revivir una y otra vez un momento específico. Aquí tenemos a Jack King, un chico que está a punto de graduarse e ir a la universidad y, un día, en una fiesta, conoce a Kate. A partir de ese momento se enamora perdidamente de ella, pero tan sólo tres meses después de que empiezan a salir, ella muere. Y no, no es spoiler, esto está en la sinopsis. El caso es que después de eso, Jack se ve transportado nuevamente a la noche en la que se conocieron y ahora cree que su misión es salvarla de una rara enfermedad.

Ahora, yo soy la primera fan de las historias con viajes en el tiempo y de todas las ramificaciones y cambios que pueden desatarse cuando modificas hasta la más pequeña de las cosas. De lo que no soy muy fan, y menos cuando no está bien ejecutado, es de las repeticiones infinitas. Y eso es lo que le pasa a Jack. Revive una y otra vez los mismos cuatro meses de su vida… y sí, cada ciclo es ligeramente diferente, pero no lo suficiente. Hubo un punto en el que el libro ya se me hacía tremendamente repetitivo y, honestamente, perdí todo el interés que tenía en la relación de Jack y Kate.

Así que, lo siento, pero creo que no disfruté para nada la historia. Todo se centraba demasiado en la obsesión de Jack por Kate y era un poco desesperante. Antes de conocerla, Jack tenía a un par de amigos geniales, Franny y Jill, pero se desdibujan muchísimo cuando el protagonista conoce a la chica. Es una pena.
Profile Image for Jessica (Odd and Bookish).
580 reviews788 followers
September 11, 2020
I received this book for free free as part of an Instagram tour (Storygram Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

This was such a fun YA book!

I absolutely loved the premise. The time loop aspect was so interesting. I liked how you saw the consequences to Jack’s actions throughout every go around.

In a way this book is kind of sad because the love interest is continually dying. But at the same time it is still full of hope.


I loved the characters. Since this book is a time loop you spend a lot of time with them and get to seem them react to different scenarios. I loved the friendship between Jack, Jillian, and Franny. They were so supportive of one another and were like a tight knit family (most of the time).

The only downside to the book is that it is a bit repetitive because of the time loop. Luckily, after a few times through, it does not rehash the same events.

Lastly, this book is Own Voices which I loved. The book even mentions the importance of it. The main character states, “I’ve always loved reading. But there aren’t a lot of books about kids like me. And I just think every kid deserves a book that looks like them” (pg 34). Amen to that!

Overall, I really enjoyed this YA debut!

Profile Image for Sade.
315 reviews224 followers
December 9, 2019

⭐⭐.5 Stars

"But i only see Kate. I only feel Kate"

It's easy to think that The Opposite of Always brings something refreshingly new to the YA scene, unfortunately it doesn't quite manage to shake the curse of most YA books - an annoying insistence on championing love at all cost.

📌Plot - So this book focuses on Jack King. We're made to understand that he's tried a couple of things and hasn't really stuck with them. At this point i'd like to point out that the character is 18 or 19 so i can't honestly say that picking a bunch of "career" moves and not following all the way through is a cause for alarm or enough reason to be labelled "an almost guy". I mean he's just graduating high school.
➡️ which leads me to the fact that i thought the blurb was slightly misleading cos from all that was said i was expecting adult characters not people barely out of puberty.
"Jackie, it's one thing to be wrapped up in this girl...but not at the expense of the people who love you, who've been here for you".

From the time Kate's character is introduced in the book, that's basically all we get from Jack. It was tiring.
Picture this:


This was basically Jack for most of the book and while i loved Kate's character, (she was ro be fair, hilarious) i honestly did not understand why Jack cared for her so much to the point that he was willing to basically say fuck all to his friends and family for a girl he just met like i dunno, 2 seconds ago. Before you could blink, he's madly in love?? I'm sorry but i wasn't convinced and the author in no way convinced me, why i was supposed to buy and root for their love except he was relying on some universal fact that people are just somehow supposed to root for love.

The mystery illness of the plot also threw me for a loop cos by the time i found out what it was, i was like, why on earth was she acting like talking about it was going to bring about the end of the world? Also how TF had Jack never heard about the illness she had?? Are there really people out there in the world...America? that haven't heard about it?

I would also like to point out that i felt the race card put in this book was disingenuous. Not because race could not be introduced into this book but it was put in in such a way that honestly, even though this book was mainly PoC characters did not feel sincere. It felt like the author was ticking some sort of checklist that the book had to have because the characters were PoC and not because it acutally mattered to the plot. The whole scene felt like an afterthought to me, and a badly thought out one at that.

