Hello! It’s been a long time since I posted a book review, and I honestly really miss writing them. I’m especially excited to share my thoughts on this book; Sophie Gonzales is one of my favorite authors, and I was so excited to get an advance copy of her latest book. This review is coming a few weeks late, and the book’s been out for about a month now, but hopefully this review will convince you to check out Never Ever Getting Back Together!
Never Ever Getting Back Together
Author: Sophie Gonzales
Publisher: Wednesday Books / St Martin’s Press
Release Date: November 29th, 2022
Genre: YA contemporary romance
*This review is spoiler free.*
When their now famous ex-boyfriend asks them to participate in a teen reality show, two eighteen year old girls—one bent on revenge, the other open to rekindling romance—get tangled up in an unexpected twist when they fall for each other instead in Never Ever Getting Back Together by nationally and internationally-bestselling and Indie Next Pick author Sophie Gonzales.
It’s been two years since Maya’s ex-boyfriend cheated on her, and she still can’t escape him: his sister married the crown prince of a minor European country and he captured hearts as her charming younger brother. If the world only knew the real Jordy, the manipulative liar who broke Maya’s heart.
Skye Kaplan was always cautious with her heart until Jordy said all the right things and earned her trust. Now his face is all over the media and Skye is still wondering why he stopped calling.
When Maya and Skye are invited to star on the reality dating show Second-Chance Romance, they’re whisked away to a beautiful mansion—along with four more of Jordy’s exes— to compete for his affections while the whole world watches. Skye wonders if she and Jordy can recapture the spark she knows they had, but Maya has other plans: exposing Jordy and getting revenge. As they navigate the competition, Skye and Maya discover that their real happily ever after is nothing they could have scripted.
I received a digital advance copy of this book from the publisher, Wednesday Books, in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions and my review.
Never Ever Getting Back Together, by Sophie Gonzales follows two protagonists, Maya and Skye. Maya and Skye have one thing in common: they both dated Jordy, who is both incredibly obnoxious, and incredibly famous (since his sister married the crown prince of the minor European country Chalonne). Then, they both get invited to go on Second Chance Romance, a reality show where the exes of one person are all brought together to get a second chance for their relationship. Maya, however, doesn’t go on the show to find romance. She goes on to get her revenge on Jordy after he cheated on her with Skye. Maya wants to expose Jordy for who he really is to the world, but while she’s on the show, she ends up finding an unexpected romance of her own.
I really liked how the book switched point of view every few chapters. Maya and Skye are so different, and have such different personalities that it adds a lot to the depth of the book to have it told from the different perspectives. The two girls also have really great chemistry, and their personalities mix perfectly.
Maya is a fascinating, frustrating, and truly endearing protagonist. There were times when I just wanted her to slow down, that she took things too far and got out of control. But she was also real, and her emotions were always so vivid. It’s hard not to root for her, and it’s also hard to stand by her every decision. She is complex in a way that draws you to her character even more.
Skye is more rational a lot of the time, and is truly the opposite of Maya. Her complexities stem from trying to understand why Maya despises her so much at first, to realizing what actually happened, and how Jordy wasn’t in any way the boy she thought she knew. I really enjoyed reading about Skye’s character, and reading from her perspective. She’s thoughtful and empathetic, but also knows how to prioritize herself, and what she knows what’s best for her well being.
And onto the boy the whole reality show is centered around: the extremely despicable Jordy.
Sophie Gonzales does an absolutely amazing job making him sound like a truly terribly guy, to the point where everything he says is hilariously stupid.
“My life was already good, you know? I was born good-looking and rich. Everything was easier before I became nobility.”
When Maya corrected him with “you’re not nobility,” he just brushed her off with a simple “close enough.”
Even while insanely rich and at the top of the world, Jordy even exaggerates his own standing. Then, he goes off and complains about how hard it is to be so famous and well known. He’s insufferable, and it’s honestly very entertaining.
And the main characters weren’t the only ones who got depth and complexity. The other girls on the show, and members of the crew of Second Chance Romance were all brought to life in a way that made the book feel like I was getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the show.
Perrie, Kim and the other girls all had their own backstories, their own experiences with Jordy, and their own reasons for being on the show. I particularly liked Perrie, and her friendship with Maya. She was a really interesting character, and one who I liked reading about.
Another character I loved was Isaac, who worked on the show and was Maya and Skye’s supervisor. He gave a neat look into the inner workings of the production of the show, and he was also hilarious.
“Let me guess: You get a bonus if one of us wins?” I ask. “If one of you wins, you’ll be sending me and my boyfriend to Phuket for Christmas.”
And a true highlight of the novel was all the stuff related to the show’s production company. From endless references to other reality shows the company had produced, to the invitation that the girls received to be on the show, it was all fantastic.
The host of the show, Grayson Gains (who none of the characters have actually heard of) is referenced to have worked on the shows Velveeta or Volcano, and Marrying the Enemy. And we can’t forget Cooking Under Constant Criticism, which he apparently also was the host of.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is from the FAQs in the email invitation to be on the show, and Maya and her sister Rosie’s reaction to it.
Yes! All of our contestants are paid in memories, laughter, and, if they’re lucky, a healthy dose of romance! How can you put a price on the chance to find true love? It’s worthless! “I think they mean priceless,” Rosie stage-whispers. “That, or they’ve gotten to know Jordy,” I say lightly.
As well as being hilarious and full of amazing jokes, the writing is descriptive and delicate, and brings a lot of depth to all the characters, and to the storyline.
Never Ever Getting Back Together is fast paced, which I found to be really nice. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump over the past few months, and it was refreshing to read a book that was so fun, and that moved so quickly.
Sophie Gonzales was born and raised in Whyalla, South Australia, where the Outback Meets the Sea. She loves punk music, frilly pink skirts, and juxtapositions.
Sophie has been writing since the age of five, when her mother decided to help her type out one of the stories she had come up with in the bathtub. They ran into artistic differences when five-year-old Sophie insisted that everybody die in the end, while her mother wanted the characters to simply go out for a milkshake.
Since then, Sophie has been completing her novels without a transcriptionist.
Never Ever Getting Back Together is hilarious, well written, and is full of characters with vivid stories and emotional depth. If you’re looking for an entertaining and fast paced sapphic YA romantic comedy, this book is for you!