Megan’s not an actress, and she’s used to being upstaged—both in and out of the theater. In fact, with her mom off in Texas and her dad remarried and on to baby #2 with his new wife, Megan worries that, just like her exes, her family is moving on without her.
Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright inspired by Rosaline from Shakespeare's R+J. A character who, like Megan, knows a thing or two about short-lived relationships. Megan agrees to help Owen with his play in exchange for help catching the eye of a sexy stagehand/potential new boyfriend. Yet Megan finds herself growing closer to Owen, and wonders if he could be the Romeo she never expected.
In their fresh and funny debut, Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka break down the high school drama to find there's always room for familial love, romantic love, and—most importantly—self-love.
Synopsis from Goodreads
I recently read If I'm Being Honest and immediately went on the hunt of this book. I loved the way Wibberley and Siegmund-Broka wrote the book and was excited to read something else from them. Because I read Always Never Yours second, I did know some spoilers around how Megan's story probably ended, but I was still more than happy to actually get to read it for myself...and I'm so happy I did!
Liked the Freedom Around Dating
Megan has dated a lot of the boys in her school and has zero apologies about it -- and nor should she! I love that she is completely ok with making the first move and letting a guy know that she's interested. While I'm so sad that she just accepts that she's not meant to be the "forever girl" for any of these guys, I do appreciate that she's constantly willing to try again. In today's digital age, I'm hoping we're past slut shaming anyone for casual dating; we are the generation of dating apps, so of course people are going to date more than one person. I also really liked that Owen never judges her for her romantic history -- this was a key things that made me fall in love with him.
Shakespearean Backdrop is Wonderful
As someone who is teaching Shakespeare on a regular basis, it's pretty sad that Romeo & Juliet is one of my least favourite plays because I have to read it so often! So I was thrilled at how Megan reinterprets Juliet and builds her to be a more dynamic character, instead of a passive participant of Romeo's doomed love life. And I thought Owen's investigation into Rosaline and her story is brilliant, because she is one of many abandoned or underdeveloped females in Shakespeare's plays.
Liked Where the Story Went
Because Megan's story is meant to run parallel to Rosaline's, not Juliet's, I liked that I wasn't quite sure where her story would go. I was confident she'd end up with Owen (there are way to many hints for that not to be the case), but I wasn't sure how they would get there. I really enjoyed the journey, both watching them get closer as friends and also watching as the roles of other people in Megan's life change. I would get a ache in my heart every time she was with her family because it's clear how isolated she feels, but is never able to say it out loud. It was nice getting to watch her change over the course of the book.
I really enjoyed this book! Although there are some moments of cringe when the language gets a bit too verbose to fit the narrative, I'm overall so in love with this story. Always Never Yours is going on my class book list, especially for students who have already studied R&J - I think it'll be really cool for them to draw comparisons! This is a definite recommendation for anyone who has enjoyed book from these authors before, has enjoyed a Morgan Matson book, or is a fan of YA Romance. What did you think of Always Never Yours?
FINAL RATING: 4/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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