Saturday, April 13, 2019

Book Review: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

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BOOK review
Started on: 31 March 2019
Finished on: 6 April 2019

Title: Opposite of Always
Author: Justin A. Reynolds
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 447 pages / 464 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2019
Price: Rp 181,211 (https://www.bookdepository.com/)

Rating: 4.5/5
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"Because big lesson number one is this: all the time travel in the world can't save the people you love."
Jack King is the king of almost, but it all changed when he met Kate at a party—where they suddenly connected and spent hours talking over their mutual love of cereal and their favorite movies. Jack instantly knew that he's falling for Kate. But their love story turns out to be more complicated than he initially thought, because Kate dies. Her death suddenly sends Jack back to the beginning, when he first met Kate at the party, and she's alive again. Not knowing what exactly happened, Jack thought he was given a second chance at life to save Kate and prevent her death. However, Jack will learn the hard way that his actions are not without consequences. And he has to figure out what he's willing to do to save the people he loves.

"That's life, though. You have problems. But you keep trying. You fight for the things you love."
"...and yes, I'm absolutely afraid—of the future, of the unknown, life's nasty twists and unexpected turns—but also I realize that I'm incredibly lucky, to have so many, and so much. I wonder how I got to be so lucky."
Right after the release of this book, I was immediately intrigued because it received so much attention—despite it being the debut of Justin A. Reynolds, and the cover looks so cute! Everyone knows I'm weak towards beautiful book covers 😂. After I'm finished with the book that I'm currently reading, I instantly picked this book up without knowing what the story is going to be about. And now that I've finished reading it, I can honestly say that this is indeed a delightful book to read. I really enjoyed the writing style from the start, the characters are just so lovable, and it's definitely a page-turner. Whenever I have free time, I'm always eager to get back to this book because I'm dying to find out how the story is going to end. At first I thought it would focus on the romance side of the story, but turns out it's so much more than that. This book is so heartwarming yet also heart-wrenching at times 💖.
"Am I something to do something different? Change something this time around?"
"Because if there's one thing I've learned, it's that nothing's promised. That you have to treat second chances like an endangered species."
The book is written from the first point of view of our main character, Jack King. He's a great narrator and really fun to read. We get to see his honest thoughts and his struggle as he's trying to figure out the time travel thing and how to save the people he loves. There are times when I'm annoyed with his character, but at the same time he's so relatable and I can understand the reason behind his actions. I personally don't really like the instalove factor of the story, but I have to admit the chemistry between Jack and Kate is there. Whenever they are together, their conversations seems effortless which naturally made them grew closer to one another very quickly.

As I said earlier, the side characters in this book are just so lovable! If I have to choose a favorite character, it'll be Franny—Jack's best friend, who's struggling with his dad's return from jail. He's such a loyal person, which is why it breaks my heart when Jack once decided to betray him in ways that was so unbelievable. I could only gape in disbelief when I read that part; but even then, Franny was heartbroken more so because he lost his best friends, not at Jack's betrayal. Despite his insecurity, Franny is such a sweetheart and I think he deserves the best outcome. I adore his moments with Jack's parents, because that kind of relationship is what he longed for with his dad. 😭
"Nothing good in life comes easy, but it's about deciding each day that you will stick with it. You choose to stay, to work hard, to love, and you keep choosing."
"The only thing worse than losing someone you love is losing them again.
People say I'd do anything to see them again, to hear their voice just once more, but what they don't consider is losing them over again. That it doesn't get easier. If anything, it's harder. So much harder."
Another thing I love about this book is the underlying message of the story. Every single time Jack repeated a part of his life, he kept trying to fix things, save the people he love, be there for his friends—but at the same time he has to make sacrifices. This part reminded me that sometimes we can't have it all. No matter what decision we make, we might end up hurting someone else or even lose them. It's heartbreaking to see Jack tries so hard to make everyone around him happy—since he knows exactly what's going to happen—but at the end of the day, he finally realized that he can't. I came to the conclusion that we just have to live our lives doing the best that we can; embracing the unknown future that is full of unexpected twists and turns. 

Overall, this is such a wonderful debut by Justin A. Reynolds! I would definitely try and pick up his next work in the future. The plot was really interesting, even though the ending was a bit anti-climactic which made me slightly disappointed. I wish the story had a satisfying closure that I was hoping for. But oh well, it still deserves a 4.5 stars from me, because I had a blast reading this book. It's a heartwarming story about friendship, family, and love that made me feel all the feels! I'll surely miss all the lovely characters in this book. Looking forward to what Justin A. Reynolds is going to write next! 😊
"Only I'm learning that sometimes it's not what you say that matters most. Or not even what you don't say. Those things are cool, helpful even. But it's about doing. Do something. Do anything. Do what you can and then when it feels like you've done all you could, do more.
by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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