Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Book Review: Not Now, Not Ever, by Lily Anderson

*All Amazon links included are affiliate links - I receive a small percentage if you choose to purchase through these.

Getting admission to Camp Onward wasn't easy. I'd sat through a two-hour-long test while I was supposed to be at my last ACLU club meeting of the school year. I'd crafted an essay about why I was the perfect candidate for Rayevich College. I'd emptied my savings to pay for my train ticket. I'd changed all of my social media profiles to a picture of a sunset.
Elliot Gabaroche was everywhere and nowhere.

Ever Lawrence, seventeen-year-old girl and newly certified genius, was going to summer camp.

This book is technically a sequel, to The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You, but this one can be read as a standalone, in my opinion. I realized later that the characters from the first book have minor roles in the second, but I'd be willing to bet that Elliot/Ever (the heroine in this book) is not present in the first novel.

Official synopsis:
Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn't going to do this summer.

1. She isn't going to stay home in Sacramento, where she'd have to sit through her stepmother's sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn't going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn't going to the Air Force summer program on her mom's base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender's Game, Ellie's seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it's much less Luke/Yoda/"feel the force," and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn't appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she'd be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her determination, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and run away to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College—the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program, and her dream school. She’s also going to start over as Ever Lawrence: a new name for her new beginning. She’s even excited spend her summer with the other nerds and weirdos in the completion, like her socially-awkward roommate with neon-yellow hair, and a boy who seriously writes on a typewriter and is way cuter than is comfortable or acceptable.

The only problem with her excellent plan to secretly win the scholarship and a ticket to her future: her golden-child, super-genius cousin Isaiah has had the same idea, and has shown up at Rayevich smugly ready to steal her dreams and expose her fraud in the process.

This summer’s going to be great.

I love books about teens (Young Adult lit) and this one was definitely interesting, as Ever (aka Elliot) has an interesting backstory. Her mom is in the military, and wants her to enlist. Her step-mom and father want her to go to college, but I believe somewhere nearby—she lives in California. Unbeknownst to all of them, this summer she's at a camp for geniuses, with the possibility of winning a college scholarship to Rayevich College—which is in Oregon.

There's a bit of a love story mixed in, of course, but the focus is mostly on Ever, and how she matures in only a few short weeks at camp. Things get complicated when she finds out her 15-year-old cousin, Isaiah, is at camp too, and ALSO didn't tell his parents where he is, but the two of them end up finding a solution.

Overall, I liked this book, although I'd be curious to know even more about Ever's background—she hasn't seen her biological mother since she was 5, for example, and I assume that's because the mother is in the military and always busy ... but it's not explicitly said.

I'd like to read the first novel in the "series" now, too, although it may have to wait a bit—both my TBR and "e-TBR" (e-copy) piles are crazy right now!

I'd recommend this novel for anyone who likes a good YA story or for anyone who is or has family in the military.

3.5 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}

*Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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