Review: Never Never
by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
BookCrushin can’t be happier with our new guest reviewer Sara, who has been a reading champ! I wish I could keep up with her awesomeness! Her second review for BookCrushin tackles Never Never. This book has been kept very secretive and this review is spoiler-free however there is light discussion about the characters and circumstances that do not spoil but is more than you get in the synopsis (because we can’t fit how we feel into 3 lines for a review, but the authors can entice us with just 3). Oh and I am still freaking out that I haven’t read Never Never yet! Have you?
Publication: January 10th, 2015
Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen.
Complete strangers since this morning.
He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget.
Guest Review:[book rating=5.0/5.0]
“How odd to be made of flesh, balanced on bone, and filled with a soul you’ve never met.”
Imagine opening your eyes and remembering nothing about who you are or what you were just doing. Everyone is staring at you expectantly, but you don’t know why. To make matters worse, you’re in the middle of a high school hallway. You blink once, twice, trying to get your bearings. You can remember how to walk and how to talk, and somehow you instinctively understand that nobody else can know what is happening. What would you do?
This is how Tarryn Fisher and Colleen Hoover introduce us to the female half of the pair who are the main attraction of “Never Never.”
Thrown without mercy into a deep well of confusion and disorientation, readers and our mysterious heroine try to figure out who she is and what is happening. In a short span, we uncover some basic facts. The character’s name is Charlie Wynwood, she is 17, and she has a boyfriend named Silas. Charlie doesn’t remember Silas. She doesn’t remember knowing him, loving him, laughing with him. She forces her way through an awkward lunch with her friends and Silas, nodding along with their conversations and making sure they don’t uncover her situation. Charlie then has a class with Silas, and it becomes apparent to her that he is suffering from the same affliction. From that point on, the two of them make it their mission to find out who they are, who they were, and why they can’t remember anything.
“Never Never” is incredible and amazing, and I don’t want to risk ruining anything, so the plot summary stops here. Now, let me count the ways I love this book.
Firstly, “Never Never” is told in alternating points of view, which I normally find distracting and inauthentic, but which works so well here. Because the story is written by two authors, they bring two very real personas to Charlie and Silas. Confession time: prior to this, I’ve never read a book by either Tarryn Fisher or Colleen Hoover, but from what I’ve gleaned from the reviews, the authors lend their unique styles to the alternating points of view, and the result is hugely successful. The POV switch flows naturally and I loved reading each perspective. The language is beautiful; flowing, ebbing and weaving, sucking us in and then slapping us with shock when we get too close. I can still picture scenes in my mind, a week after having finished the novella. Locations, situations, encounters, are all fresh in my mind, varying between dangerous and mysterious to trendy and popular, dark to light, safe to scary.
Secondly, the story is unique, at least to me, because the reader is learning everything about Charlie and Silas with Charlie and Silas. I felt like I was privy to their out-of-body experiences. They are watching their lives unfold all around them as they are just trying to hold on to their sanity. Each new clue reveals another layer of clarity and confusion. It answers one question but asks two more. There are mysteries within mysteries.
What I love most about the story, though, is the pairing of Charlie and Silas. They are star-crossed lovers in the truest sense. “Never Never” is a powerful love story, a cautionary tale about what happens when we don’t value those we love the most. The dichotomy between who Silas and Charlie were and who they are when we meet them is powerful; to me, it was a reflection of who they were as children versus who they became as teenagers. The question of what they will do once they regain their identities looms large as the book comes to its conclusion. And oh, what a conclusion!
I couldn’t stop reading this brisk, smart novella. I was never bored, and in fact, I couldn’t read quickly enough to satiate my curiosity. I am counting down the days until the next installment is published.
Five out of five stars. Original, quick-witted, razor sharp, engaging.
Guest Reviewer: Sara Meadows
Sara Meadows is a busy mom who, when not hanging out with her family, loves reading, scrapbooking, watching anything to do with superheroes, and correcting other people’s grammar as politely as possible. Originally from Pennsylvania, Sara lives in Virginia with her husband, three children, and three animals. She reads all types of fiction, and couldn’t possibly choose a favorite book if her life depended upon it.