So what did i love about this book?
At the end, not a whole lot, if i'm being honest.
📌 I loved the writing. Even though the plot didn't eventually work out for me, the writing was definitely something i could get behind as it wasn't all hearts and poetry but really how you'd expect teenagers to speak.
📌PoC Characters all the way. Definitely a refreshing change to read characters that aren't white.
📌 The book cover. Ok i feel like i'm grasping at straws now but the book cover was definitely one of the reasons i purchased this book in the first place so i feel it deserves a place on my list.

All in all, I wanted more from this book.
I would have loved to read more on Jillian, Franny and Jack dynamic or even as individuals cos i felt there was definitely a story there especially on Jillian's and Franny's individual lives. Unfortunately, in my opinion, these all got pushed to the back burner because love stories are more important apparently, and nothing else can co-exist with a love story of such magnitude in YA.

Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,624 followers
May 24, 2020
*4.5 Stars
Well, it's almost midnight but I did it. I finished it. Oh my gosh, you guys it was so amazing! Full review to come
Jack doesn't have any plans for love. But then Kate steps into his life. Over the span of six months, Jack & Kate fall in love. Then Kate dies. Jack is suddenly shot back in time to the day he met Kate. Every choice he makes has a different outcome. If he saves Kate, he Will be able to escape the loop. Will he be able to? Find out March 2019!!! ☺

Bonus: My favorite quotes.
"My bookshelf is sagging from too !any books. Who does this stuff belong to? Whose memories are catalogued in my head? And I feel full. And I wonder, how could I ever got anything, anyone else into all of this? Into all of me?

" And I know I'm betraying Franny all over again, revealing his deepest truths. But sometimes your wrong for the right reasons. "

"I try my hand at how a wealthy benefactor might chuckle, a cross between don't be ridiculous and I wipe my butt cheeks with fifty dollar bills just because.

*Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me a copy*
*All quotes are from and uncorrected proof and are subject to change upon publishing.*

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Profile Image for Amanda.
899 reviews252 followers
March 26, 2019
Sometimes you see a cover of a book and you know instantly that you have to read it. I definitely had that excited feeling and completed this book within a few hours as I couldn’t put it down!!

Jack King meets Kate at a party and within seconds they are laughing away as if they had known each other for years. He wants to spend every minute possible with her. Kate feels the same way but tries to resist.

Jack and Kate’s relationship flourishes but sadly Jack finds out that Kate’s life may be short and no matter what he does, she keeps dying. He finds himself back at the beginning, meeting her as a stranger at the part for the first time time again.

I loved this book. In the story they use the word Craughing meaning to cry and laugh at the same time and that’s exactly how I felt when reading this book!!

Jack and Kate are an adorable couple who you can’t help but root for. Every girl needs a Jack in their lives.

A groundhog story that is not repetitive, as every time the scenario changes slightly as Jack makes seemingly small changes that have consequences for everyone , putting their lives in danger.

A must read that blends friendship, love with time travel to make a fascinating book.

Will be looking out for Justin Reynold’s next book.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for Sara ➽ Ink Is My Sword.
569 reviews439 followers
January 11, 2020
A year later, here we go! 🌻

First 2019 release I am waiting for, but who can blame me? LOOK AT THAT CUTE COVER! And that synopsis! And it's contemporary! I NEED THIS.
Profile Image for Hannah.
139 reviews44 followers
April 14, 2019
This is possibly one of the worst books I've ever read, I had such high hopes for it but I really don't think there is anything I liked about it, I couldn't even finish it and I'm not the type to DNF a book.

Let's start with the writing style. Every second I was reading this book I felt like I was pulling a face just from how cringy it was, it was trying way too hard to be quirky and relatable. There was also points where it felt like the author did not understand how human interaction works, like does he really think that's how teenagers talk to each other? Or that doctors say 'yo get this kid outta here' when referring to a patients loved one? The writing just felt so out of touch and it made this book unbearable to read.

The characters. Where do I even begin? I didn't like any of them, not a single one, Jack is annoying and whiny and he's made out to be the standard 'good guy' but he ends up treating all of his loved ones terribly.
Kate was just a god awful person,
The side characters were boring, I had no interest in Jillian and Franny's problems whatsoever and they were just there to add extra drama, and Jack's parents were just bad, all they did was make weird sexual comments (that I guess were meant to be funny) and take Jack's friend's side over their own son's.

The plot was full of holes and it could have been so interesting but it just fell flat. First of all I thought I'd like this book because Jack is described as a guy who almost always gets something he wants and then doesn't, which I thought would be really interesting and relatable but it turns out the only things he isn't able to accomplish are meaningless stuff like getting onto sports teams. It's not that he almost gets something and then it all goes wrong for him, he just doesn't have a whole lot of talents.

