Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Title & Author: Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Publisher: Speak (Penguin Books)
Series Details: Standalone
Page Count: 336 pages (ARC version)
“It started when I was eleven. I’d just proclaimed to Lucy Regis my undying love for Ryan Reynolds with the intention to marry him. The next day we found out he’d married Blake Lively.”
Enter Megan Harper: The class flirt and go-to director for all things thespian at Stillmont High. Megan’s not your average boy-crazed senior though. I mean, yes, she’s kind of a horndog who’s constantly jumping from one relationship to the next, but it’s not her fault. You see, Megan’s love life is pretty much cursed. Well, not cursed exactly. It’s more of a coincidence really.
“I’m not the girl in the center of the stage at the end of a love story. I’m the girl before, the girl guys date right before they find their true love. Every one of my relationships ends exactly the same.”
Resigned to the inevitability of her plagued love life, Megan chooses to focus on the humor of her time-sensitive fate rather than the heartbreak. She’d rather highlight the elation of her relations instead of dwelling on her repetitive story of woe. But one cast list changes everything. Soon she’s forced to confront her coping mechanism because she’s cast as one of the titular roles in her school’s production of Romeo & Juliet. A role she can’t back out of because her dream school requires an acting credit. A role she has to nail in order to secure a spot in SOTI’s coveted directorial program. With her college admission on the line, Megan craves a distraction she can control.
Enter Owen Okita: The soft-spoken new kid and striving playwright. Owen also happens to be the connection Megan needs to cozy up to her newest crush. Fascinated by Megan and her “curse,” Owen agrees to assist in her boyfriend quest in exchange for serving as his project’s muse.
And once that deal is struck and that scene is set this adorable contemporary truly finds its legs. Toggling between scenes in the theater wing (which truly brought me back to my high school days) to info dumps and cast parties at Verona Pizza, Megan’s fall semester is full of laughs, tears, some A+ flirtation, and a dash of discovery.
My favorite part of this Shakespeare-inspired novel was the confidence that Megan acquires throughout the story. Not only in her acting ability, but also in her role as friend, daughter, and girlfriend. She’s pushed, challenged, and forced to face her fears and realizes that everyone deserves to be center stage in their own lives.
Although it’s predictable this is a cute adaptation of the “greatest love story of all time.” It bites its thumb at some of the genre’s typical tropes, and teaches a valuable lesson that all teenagers need to learn: “Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it.” If you’re a theater geek or simply in the market for a bingeable summer read, Always Never Yours is sure to be the star of the season.
Thank you so much to Penguin Books for providing a physical copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.