Mini-Review: Opposite of Always

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . . 

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.

Jack fell in love with a college freshman, Kate, at a party. When Kate died, Jack found himself going back in time with a second chance to save Kate’s life.

The characters were relatable, including the main character Jack King who had a fun and quirky voice that made the novel easy to read.

I appreciated that character relationships were at the centre of the novel: Jack’s relationship with his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and his relationship with his love interest. I enjoyed reading about Jillian and Franny’s family dynamics as well.

Despite the light-hearted writing style, the story later took on a serious tone as family relationships and friendships were placed to the test.

The audiobook was well-done.

Kate and Jack’s romance was a bit too insta-lovey for me.

Time travel was a big component of this book although how this worked was never explained. I would’ve loved to see more explanation as to the mechanism of time travel and why it happened to Jack.

The writing style was heavy on dialogue and introspection. However there wasn’t too much narration in terms of where the characters were, what the surrounding environment looked like, etc. At times it was hard to envision the situation when there wasn’t too much explanation about the setting. 

Although I wasn’t a big fan of the insta-love and was at times confused by the lack of setting descriptions, I enjoyed Opposite of Always because of its cast of lovable characters and the writing style that made this book a smooth read (or listen.)

3/5 fishies!

What is your latest favourite contemporary novel? What are your thoughts on insta-love? Do you like time travel stories?

Photo by Michael Fenton on Unsplash; by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

14 thoughts on “Mini-Review: Opposite of Always

  1. Wonderful review, Sophie! I read and really liked this one, too, though I was a little curious as well as how the time travel worked and would have liked to know more about it. Still, overall it was really a fun read 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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