Sweet mercy on my soul. This book… well… it was just not what I was expecting. After reading Let’s Get Lost and loving it, I was excited to read Alsaid’s next novel. I was so disappointed with this story. I was expecting a sweet story of two friends that finally realize their feelings for each other and become a couple but that is not what this story is. At least, that is not how it comes across.
Short recap: Dave and Julia are best friends and have been for a very long time. Dave has been secretly pining away (in true stalker fashion) over Julia, but she doesn’t see him that way. Together they have created a Never list, bullet points of things they will “never” do because it is too “high school cliche”. Late in their Senior year, Julia decides they should do everything on their Never list. Dave goes along with it because he does whatever she says. Everything from dying their hair a color from the rainbow to going to a HS party, they are doing “high school cliche” stuff. At a party, Dave meets Gretchen and immediately likes her. He realizes that Julia will never see him as anything other than a friend and he decides to go for it with Gretchen. They are so adorable together. That is until Julia decides she has had feelings Dave and decides to confess her feelings. Things are never the same between them again.
Let me get something out of the way first: Julia is a bitch. THERE. I said it. I feel better now. Julia’s character came across like a spoiled, too good for everyone else but everyone has to love me and do what I say bitch. I know that is harsh and mean, but I couldn’t see her in any other light. I felt nothing for her. I strongly disliked her so much I am running out of proper words to use to describe her. It felt like she was the boss of Dave and he had to do whatever she said. She was increcibly inconsiderate. It always had to be about her and what she wanted. Dave always went along with it because he was smitten with her. What really sealed the deal on her being a bitch was when she decided that she had feelings for Dave only after he started dating Gretchen. That’s right! Once Dave was no longer at her beck and call, she decided that she was in love with him. Rude much? You didn’t like him that way before, heifer, why start now?! GRRRRRRRR. She made me so mad. And she didn’t just casually go after him, she straight threw herself at him. She put him in a horrible position making him choose between her and Gretchen. That was not fair and I disliked her so much for it.
OH! How about her treatment towards her math teacher? She stalked, harassed, and broke into the guy’s house. She was so over the top inapproperiate with her actions that the guy was scared of her and then she laughed when she was confronted about it. Why were her dads not called?! Why did the school not do anything about it other than slap her on the hand?! Why were the cops not called?! Why was she not put into therapy or sent to a doctor?! Those are not proper behaviors of an 18 year old teenage girl and it was all swept under the rug. How could she think being so disrespectful of an authoritative figure was a joke? I just don’t get why no adult was more concerned about her actions.
Now Dave’s character. I actually really liked Dave. He was the one character that grew and developed as the story went along. He admitted his feelings from the beginning – he was in love with Julia but she was not in love with him so he chose to move on. BOOM. That’s what I call mature and sane. I felt horrible for him when Julia threw her temper tantrum about wanting to be with him and pretty much forced him to be with her. Gretchen didn’t deserve to be treated like trash either and that is how Julia treated her. Like what Dave had with Gretchen wasn’t that big of a deal. He was put in such a bad spot that I wanted to hug him and tell him everything would be okay. Julia? I wanted to shove her into moving traffic. No matter what, Dave was still the bigger guy and wanted to make everyone happy. That is what got me about this story.
I know this story is also supposed to be about the Never list these two created and them crossing stuff off the list, but I didn’t like how Julia said all of the stuff was “so high school cliche”. Get over it! High school stuff is almost always cliche. You don’t have to be so rude about it that you make a Never list and vow never to experience any of it. She said she never wanted to attend a high school party or go to prom? Are you serious right now? What student doesn’t want to experience a party of some sort? What girl doesn’t think about going to prom? Maybe that’s just me. Either way, I was so tired of hearing the word “cliche” over used in this story.
I didn’t 100% hate this story, there were parts I liked. I enjoyed some of the banter between Julia and Dave. I liked how easy going their conversations were in the beginning. Yes, it was a little over the top at times but it wasn’t all bad. I liked how Julia had two dads and not the stereotypical mom and dad. See, I didn’t totally hate the story. Sadly, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone because it annoyed me on so many levels. I am not sorry for reading it, I just had much higher hopes for the second book from this author.