Saturday, February 28, 2015

Never Never

Never Never (Never Never, #1)Never Never by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OH MY GOD, what a thrill ride. I started reading this book four hours ago and couldn't put it down--I seriously had to shove peanuts down my gullet when my stomach started growling because I couldn't be bothered to stop and eat a decent meal.

Never Never begins with the main characters, Charlie and Silas, both losing their memories at exactly the same time in the middle of their history class. Though they have been dating for four years, Charlie and Silas remember nothing about each other, or their own lives. Friends and family members are now complete strangers. Frightened and confused, they begin working together to unravel the mystery of who they were before their memories vanished, and why this atrocious fate has befallen them. Yet the more they learn about their former lives, the more the mystery deepens.

This novel is intense and fast-paced, full of mystery and intrigue that pulls you through the story so quickly that you don't realize you've hit the end until you're practically gasping for air. It ends with a gripping cliffhanger and a jaw dropping revelation that will make you squeal in delight and growl in outrage that you have to wait until May for the sequel.

The only thing that bothered me were the references to teenagers having sex, especially the scene where Charlie and Silas found their own "sex tape" (to be clear, there was nothing explicit. It was portrayed as a sweet moment via sound only--no visual). Sex might be an everyday part of the teenage world, but as a middle school teacher and mom to a teenaged daughter, it's always going to mess with my moral compass to see it so casually referenced. One comment made by a minor character in the book made it sound like Charlie and Silas had been having sex since the age of 13. I don't think this was the authors' intentions, but it niggled at me.

Also, Charlie's purposely off-putting personality toward Silas occasionally got on my nerves, but overall I thought the two balanced each other well (and Silas is so lovable that you can overlook Charlie's occasional less than personable attitude toward him). I found that I did immensely enjoy both characters, especially Silas's humor and Charlie's acknowledgement of her shortcomings. Charlie has the most room for growth, and I look forward to seeing more of that in the next book.

I rarely find a novel worthy of five stars--much less a novella--but based on sheer enjoyment-factor, Never Never is five stars hands-down for me. But BE FOREWARNED: No questions are answered. This whole book is tension-building only (with a hell of a cliffhanger). I've already pre-ordered the sequel and now have to figure out a way to go to sleep without being able to scratch my itch for the next installment of Charlie's and Silas's story.

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