ARC Review: Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson
Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson is the follow up to Lily’s debut, The Only Thing Worse than Me is You. I loved that book so I was eager to read her next release! Thank you very much to the Wednesday Books and Netgalley for the advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review. My opinions were in no way influenced and you can read my review below!
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication: November 21st, 2017; Wednesday Books
The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.
Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn’t going to do this summer.
1. She isn’t going to stay home in Sacramento, where she’d have to sit through her stepmother’s sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn’t going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn’t going to the Air Force summer program on her mother’s base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender’s Game, Ellie’s seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it’s much less Luke/Yoda/”feel the force,” and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn’t appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she’d be able to defeat afterwards.
What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she’s going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?
This summer’s going to be great.
Lily Anderson is a goddess. Or a genius. Or both.
Last year’s The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You was at the top of my list for best reads, and I didn’t think she could pull off another fantastic nerd story. Absolutely delighted to tell you that I was wrong.
I have to be honest, there aren’t enough good/great geeky girl stories. I mean, the trend is definitely picking up, but not all are brilliant. That’s what makes Lily’s books so special. From the beginning of both, I was hooked. She has a way with words—and I can’t help but get sucked into the world she’s created.
Teen geniuses. Nerds. Geeks. Interwoven are POC, diverse sexualities…it really can’t get much better!
Now, I was worried about this book. I loved the cast of TOTWTMIY so much. I didn’t expect to like this crew as much. And to be honest, I didn’t. But they’re lovable in their own ways. Plus, hello cameos! That was actually one of the absolute best things about Not Now, Not Ever. Well, besides Elliot/Ever herself. Sort of a jock, but also a nerd, she’s just a really kick ass chick. Her group of cam friends all have their own quirks and I found myself LOL constantly while reading.
At the heart of this, though, is a basis of family. And not wanting to disappoint, but also wanting to live your life the way that would make you happy. The entire time Ever was at the camp, I found myself wondering how it would end. Would she win the scholarship? Would she stay with Brandon after it was all over? But, thanks to a “revenge” act (or maybe spite), things get turned upside-down quickly. As it all unravels, I just wanted to hug Ever/Elliot. And tell her it IS okay to disappoint others if it means being true to yourself.
With a brilliantly written and brainy cast, Not Now, Not Ever is a wonderful follow-up to Anderson’s debut. I hope she continues writing characters connected to this world, because I’d love the chance to see everyone (again!) a few years down the road.