Author: Adi Alsaid
Release Date: August 4th, 2015
Rating: 4 Stars
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Summary: Dave and Julie are best friends. On the brink of high school, they made a list of cliches they would never do. Now in their senior year, Dave and Julia decide to try every Never on the list. As they break out of their comfort zone and have many adventures-both together and apart-they learn a lot more about who they are and what their true feelings are for one another.
*SPOILERS* Nothing big but if you like being completely surprised don’t read ahead.
This is the first book I read by Adi and I have to say that I am definitely a fan of his. I was so excited to read this one! It looked like it would be a cute story and it definitely lived up to it. This is a book I got because I signed up to participate in the ARC hop that Adi set up and I’m really excited about being apart of this idea! I definitely recommend picking up this book when it comes out in August.
The friendship between Dave and Julia was the kind of relationship I love seeing in books. It was easy and funny and they had each others back through anything. Dave was simply a good guy. He wasn’t angry that Julia was always unavailable, he just went with it and he was okay with just being her friend.. Well maybe not okay but he dealt with it. This is told in both Julia and Dave’s viewpoints and was really well done. Sometimes alternating viewpoints can be confusing and hard to keep up with but I think Adi really did a great job of making their voices their own. I liked that Dave and Julia were so different. Julia was a bit of a loner and wasn’t someone who wanted to be apart of the in-crowd, while Dave was easy going and got along with everyone. Reading this I couldn’t help but think about when I went to High School and how I was more of a Dave, and also wishing that I was more like Julia instead. The one thing that I don’t like about Dave is the big mistake he makes (I really don’t want to say to much) but he was kind of a jerk at times. He would be with Gretchen and be thinking about Julia and while he was with Julia he was thinking about Gretchen. He was so blinded by his feelings for Julia that he couldn’t move on and he couldn’t see something good in front of him.
I LOVED Julia. I thought she was such an interesting character. Like her weird quirk about not wearing shoes (which I totally love because I absolutely hate shoes and thank god I live in California cause I can get away with wearing sandals during winter). A lot of times I see the same tropes with the girls and I get so sick of seeing the same girls over and over that Julia was a great character to read. And Julia is far from normal. She’s weird and has a strong sense of self which I think is sorely lacking in YA books. She is such a cute character that you can’t help but loving her. Honestly I’m sure there are people who have read this book and don’t like Julia or have problems with her, but I can’t point out anything I truly disliked about her. I mean lord knows I have been in her shoes, or bare feet to be exact. So it’s easy to sympathize with her and to feel her pain of all that she’s going through. I loved her dads. They were so cute and so supportive of Julia and I loved them.
I was sad seeing Julia and Dave not work together. I thought they would be cute but even from the very beginning you could tell something was off. It just wasn’t working and I think what made me upset was the fact that Dave thought he was in love with her and then he meets Gretchen and he just ends up not having feelings for Julia… I’m sure it happens but I just felt very weird about the way it went down. I felt so sad for Julia. She was just going about her life and all of a sudden realizes she has feelings for her best friend (lord knows I’ve been there) and her world is changed. The ending was really well done. Normally books like this don’t really hold my attention because it doesn’t necessarily have a nice neat happy ending (I know real life isn’t like that). I still love when everything is wrapped up nice and neat, but this ending was good and it was hopeful. Julia didn’t get the guy and she didn’t get the perfect ending but she’s strong and the ending just shows that she is going to be okay and that she is going to make it despite this heartbreak.
Overall I think Adi writes some really amazingly beautiful characters that you just can’t help but love and support. His story is so accurate of High School and the drama and the fun that goes with it that it’s not hard to imagine yourself completely immersed in this story. This will definitely be a book I buy when it comes out and I highly suggest that you add it to your collection. It’s beautifully written and funny and smart. I can’t wait to see what else Adi has in store for us!