Thanks to partners NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the digital ARC of Sophie Gonzales's Never Ever Getting Back Together. The book is available for purchase!
Sophie Gonzales’s Never Ever Getting Back Together features a fun premise: Maya and Skye are each vying—along with several other young women—to win back Jordy, their ex-boyfriend, on a reality show called Second-Chance Romance. It’s a Bachelor-type show that brings together a selection of Jordy’s exes with the supposition that the relationships that didn’t work before may work now. Because. Growth(?).
It seems a bit convoluted on the surface, and it’s even more complex deep down. Jordy is the brother of a newly crowned princess, which means he’s been in the public eye: a public eye that has also fallen on Maya. After their breakup, Jordy painted her as a dangerously clingy, at least partially unhinged person, bypassing the fact that he’d been cheating on her for months with his new girlfriend, Skye. Maya accepts the invitation to appear on the show with the hope that she can reveal the truth about their breakup to the world that has blamed her for years. Skye accepts because she believes Jordy that he misses her *and* appreciates his warning that Maya is ready to unleash her unjust rage on both of them.
So, when Maya and Skye arrive at the set of their show and realize that they’re rooming together . . . well, neither one is thrilled.
The story alternates between Maya and Skye’s points of view, and each has been given plenty of reasons by Jordy to dislike the other. Yet that dislike goes only so far.
I thoroughly enjoyed Never Ever Getting Back Together, which leans into the ridiculousness inherent in its reality show-foundation with its highly manufactured moments of drama (particularly since Jordy’s wealthy family made sure they had final editing rights). I didn’t completely buy the connection between Maya and Skye, and I thought that too many of these young women believed Jordy’s lies for just a bit too long. But overall, I liked the way Gonzales set up the evolution of each character’s arc and the way that the show, despite its artificiality, resulted in real self-reflection and growth.
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I'm Jen Moyers, co-host of the Unabridged Podcast and an English teacher.