July 13, 2015

Review: Don't Ever Change

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Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom
Grade: D-
An ARC was provided by Meghann at Becoming Books in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Sometimes the only way to learn about yourself is to try to change everything about you.

Eva has always wanted to write a modern classic—one that actually appeals to her generation. The only problem is that she’s starting to realize she can’t “write what she knows” because she hasn’t really lived. So the summer before heading off to college, Eva is determined to live a life worth writing about.

But soon Eva’s story starts to go in unexpected directions, like growing apart from her best friends, working at a job she is completely unqualified for, and even falling for the last person she would have ever imagined. Like anyone, though, it will be up to Eva to figure out how she wants this particular chapter in her story to end.

Review: I'm a writer. I love to read books about writers because it's like reading the story of a kindred spirit. But when that writer is Eva Kramer, well...the book isn't quite so enjoyable.

Don't Ever Change was such a YA cliche, that I'm still not even sure if it was serious or satirical. Now don't get me wrong - certain YA tropes can work quite well...but not all together and not like this. Eva seemed like she was supposed to be unlikable. She was snobby, pretentious, and judgmental. Now, if a character can mature and grow out of those bad behaviors realistically than I'll accept them. But Eva becomes downright detestable. She takes a job as a day camp counselor as a life experience for her writing. Consequently, she abandons her campers way too often and doesn't actually seem to engage with them much. It was almost like the job was a joke to her. She treated her friends like they existed only for her convenience, calling them up when she wanted something and not really caring about their lives. Eva strung guys along and her relationships with all of them were weird. Foster, the guy she knew from high school and who got her the job at the camp, summed it up pretty well when he said she just wanted experiences to write in a book.

And then, overall, not much happened in Don't Ever Change. Eva was mostly just gathering life experiences (and ones that I think wouldn't make a great book at that) and making bad choices. Don't Ever Change is honestly a miss. (Also, as a side note, I'm pretty sure most teenagers don't text like that anymore. The ones I text don't use excessive abbreviations.)

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