Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to have an original high school experience. They didn’t want their time to be defined by high school clichés so they came up with a list of Nevers. Things like ‘never dye your hair a colour from a rainbow’ or ‘never hook up with a teacher’. Those ones were easy to follow. ‘Never pine for someone through high school’ is one Dave has been breaking. It’s either that or break ‘never date your best friend’. When Julia suggests actually doing the things on their Nevers list, Dave goes along with it. It started out as a fun joke but as they scratch numbers off the list, they realize just how much they were missing out on.
This was a really fun book to read filled with so many clichés and quirky characters. I really enjoyed Let’s Get Lost so I was really excited for a new Adi Alsaid book and the premise sounded like a great summer read.
The book was told in three parts. Solely Dave’s POV, solely Julia’s POV, and then a combination of both of their POVs. I really enjoyed this format. I also thought it was a smart choice since Dave and Julia seemed so similar in the beginning that it could have been a little difficult to tell their POVs apart. This way, they each got to develop their voice before the POVs started to alternate. By that time, I always knew which POV I was reading.
I enjoyed both characters, Dave a little more than Julia. There were times when Julia was a little too wild for me but it worked for her character. They were both very quirky and I could see why they became best friends. The banter between them, between Julia and Dave’s brother, Julia and her dads, Dave and Gretchen, they were so much fun to read. Their plan may have been to avoid being stereotypical teenagers but they felt realistic with the problems and the growing up they had to do.
The clichés were a lot of fun. Most of them were ones I also avoided in school but that didn’t stop me from enjoying Dave and Julia experiencing them. The only one that made me uncomfortable was the ‘Never hook up with a teacher’ and the way Julia would talk about the poor guy and her actions. She may have just been playing around but those parts I couldn’t enjoy.
I went in expecting the high school rom-com feel and it was definitely present. The enjoyment I had while reading this reminded me of the same enjoyment I got while watching movies like Can’t Hardly Wait and Empire Record. Fun, quirky, maybe a little over the top at times but in a good way.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.