Title: Always Never Yours
Author: Emily Wibberley, Austin Siegemund-Broka
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: May 22nd 2018
Megan Harper is the girl before. All her exes find their one true love right after dating her. It’s not a curse or anything, it’s just the way things are, and Megan refuses to waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theatre, and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible.
But her plans quickly crumble when she’s cast as none other than Juliet – yes, that Juliet – in her high school’s production. It’s a nightmare. No—a disaster. Megan’s not an actress and she’s certainly not a Juliet. Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright who agrees to help Megan catch the eye of a sexy stagehand in exchange for help writing his new script.
Between rehearsals and contending with her divided family, Megan begins to notice Owen—thoughtful, unconventional, and utterly unlike her exes, and wonders: shouldn’t a girl get to play the lead in her own love story?
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
Megan doesn’t believe true love is for her. She’s had plenty of boyfriends, she enjoys flirting and chasing and kissing, but her relationships never seem to last long before her boyfriends have left her for their one true loves. What Megan focuses on is her dreams of becoming a director, unfortunately to get into her chosen university she needs to fulfil an acting requirement. She auditions for the smallest role possible in her schools performance of Romeo and Juliet, but to her surprise she ends up as the lead, as Juliet.
From the beginning Megan is confident and determined to go after what she wants, but she doesn’t want to play Juliet. From the sounds of the blurb Always Never Yours is a cute YA contemporary, a fluffy romance story with a predictable ending, but there’s more to the story than meets the eye, just as there’s more to Megan than everyone seems to see.
Despite her reluctance Megan throws herself into the role of Juliet, even though it means acting opposite one of her ex’s who’s playing Romeo. It’s during the rehearsals for the play that she meets Owen, and in return for his help attracting Will Megan agrees to help Owen with his own play. The more time Megan spends with Owen however, the more she starts noticing him as more than a friend.
Always Never Yours focuses on Megan’s individual development as much as her growing relationships with Owen and the sexy stagehand Will. The story follows the play from the time the casting is announced, all through rehearsals to the performances. We watch as Megan tries to become Juliet when she’s always been the Rosalind in her own life, while also dealing with her crumbling family.
Megan is bright, confident and sure of herself. She’s bold when it comes to going after what she wants and unapologetic about her romantic history. I’d love to see more characters like Megan in YA books; girls who are sure of themselves and their sexuality, and don’t apologise for chasing after the boys they want. Despite the face she shows the world Megan isn’t always as confident as she seems, its hurts that her relationships never seem to last and that her boyfriends always leave her.
The relationship Megan has with her parents is a complicated one. She watched them fall apart, saw how her father replaced her mother so easily in his life, and started a new family that Megan seems to have no place in. She doesn’t feel like she belongs in her father’s new family and her conversations with her mother are always few and far between, made over the Internet rather than in person.
Owen is a brilliant character. He’s shy, but he proves he can go toe to toe with Megan balancing her brash humour with his own, and after his only friend moved away he became a slight loner, but Romeo and Juliet is his favourite play so he decided to try out. Owen is a writer and performing in Romeo and Juliet along with his conversations with Megan lead to him asking the question; what about Rosaline?
The relationship between Owen and Megan is one of my favourite part of this book. Owen seems to see the parts of Megan that no one else does. He helps her believe she deserves more than the relationships she chases after that never seem to last. Owen is a real friend to Megan, someone she can rely on and trust with her secrets because she knows he won’t judge her for the last mistakes she may have made.
Always Never Yours is a cute YA contemporary story, and while there’s more to this book than meets the eye it is still a little predictable in places. Still this is a perfect read for an afternoon when you have nothing else to do (or read) and Megan is a character you can’t help but root for.
What did you think of Always Never Yours? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.