Overall this could have been a really good and relatable book for young people to enjoy, but I just don't think the author's strengths lie in this genre, it really fell flat and came across as cringy and try-hard.
Profile Image for kate.
1,223 reviews949 followers
February 15, 2019
Justin A. Reynolds adds a crisp, funny, witty and heartbreaking new voice to YA with Opposite of Always. His writing style is smooth, easy to read and addictive from page one. The characters he’s created are wonderfully human, personable and flawed and I found myself warming to them instantly. (I especially appreciated finally finding characters who share my passion for cereal.)

Going into this with virtually no prior knowledge of the plot, I was pleasantly surprised throughout and was constantly kept on the edge of my seat. I didn’t think it was possible to have my heart almost break so many times but thanks to its plot and structure, I was proved very wrong.

I have a huge amount of admiration for the way Reynolds crafted this book. Set during the same six months, repeated multiple times, this book very easily could have become confusing or tedious but it couldn’t have been further from either of those things. Instead, it explored the multiple dimensions of humanity and relationships, through time travel, in a way that was accessible and captivating from start to finish.

Opposite Of Always was a wonderfully funny, heartbreaking and heart warming exploration of friendship, love, family, life, death and all the choices in between and I couldn’t recommend it more highly (and not just because I share a name with the love interest...although that is a bonus.)
Profile Image for Heba.
1,090 reviews2,128 followers
December 17, 2020
إن "جاك" يقف عاجزاً أمام موت حبيبته "كيت"...
ولكن سيمنح فرصة السفر عبر الزمن حيث يحاول في كل مرة إنقاذها من الموت..هل حقاُ يستطيع أن يفعل ؟؟..
لقد تلقى أكثر من فرصة ولكن بالنهاية ما تتيقن منه أن الموت من الأقدار التي تعجز أمامها إرادتنا ، يستحيل علينا أن نت��خل بشأنها ، هو قدراً مقدراُ لا مرد له ..لاسبيل إلا التسليم له...
لكن.. من تود إنقاذه قد يكون هو سبباً في إنقاذك ...
بالرغم من أن أبطال الرواية مراهقون وقد تتسم هذه المرحلة العمرية بالكثير من الهشاشة وتقلبات المزاج وافتقار النضج ، لكن اعتقد أن الصداقات التي تتوثق بها لا تنحل عقدتها ابداً... ، فهى الأكثر صدقاً وإخلاصاً على الإطلاق...
هنا الفرص التي تلقاها "جاك" للسفر عبر الزمن وإعادة المحاولة كل مرة لإنقاذ من يحب ، كان يصيغها سيناريو مختلف في كل مرة ...
وتتساءل كم يمكن للمرء ارتكاب المزيد من الحماقات ، إيذاء من يحب ، تلقي المزيد من الخيبات ، ولكن بنهاية المطاف هذا ما يجعلنا أكثر نضجاً ، نستكشف ذواتنا ، نثق بقدراتنا حتى وإن لم نبلغ مرادنا ، ونتشبث بهؤلاء الذين نحبهم ونقدر تواجدهم بحياتنا...
أخيراً " مهما سافرنا عبر الزمن لا نستطيع إنقاذ من نحب"...
Profile Image for Amybibliophile.
149 reviews48 followers
May 1, 2019
ARC kindly provided by Netgally in exchange for an honest review.

I love going into these kind of stories without knowing a thing about it. All I knew was I liked the quirky looking cover, I have never read anything by this author before and the title intrigued me.
And I was pleasantly surprised, this was so cute! And although Goodreads says this is 460+ pages, I read it in 3 short days.
Opposite of Always was a definite page-turner and a 'just one more chapter' kinda read... And a brilliantly written romance at that.

Its follows the story Jack King, a nerdy high school student about to graduate with his 2 best friends Franny & Jillian. Jack and Jillian spend a weekend visiting the college they are going to be starting, when Jack meets Kate at a house party.
Kate and Jack hit it off but Jack soon seems to think hes way more into her than she is him. As the relationship progresses we realize Kate's stand-offish behavior is because she has a life threatening disease... Only Jack doesn't make it to her in time.
Jack then find himself in a time-travel loop where he comes to realize there is something he needs to change over the period of those 6 months in order to break the time loop possibly save the love of his life.
It really kept my attention wanting to see how all the possibilities played out each time & Jack's parents are also the most lovable characters EVER, they are so understanding and supportive of their son and his friends, I just thought they had the ultimate loving marriage, honestly it gave me warm fuzzy feelings.

