Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

A quirky and fun romantic comedy that will appeal to girls in their lower teenage years.

Two English schools, six 14 year-old friends and a ski / snowboarding trip to France. Add a 15 year-old French popstar shooting his latest video and you have the perfect recipe for a light-hearted and funny teen romance.

There are no great surprises in this story: from the moment we meet both the girls (Mouse, Keira and Connie) and the boys (Jack, Max and Toddy) we can guess who is going to end up with who. And when the boys make their pact – that whoever kisses a girl first will get to name their band – it’s not difficult to predict who will win and, even, what the new band name will be. But that’s not the point. It’s the journey that counts and this has all the essential ingredients for a successful romantic-comedy.

The characters are well developed and distinct which is quite an achievement given the size of the main and supporting cast. I particularly liked meeting Mouse in the opening pages and enjoyed the way the authors drip-feed her backstory, building suspense about her situation. (No spoilers here – you will have to read the book to find out). Jack is slightly more stereotypical (showing my age he’s a 14 year old Hugh Grant) but he’s easy to identify with and immediately likeable.

The dual narrative, alternating in each chapter between narration by Mouse and then Jack, works well and it’s easy to distinguish the narrative voice. It probably helps that there are two writers but it is still rare to find two strong first person voices in the same book.

The plot itself is far from credible. What are the chances that our heroine would really be plucked from a crowd to star in a pop video? Or that a hugely successful pop star would find this ordinary girl more appealing that the constant stream of adoring fans who throw themselves at his feet every day? Or that one of the regular English boys would be a ‘dead-ringer’ for the star, able to convince the world’s press and the popstar’s manager. But none of this matters. As the reader, we simply don’t care whether the plot is feasible. We’ve bought into the characters and we’re enjoying the comic set pieces.

The story is extremely funny with a few laugh out loud moments. I loved the scene when Jack is bitten by Connie’s pet hamster (yes, she smuggled her pet hamster on the trip) but felt slightly disappointed that Mr Jambon, the hamster, didn’t have a larger role once this scene was complete.

Overall, this is a quirky and fun romantic comedy that will appeal to girls in their lower teenage years.

If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy Geek Girl by Holly Smale or Waiting for Callback by Perdita Cargill and Honor Cargill.

ISBN: 978-1910002360
Publication Date: January 2016
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 336
Madge's 4.5/5 Star Review Rating

Review first published on The Bookbag


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