Title: Opposite of Always
Author: Justin A Reynolds
Release Date: March 5 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi
Goodreads Rating: 4.26 (of 207 ratings)
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When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.
But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.
Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Epic Reads at Yallfest 2018. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book.
I will admit that I was a tad apprehensive of this. I’m not the biggest fan of the Groundhog Day situation, and tbh, I was a bit scared that I had lost my touch with true contemporaries since I haven’t felt the feels, shipped a ship, or swooned any swoons in a whileeeeeee. So, when, I picked this book up, I was nervous.
What I got was magic. This book had wit, wisdom, and so so so many swoons. It’s a bit scifi, a lot contemporary, and it would break your heart only to put it back together again with sunshines and rainbows. IT WAS SO GOOD. Easily going to be one of my favorite reads of the year, and totally one of the best debuts that I’ve ever read.
Shall we list all the ways that I enjoyedddddddddddd this book??
- Jack King. Jack is our protagonist, and he was a delight. I feel a bit like my grandma saying that, but IT IS WHAT HE ISSSSSSSSSS. Omg, I love being in his brain. He is realistic, messy, understands when he messes up, THEN actually takes accountability and responsibility for his actions (excuse me as I swoon right into the floor over this). He has an amazing relationship with his parents and the friendship that he has with Jillian and Franny? GOALLSSSSSS. He is a little bit awkward (okay, a lot), a little bit charming (I’m lying again, A LOTTA BIT), and his wit is amazing. Omigosh, I just love, kk????
- Jack and Kate. Their relationshipppppppppppppp. I could legit read them go back and forth with each other for pagesssssss. And I mean, they do, and I was 200% down with it. You could feel the chemistry just rippling off the pages, and I was drowning in the oceans of feels. They brought out so much greatness with each other, and I honestly believed deeply the insta connection they had with each other.
- The friendship. Omigoshhhhhhhhhhhhh. I loved the circle. In the beginning, Jack is a little bit in love with his best friend, Jillian. The biggest issue besides not messing up with the years long friendship? Jillian is currently in a relationship with Franny, Jack’s OTHER best friend. As the story goes on, we dive deeper into the intricacies of them and their own problems. Franny and Jillian are layered, dynamic characters, and are so much more than the shady, hazy friends in the background. They shared so much loyalty and depth with each other, and I loved every second of reading about them.
- The writing. Reynolds is so so good. There was wit, there was ease, there was so much charm. Even in the hardest parts to read, it was still so upbeat and so easy breezy. I felt so excited and happy to come back to this book every day (except, ya know, the death part). He honestly thought about how realistic things should be and how people would actually react when things were messed up. This is a big book too – according to the Kindle edition, 464 pages – yet Reynolds made it so easy to sail through. I will be eagerly picking up Reynolds’s next book because there must be a next book.
- As I mentioned, I’m not a Groundhog Day fan, because after a while, it definitely becomes repetitive. However, I super enjoyed the way that Reynolds formatted it. He could skip over the stuff that we covered and repeat important things but it really worked. There was one of the parts (Part 4) that I was not a fan of (hence the 4.5 crowns), but it was just a personal preference, and I totally understand why it was needed.
- The plot continued to bring so much excitement and intrigue. Like, honestly, I was never bored. There were tiny twists and interesting things that pop up and the pacing was amazing and just good good gooodddddd.
- And like a million other little things BUT IT WAS JUST SO GOOD AND YOU NEED TO READ THIS SO MUCHHHHHHHHHHHH. I’ve reached the limit of my words. So please just read kk please and thanks.
rating: 4.5 crowns
representation: POC (black), side characters deal with chronic illness and mental health
content warnings: death
What do you think? Are you excited for this? What recent read do you want to shout about? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
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