Book Review

REVIEW: Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

I don’t know why I thought there would be answers to my questions at the beginning of this book at the end of it. I REALLY, REALLY DON’T KNOW WHY I TRUSTED TARRYN FISHER and Colleen Hoover, but I’m not really much of a fan of Colleen Hoover, so. (Also, I know, unpopular opinion.)

nevernever

So Never Never is a story about two 18-year olds who literally wake up in their bodies without any memory of anything in their lives in medias res (in the middle of things). The story opens with a girl, who jars into her existence in the middle of a crowded school room, with another girl tripped on the floor beside her. Our girl later on learns her name, Charlie Wynwood, from basically context clues around her.

And then she meets her supposed boyfriend at lunch, discovering that he too is suffering from a memory loss the same as hers. They both know nothing about their lives, but they do know the basics of living – like motor skills, trivial things, basically the little things that don’t really say much about a person as a person.

Most of the time in the book, Silas and Charlie were the only characters in perspective. But as they get to know their world, the readers are also introduced to the characters along the side lines that should have been important to them, but they really don’t know them either. The readers are only given enough to create a guess or actually, a skin-deep knowledge of everyone around them, but also a feel that there are a lot underneath that knowledge that will later come into major play.

The book doesn’t really give you answers as to what are they suffering from, how did they get to that point of their lives, but it did give you everything that answers your questions on the periphery of the answers. If anything, that makes the story even more attractive – the mystery that nothing ever really answers, but you do get a lot of clues you don’t know how to fit together. You know they do not answer you right now, but you also get the feeling that it’s going to bite you in the ass sooner rather than later, and that makes me really, really stoked for the next installments!

Fisher and Hoover did a really flawless work with this one. As I writer, I do not really work well in collaborative projects, because I always end up sacrificing my inputs and ideas. I just don’t know how to work well in group in the writing scene. So for me, it’s really admirable to read such a collab work between two amazing authors. It’s seamless and really engaging, and while reading it, I almost forgot that this is a work by two powerful minds. I am really humbled whenever I remember that fact.

Also, there is something to be said about combining the creative prowess of  Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher. I mean, I love, LOVE Tarryn Fisher because she writes so beautifully, and her stories are really captivating and emotionally fueled. But also is Colleen Hoover. Plus, remember Colleen Hoover is also the author of Slammed, which is a book about Slam Poetry. And in order to write about a book about Slam Poetry, of course, you’re gonna be forced to write poems, and dear lord, if that doesn’t establish Colleen Hoover’s talent with words!

There are so many lines in the book that just jump out to me because of how beautifully they were written. But I’m not going to cite any in here because I really did not have the time to copy them, or even highlight them. I just stare at these lines, sighing at the beauty of the English language. And then proceed to kill myself with the mystery of the book.

The mystery of the book! So let’s talk about that. At this point, after reading the first book, what we basically know, and this is not a spoiler, is that Silas and Charlie both lost their memory at the same time, know just same amount of trivial things, and it only happens to them (as far as the book infers). The book doesn’t allude to anything, whether the cause is biological or anything, but the characters, or at least Charlie, lean towards the supernatural. And in that count, we were given at least one proof that there is something freaky going on.

Like I’ve said, we were only given enough things to paint the whole picture. Maybe like 15%. TBH. We do know that they are in a relationship, their families are tied together – in good terms and later in bad terms, but we really do not know exactly how in both accounts, and that they are (almost) star-crossed lovers.

SPOILER

kind of

just to be safe

I am going to speculate here, but what I am reminded of by Silas and Charlie is actually the greatest tragic couple of the literary world – Romeo and Juliet. They both have this epic love (which I am going to elaborate on in a few), and the feuding families. Granted, in the book, their families were partners first, but who’s to say that they were really in good terms just because they were business partners. If anything, that makes it even more suspicious.

They were both obviously in love with each other, and this love, for them, almost feels like larger than them. As I’ve said, they were both from powerful and influential families. That in itself contributes to the feeling of self-importance to their relationship. It immediately puts them on a higher pedestal, but not level, than any other couple.

They are both teenagers, and they are both misguided. It is revealed that they really do not have the pretty trappings of love that most teenagers liked to believe they have. They both have difficult family situations on their own, and together an even messier one. They both have affairs, they cheat on one another. Basically, everyone around them don’t believe on them as a couple. They are destructive with one another, but don’t all powerful and encompassing epic love?

I feel like, in the perspective of these two teenagers in the midst of something that is definitely beyond them, everything is too real and too raw. There is also that extra layer of teenage mentality that everyone is out to get you, and I feel like it always factors into their relationship that I am kind of questioning whether if their problems before they lost their memories really hold enough water to be counted as significant in the grand scheme of things. There is an allusion of a big conspiracy in the book, but remove that, and focus on them as two people in one relationship.

(Idk. I still don’t have enough things to actually talk about them as a couple from before. But I am really, really interested in knowing more about the them before their memory loss happened! They are certainly a great Flawed Character study.)

I guess what I’m really pointing out is, will their love be enough to be about them and not just because of their circumstances. Although, of course circumstances do really factor into anyone’s relationship. But. At the very core, it should be just about them as human beings. About Silas the boy and Charlie the girl, and how they survive because they have this big, big thing inside them that just couldn’t be contained. And without the trappings of their fancy lives, they are two people in a love that has been sung and written about since the beginning of history.

I don’t know if my reading though stems from the book itself, or because I already know what I’m going into with these authors. Maybe the experience from reading them before adds bias and ~foreshadowing~ to my reading, but I’d say yeah. The previous experiences from them kind of make me wary of anything they write. It’s not a bad thing. But I cannot say for sure how the book would read for anyone who doesn’t know or haven’t read the author before, either. It certainly would be an adventure to read both of them, in one powerful book, for the first time. 😀 Bless your soul, though.

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