It’s been a million years or at least a frozen period of time since a review.
College has really turned up (not turnt up; there’s a subtle difference :p) the difficulty level in some classes.
Anyway, this review is based on the ARC (Advance Reader Copy), which I won in a Goodreads giveaway. This book comes out November 21st!
Also, I have never seen/read Much Ado about Nothing so even though this is a retelling of it, I was new to it all… 😛
“I took in a breath so deep that it burned the back of my throat, killing a sob before it could start. I could taste the eucalyptus baked into my sweater” (pg 90).
Perhaps, not the best quote to start a review with, but it embodies the wonderfully quirky vibe of this book well. Also, I really love the trivia/language/sci-fi bits that are constantly present.
The premise of Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson (320 pages) is about a teen going to a genius camp with elimination games as a way to win a scholarship to her dream college. This college is important for Elliot Garboche to take control of her destiny instead of being pigeonholed into to enlisting in the army like her mother or becoming a layer like her father and step-mother desire her to be. Of course, Ever can let her overbearing family members know her true intentions to break away from the mold, so she lies and goes to the camp under the guise of Ever Lawrence. Getting into the camp was easy but staying is harder than ever for Ever!
The romance is in the background and any progress between Ever and Brandon is slow. Depending on who you are, that might be a great quality this story exhibits. For me, I don’t mind the slow start and the focus on the camp itself, but the romance isn’t aww-worthy (i.e. no fangirling moments).
Well… The first kiss scene was incredibly cheesy, but the line, “He smiled. ‘I really like you, Elliot” warmed my little young adult heart.
This book has some nice diversity considering the genius camp has contestants from every race and background. For example, the main character Ever has significant Creole ancestry.
Eh, my first impression of Elliot (better known as Ever) was a bit prickly. I thought she was a little combative against a counselor named Cornell in their first meeting. Throughout the story, lowkey Ever needed to mind her own business. What’s it to you that someone didn’t solve a Rubik’s cube? Anyway, she was mad intrusive and a bit judgemental, though the latter is a very common realistic trait she wasn’t a character that I actually liked. I think the reason that particular personality trait turned me off is because I try my hardest not to assume things about people (despite it being a knee-jerk human behavior).
However, I like that Ever was very confident about herself especially being a tall girl who did martial arts and loved sci-fi books, especially Octavia Butler.
The rest of the cast never really stood out to me. I’m sure others will connect with the quirky, competitive array of characters, but I was not personally invested in them.
“Do you ever miss things before they’re over?” (pg 174)
It’s certainly worth a read. Not Now, Not Ever is also a fun way to learn a bunch of cool trivia with a tiny bit of mystery and romance.
The ending also had a good dash of realism because sometimes YA-fiction, in general, can end either downright angsty or too fairytale happily-ever-after-ish.