Thursday, June 25, 2015

ARC Review: Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom

Don't Ever Change
Author: M. Beth Bloom
Publication: HarperTeen (July 7, 2015)

Description: Eva has always wanted to write a modern classic—one that actually appeals to her generation. The only problem is that she has realized she can't "write what she knows" because she hasn't yet begun to live. So before heading off to college, Eva is determined to get a life worth writing about

Soon Eva's life encounters a few unexpected plot twists. She becomes a counselor at a nearby summer camp—a job she is completely unqualified for. She starts growing apart from her best friends before they've even left for school. And most surprising of all, she begins to fall for the last guy she would have ever imagined. But no matter the roadblocks, or writer's blocks, it is all up to Eva to figure out how she wants this chapter in her story to end.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell, Don't Ever Change is a witty, snarky, and thought-provoking coming-of-age young adult novel about a teen who sets out to write better fiction and, ultimately, discovers the truth about herself.

My Thoughts: This was one of the oddest books I have ever finished. It felt like "stream-of-consciousness" but, mercifully, with punctuation. Eva thinks of herself as a writer and so views all things as if she was writing about them, complete with editing to make things more her own story. It is the summer after graduation and she is getting ready to move to Boston from L.A. to go to college. Before she goes, she gets a summer job at Camp Sunny Skies and is made the counselor for a bunch of nine-year-olds. She is recommended for her position by high school writing rival Foster.

Not a lot happens in the story except we see friendships changing as she is growing away from her high school best friends. We also see her as a snobbish, brutally opinionated character who takes pride it telling it like it is without any trace of empathy or tact. She mostly likes the path she is following and thinks of herself as being an individual and not a member of the herd. Unfortunately, since she tells the story, most of the other characters felt like paper dolls to me.

I liked some of the witty quips and puns that she and her family toss around. However, they were not enough of the story and were overpowered by Eva's emo writing. Aspiring writers might enjoy Eva's summer.

Favorite Quote:
Today there's a badly sung sing-along about friendship and letting your light shine, and then Steve introduces the new lifeguard, Marta, and calls an eight-year-old up to the front because it's his birthday. We tunelessly sing the "Happy Birthday" song and all shout "Hi, Marta!" likda a day-care center full of reformed, upbeat addicts.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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