This was so enjoyable and Justin A. Reynolds successfully portrays the meaning of second chances, true friendship & real family bonds. I would definitely read any future books by this Author.

Profile Image for Anja H..
760 reviews458 followers
June 26, 2019

“Don’t be afraid. Take chances. And when those don’t work out, take more.”

Oh my gosh, I enjoyed the hell out of this!
If you liked Before I Fall, you'll definitely like this one too!

While Jack was a pretty annoying main character who kept making the same mistakes over and over again, I loved the dynamic between him and his family and friends. This is a very character driven story and I loved that!

The ending was somewhat vague in my opinion, but otherwise the writing was great. Lovely debut novel!
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,476 reviews1,893 followers
February 21, 2019
This is the blessing of being an only child : you have your parents' undivided attention.
This is the curse of being an only child : you have your parents' undivided attention.

This is not a little book (in fact this physical ARC weighed in at a chunky four hundred and forty nine pages) and yet I devoured it. This was the kind of effortless reading that, though the subject matter isn't all sunshine and roses, just.. flows. I had no idea what it was about (I mean, again, forever, I repeat : once upon a time I probably did know, but #TeamNoBlurbs) and went in blind. And was basically laughing, and enchanted, from page one.

Mom wanted to name me Miracle, but Dad (not usually the voice of reason, but willing to make an exception here) intervened -- is it your dream to have Miracle get his ass kicked every day, honey?

Reynolds' voice is.. charming, hysterical, sweet, and his hero is all that and more, too. This Groundhog Day-esque YA story, about the average guy who meets a girl, does it all right, only for things to unexpectedly end completely wrong, was so, well, unexpected. It's full of emotion (seriously I think I broke down into almost-tears like three times), and feels, and heart, with awesome parent representation (and some less than awesome rep, too), and #ownvoices content. Not to mention characters who make the right choices, and the wrong ones, and screw up, but who also get a second chance. And maybe a third, or a fourth, and yet still somehow screw up those do-overs even more (maybe because they get a do-over), but always with the best intentions.

"I like to take things slow."
"Yeah, you do. At this rate, you'll have to hope they find a way to freeze our bodies so that they can defrost you in two hundred years and you can ask her to go steady. You know, right after you do that whole fake yawn-and-stretch thing and slip your arm around her shoulders. Smooth move, by the way. Spoiler alert, she never sees it coming."

I feel like the last 30% was maybe the weakest but honestly I couldn't tell you how I would've preferred things go to get to the end. It was necessary to the story even if I didn't as love it as much as the main half. I would definitely still recommend and I think this is going to get a lot of love when it releases; or at least I hope it does! Definitely more buzz required for this one.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Profile Image for Starlah.
393 reviews1,588 followers
February 13, 2021
As far as YA contemporary romances go for me, this was good!

I really adored all of the characters in this! Our main character Jack was adorably sweet and corny. His romance with Kate was super cute. His friendship with Jillian and Franny was top tier! I absolutely love to read about great friendships. And I LOVED Jack's parents who were totally the coolest and supportive parents that were actually present throughout the book and showed - even on the side - a Black couple grow old together and never let love die.

Having great characters definitely took this story to the enjoyment level that I had for it, at the same time, I wasn't as hooked as I wanted to be. I did feel like this story dragged a little bit with having the time loop be over 4 months. It made for a lot of meandering and repeating things that we've already been through, at times with only slight changes. This book is over 450 pages and I just think that it could have benefited from being a bit shorter. Also, I never truly felt like there were any stakes in this. Like, I never once felt like this book might have had a chance to not end well. It was pretty clear from the very beginning that things would end well.

All in all, this was cute and nice but nothing that I super loved.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,836 followers
September 26, 2019
book #2 completed!! ✔ for the contemporary-a-thon under the challenge of: "read a contemporary with yellow on the cover"

oh hell this book was full of so much heart and soul. for someone so funny, justin reynolds knows how to write these really tender, sweet, loving scenes between partners, friends, and family members and oh man was it precious

so in general, i'm not a HUGE fan of the 'day on repeat' plots (i find them ridiculously repetitive) HOWEVER comma i have seen some book do it well, so i was willing to give this book a chance. and i liked how this had a twist on that, so instead of one day repeating this was around 4 months at a time.

and i think that expanse of time allowed for us to get to know jack better as a character and see how his actions genuinely impact the people around him and how he deals with the consequences of it all.

anywho my main complaint is

but i did have a fun time reading it and the friend scenes were too precious oh my heart

3.5 stars
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