Book Review: Never Apart by Romily Bernard

by - 4:46:00 AM

Title: Never Apart
Author: Romily Bernard
Pages: 294
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: 03 October 2017

From Goodreads: "How many times would you die for love?
What if you had to relive the same five days over and over?
And what if at the end of it, your boyfriend is killed…
And you have to watch. Every time.
You don’t know why you’re stuck in this nightmare.
But you do know that these are the rules you now live by:
Wake Up. Run. Die. Repeat.
Now, the only way to escape this loop is to attempt something crazy. Something dangerous. Something completely unexpected. This time…you’re not going to run."
Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review! All opinions are my own.

This book. This book just showed up in my mailbox out of the blue recently. It wasn't supposed to be a big deal, just a cool book that the lovely people at Entangled Teen sent my way. It wasn't supposed to attract me with it's gorgeous cover (I have a weakness for pretty covers, sue me). It wasn't supposed to sit there on my desk and taunt me with the tagline "How many times would you die for love?" I wasn't supposed to pick it up and read the synopsis and get even more interested. I was only going to read one chapter and see what it was like. Just one chapter, I promised myself. Then one turned into two and I soon found myself flipping pages faster than I could keep track of. This wasn't supposed to destroy me like it did. This was supposed to just be another book that I could pick up eventually. But it wasn't. 

Plot:
Wake up. Run. Die. Repeat. That has become Grace's life now ever since she started Falling. She doesn't know why this is happening to her, only that she has five days until she Falls again. Five days to find her boyfriend, Ander, and try to escape their killer, Finn. Five days until everything starts all over again in a new life, a new Grace's body. But this time, she's trying something different. This time, she's not running.

I think the best way to describe this book is to say that it's not what you think. It's beautiful and heartbreaking and the ending will catch you off guard and you won't believe what you just read. I loved the idea of Grace waking up in different versions of herself, kind of like alternate realities that she had to navigate properly. This book is told in alternating timelines so you get to see how Grace got to where she's at currently with her Falls and let me tell you, it's not something you expect. It's hard to discuss the plot in full without giving anything away, but it was just really, truly a good book. The alternating timeline was kind of eh to me, but I did enjoy getting the build up to the reason behind Grace's Falls. It progressed nice and easy and definitely had moments where it would end a chapter on a mini cliffhanger and you would have to read through a full chapter of either Then or Now until you got to find out what happened. It built so much suspense and when the big reveal happened, I literally jumped out of my chair. I didn't expect this to really do much for me and I completely wrote this off at first as something that would just be kind of okay in my opinion. I am so happy to say that I was wrong. This entire book was written so well and as soul crushing as it was, I was really happy that I decided to sit down and "just read the synopsis."

Characters:
Grace was a delight to read about! She was a character I could definitely relate to because she had anxiety and was basically just a walking ball of nervousness. To say she was just an all around good character feels like I'm doing a disservice to her, but she really was. She cared so much about her family and wanted to do well for herself and she constantly struggled with doing what was best for her while trying not to hurt her parents or her twin brother. Her relationship with her twin, Jem, was so wonderful and sad and really reminded me of my relationship with my younger brother. Everything about Grace just made her so enjoyable to read about and her story was one I won't soon forget.

Ander was awful and I seriously disliked him. His drinking problem was, well, a problem, and I could not stand how he acted. He did have problems with his home life, but turning to drinking just made his character the absolute worst. Ander didn't treat Grace right at all and I could not stand them together. I don't have much else to say about him except that he was terrible and easily my least favorite character. Of course, I didn't dislike him at first, but rather progressively disliked him more and more as the story went on. He was a very broken character who clearly had issues and while he was written well, I just did not enjoy him at all.

Finn on the other hand, I really liked. Which sounds backwards as can be, I know, but he was great. He was charming and funny and a really good counterpart to Grace. I loved reading about him in the flashback portions of the book and getting to learn more about him. He had such an odd sense of humor that I really enjoyed and he was easily one of my favorite characters in this book. Again, it sounds weird, but I think people will actually really like reading about him once they get into the book!

Writing:
One thing I can always count on with books from Entangled Teen is that they will have writing that is so incredibly easy to read. It's not a bad thing when I comment on how the writing in a book was easy to read, but rather a very good thing in my opinion. It means that it wasn't messy or overly descriptive or an info-dump fest. It was just a fun, quick read that had writing that I was able to just easily dive into and enjoy. Grace had such a great "voice" and her interactions with other characters in both the past and present were so relatable. Again, the ending definitely caught me off guard and I think that the writing and being able to just become part of Grace's world added to how I felt about the ending. It hit me so much harder than I thought it would and I definitely attribute that to the writing. Romily Bernard has created a powerful and unforgettable story and I know I'll definitely be recommending this to anyone and everyone.

Never Apart will draw you in with it's beautiful cover and break your heart with its words. It's a quick read that will take you by surprise and you'll easily find yourself reading through this in one sitting because you won't want to put it down once you start. If you're looking for a unique YA contemporary/mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat and probably break your heart, then Never Apart is one you don't want to miss!


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