Sunday, July 14, 2019

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pages: 464 pages
Published: March 2019 

My niece snagged a copy of Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds at the 2019 North Texas Young Adult Book Festival. She decided to "repay" me for something by reading it this summer. So, when my online book club took recommendations for a book in the young adult genre, I eagerly nominated this book. In short, I am glad I did.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It centers around Jack King, who is a senior in high school and his love affair with Kate, who is a freshman in college. He meets her while on a visit to her college and immediately falls for her. The challenge is that Kate dies before their relationships reaches its full potential. Jack is then thrust back in time and is granted a do-over. Hoping for a different outcome, Jack returns to the same point in time where he meets Kate five times. The book details how he approaches each returned.  I think the thing I like the most about this book is that while it featured African American characters, that was not the sole focus of the story. Any other ethnic or race could have been substituted and the themes in the story would remain the same.

Sci-fi type books are not typically my favorite reads, but this one wasn't too heavy on the time travel aspect. It focused more on character and relationship development, not only between Jack and Kate but also between Jack and his parents as well as Jack and his two best friends. While the book is nearly 500 pages, it reads quickly and quite smoothly. I finished it in just a couple of days. It is appropriate for its young adult audience, although I think adults could appreciate it as well.

Recommendation I would definitely recommend this book for any reader. It has the perfect balance of many literary elements keeping the reader engaged through the end. I can't wait to discuss it with my niece!

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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