Title: Opposite of Always
Author: Justin A. Reynolds
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.
He almost made valedictorian.
He almost made varsity.
He almost got the girl . . .
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.
I’m so excited about this book!
I love time travel stories so I was interested in how this story would work. It’s like the movie Groundhog Day, because Jack keeps living the same period of time over and over again so that he can save his girlfriend. Even though he did travel back in time, it wasn’t a science fiction story. It’s contemporary with a diverse cast.
There was a lot of diversity and representation in this story. The main characters were black. Kate has a chronic illness called sickle cell disease. I had heard of it before, but I didn’t know the details of the disease before reading this story. It is so important to have representation of different medical conditions, as well as different ethnicities, so that a variety of readers can see themselves in stories. I was very happy to see this in this story.
This is a fun story that is heartbreaking at times. It’s hard to put down, because you will want to know how it ends! I loved this book!
What to read next:
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe
Have you read Opposite of Always? What did you think of it?