If you love queer contemporary novels and reality tv with a “John Tucker Must Die” vibe, you have to read Never Ever Getting Back Together. I ended up finishing the whole last 30% in one go because I had to see what would happen. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
When their now famous ex-boyfriend asks them to participate in a teen reality show, two eighteen year old girls—one bent on revenge, the other open to rekindling romance—get tangled up in an unexpected twist when they fall for each other instead in Never Ever Getting Back Together by nationally and internationally-bestselling and Indie Next Pick author Sophie Gonzales.
It’s been two years since Maya’s ex-boyfriend cheated on her, and she still can’t escape him: his sister married the crown prince of a minor European country and he captured hearts as her charming younger brother. If the world only knew the real Jordy, the manipulative liar who broke Maya’s heart.
Skye Kaplan was always cautious with her heart until Jordy said all the right things and earned her trust. Now his face is all over the media and Skye is still wondering why he stopped calling.
When Maya and Skye are invited to star on the reality dating show Second-Chance Romance, they’re whisked away to a beautiful mansion—along with four more of Jordy’s exes— to compete for his affections while the whole world watches. Skye wonders if she and Jordy can recapture the spark she knows they had, but Maya has other plans: exposing Jordy and getting revenge. As they navigate the competition, Skye and Maya discover that their real happily ever after is nothing they could have scripted.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
It’s becoming a little secret interest of mine to read books with reality TV shows in them. I love how meta it feels to read a fictional book about the lines between fiction and reality all played out on a TV screen. Not only that, but it’s a central theme in Never Ever Getting Back Together where we examine perception. What we think we know about someone, the lies that are told to our faces, and the secrets spread behind our backs. I instantly loved Maya – but then again I’m a fan of a woman scorned bent on revenge – I have a type!
So it physically hurt my heart to see the others, especially Skye, not believing her. To believe the lies of heart breakers, to fall into the trap of believing the media spin. Honeyed lies and truths we don’t want to face. At the same time, Skye was such a believable character for me as someone who was in a relationship where everything was twisted into unrecognizable shapes and perception was spun. We can be so committed to believing someone not even because of our faith in a person, but also our faith in ourselves. To want to believe we could never be tricked or so easily fooled.
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Never Ever Getting Back Together is about confronting uncomfortable truths. About recognizing the power of convenient lies, smooth and toxic poison we ingest. The line between reality and fiction only becomes even more blurred as Watching the relationship and friendship bloom between Skye and Maya made my heart melt. We are able to witness the insecurities, fears, and doubts play out. And at the end of the day, what happens to our priorities to our thirst for vengeance when we realize it makes a cold bedfellow. Find Never Ever Getting Back Together on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.