I have gotten so, so picky with my fave shelf lately, and wow, does it feel good to have something like ALWAYS NEVER YOURS come in and absolutely shatter my expectations to dust with its fabulousness.
Disclaimer: I kinda already knew I was gonna love it before I even started reading it. Why? Because I, like an absolute genius, decided to read Wibberley and Siegemund-Broka’s sophomore novel, IF I’M BEING HONEST (which straight-up killed me) before this debut. So I was accustomed to their style that just CLICKS with me and thus knew that, by association to its sister IIBH, ALWAYS NEVER YOURS was destined for greatness and man, I was not wrong.
Like I said, it’s the best feeling ever.
There’s so much to gush about that this will no longer be a review so much as a not-subtle attempt to convince y’all to read this for yourself.
– a fiercely passionate lead, Megan, who’s a director-turned-reluctant-actress with ambition and fire while also being … rather soft
– Owen, a quiet, gentlemanly, cinnamon playwright boi
– evERYONE IS SOFT OKAY
– shakespeare appreciation
– also subtle shakespeare roasting
– grade A dialog that knows how to hit a whole-ass medley of eMOTIONS
– seriously tho if you think this is strictly light-hearted i’m here to laugh and say NOPE. there are so many layers to everything that you might find yourself laughing, crying, or laugh-crying so … heads up
– SUCH a memorable cast omg
– the romance
– tHE ROMANCE
– a character arc revolving around a theme we almost NEVER – and I know I surely haven’t – seen before
Actually wait, lemme expand on that last bullet point real quick. That character arc, specifically, revolves around a [spoilers redacted] about Megan’s mentality, which is tinted by this sort of self-pessimism that is borne of thinking less of oneself. And it’s wild because she doesn’t have low self-esteem, exactly, and yet … look, its’s complicated and messy and real, and it surprised me with how a) fresh and unique it is, and b) how relateable it all is. We don’t get to see this often. Hell, we don’t get to see this ever, and in addition to loving this book to death, I also respect the hell out of it for raising this point, too.
Wibberley and Siegemund-Broka have this thing in their writing that immediately sticks out as THEIR brand. A unique flair, if you will. Look, I’ve read a ton of books and frankly, it’s easy for styles to run together once time has its way. But honestly, these authors’ style is so special that if you were to blindfold me and read a snippet of Wibbroka’s writing aloud to me, I would INSTANTLY recognize the style to be theirs. Which is no easy feat.
All in all? I’m satisfied with everything. I want 986529 more wibbroka books, please and thank you. I’ll also be satisfied with getting to read TIME OF OUR LIVES, like, yesterday already.
TL;DR: i love this book so much i wanna fliNG MYSELF INTO THE SUN
also please enjoy these two cursed tumblr posts that i 1000000% blame this book (specifically, verona’s pizza) for getting stuck in my head. dont say i didnt warn you.
Blog Tour Stop: Top 10 Quotes from IF I’M BEING HONEST by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
I was also on Penguin’s official blog tour for IF I’M BEING HONEST!