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457 pages, Paperback
First published March 5, 2019
"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."
"Remember me, remember us, as a time of day."
"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.
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.