Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always by Elissa Janine Hoole

41QE0S+hGlLHow did I get the book? Netgalley, thank you @ Flux

Genre: Contemporary

Synopsis: Cassandra fears rocking the family boat. Instead, she sinks it. Assigned by her English teacher to write a poem that reveals her true self, Cassandra Randall is stuck. Her family’s religion is so overbearing, she can NEVER write about who she truly is. So Cass does what any self-respecting high school girl would do: she secretly begins writing a tarot-inspired advice blog. When Drew Godfrey, an awkward outcast with unwashed hair, writes to her, the situation spirals into what the school calls “a cyberbullying crisis” and what the church calls “sorcery.” Cass wants to be the kind of person who sticks up for the persecuted, who protects the victims the way she tries to protect her brother from the homophobes in her church. But what if she’s just another bully? What will it take for her to step up and tell the truth?

200words (or less) review: When I started reading Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always I thought I was onto an absolute winner of a book.
I completely understood and sympathised with Cassandra. Most of my family is religious and the dilemma of being on the other side of their believe is something I’m familiar with.

Yet despite my initial reaction I didn’t love Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always. As the story progressed I felt it was trying to be too many things at once. Cassandra’s own rebelling and worries would have been plenty to keep me interested but everything just kept piling on. The bullying is mentioned in the blurb but the actual events don’t begin until the last third of the book. That’s a lot of ‘other’ and a slow built up to get to a big part of this story.

Cassandra isn’t the easiest of protagonists to like, however for me she was believable. I really understood her especially in regards to her religious family. She’s self-centered and doesn’t try to see beyond her own views but that’s exactly why I found her so convincing.

Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always isn’t perfect but definitely worth having a look at.

Recommend it?

Yes

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