Friday, July 31, 2015

[Review] Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston

Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston
Never #1
Published July 14th, 2011.
Penguin Canada
Young Adult Fantasy

Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of a slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker … but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins. Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time— literally—maybe even get a date.

This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every … never.

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My thoughts: 

This one was a really entertaining and fast read. Normally I don't really read much on time traveling because I'm not a fan of historical fiction. I just have a hard time getting into stories set in the far away past. But I had no trouble with this one, maybe because of all the magic and back-and-forth involved. 

The characters were hilarious and their banter was witty and sarcastic and just crazy good. I loved the fact that they were all nerds in their own way.  Our main character, Clare, is a normal teenager who has trouble at staying focused on a single task. She's really impulsive and that got her in a huge mess that ended up with her, in England, under house arrest, for the whole summer. Thankfully, she has her nerd best friend, Allie, who has managed to come along, so at least she won't have to be bored out of her mind by herself. 

Just when Clare expects to have a completely normal and boring summer going from museum to art gallery to museum and so on, she does something she's not supposed to do, like always. She touches some ancient object and discovers that she can time travel. She along with Allie and her suddenly super hot cousin, Milo, will try to find out why she has this abilities and what is that she's meant to do with them. 

The only problem I had with this book was that despite being a young adult novel, it read kind of like a middle grade. Not because of the writing being bad or too simple, but the concepts were a little underdeveloped and there were several times where I'd find myself rolling my eyes because of how conveniently the events took place. There were just too many coincidences for my taste and that resulted in me having a hard time suspending my disbelief in several passages. And it disappointing me that many of the protagonist actions had no real consequence whatsoever. Everything was just too good to be true.

Overall, I think this was a fun read. I enjoyed it a lot and flew through it in one sitting. I'll be checking the next books although I'm not in any particular hurry. 



About the author

LESLEY LIVINGSTON is a writer and actress living in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of WONDROUS STRANGE, winner of the CLA Young Adult Book of the Year 2010, a White Pine Honour Book, and shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Speculative Fiction. DARKLIGHT, the second book in this series was shortlisted for the Indigo Teen Read Awards. The concluding volume in the trilogy, TEMPESTUOUS, was released in January of 2011, and was a finalist for the Monica Hughes Award. These books have sold to more than ten countries to date, and WONDROUS STRANGE has been optioned for film/TV. Captivated at a young age by stories of mythology and folk lore, past civilizations, and legendary heroes, Lesley developed into a full-fledged Celtic Mythology Geek, steeped in stories of the Otherworld, Faeries and King Arthur. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Toronto specializing in Shakespeare and Arthurian literature. Lesley is an unrepentant egghead – a character-trait that somehow doesn’t interfere with a love of shoes and shiny thing

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