Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher (Discussion)

Never Never is the first installment in the Never Never novella trilogy. Please note that this discussion contains massive spoilers! If you haven’t already, check out my review on this book, which is spoiler-free.

I gave this novella a 4/5 stars. I’m going to discuss Never Never: Part 1 first, then go into the series spoilers afterwards.

Wait Jorelene, why are you writing out spoilers for this whole novella series?
In my book review, I said that I wouldn’t be reading the next two novellas because everyone said that the ending of the series was a huge letdown. Because of that, I decided to look up spoilers. I had to actively look for them, and it took a considerable amount of time and effort since a lot of people were saying that they hated the ending, but wouldn’t say why they hated it. I finally found descriptive spoilers, but it took a bit too long in my opinion. I therefore decided to list out the series spoilers in this book discussion.

 

Never Never: Part 1 Dicussion

I read this novella in three sittings over the course of two days. If I hadn’t had classes to attend and schoolwork to complete, I would’ve read it in one sitting. The first chapter completely grabbed me in, and I needed to figure out the mystery and to just understand what was going on.

I thought that Silas and Charlie’s reactions to losing their memories were very realistic, and it was interesting experiencing it along with them. I also thought it was really funny watching them be so lost.

Quotes that I found entertaining when Charlie was exploring her room for the first time:

“My drawers are neat. I must have OCD. I toss around the socks and underwear to see if I can piss myself off.”

“And how do I know that the poster above my sister’s bed compares love to a boom and a clap, but I don’t remember said sister’s name?”

 

The way they saw everything with a new eye was intriguing. It made me wonder how I would view my life if I suddenly forgot who I was and where I was. All I know is that I’d definitely be extremely confused and unsure of where to go.

I thought Charlie and Silas had an adorable budding relationship. They had a cute dynamic, even though I found it unnecessary for Charlie to continuously pull back since Silas was nothing but sweet to her. I thought the way they explored their past together was very fun and somewhat intimate.

For instance, I could feel the tension building up between them while they were watching their anniversary video together. It was also super cute how Silas started to understand Charlie’s mannerisms more and more over time, then became well-versed enough in her patterns to call her out on her white lies.

In addition to finding a lot of parts in the book highly entertaining and sweet, I also felt sadness, anger, and heartbreak. There was a stark contrast between Silas and Charlie’s living conditions. I found it incredibly sad how Charlie’s mom was an alcoholic who didn’t bother to get sober enough to take care of her two daughters. The direct comparison of Silas’s luxurious home life to Charlie’s home life made Charlie’s situation seem even more unfortunate and gut-wrenching.

I got upset when it was clear that Charlie hadn’t treated her sister very well in the past. When in a household like Charlie’s, I would hope that family members who are able to would support and care for each other. Although Charlie changed her ways once she lost her memories, I was still angry at how as an older sister, she had let her sibling eat so poorly and feel no love.

I was heartbroken when it was revealed that Charlie and Silas were cheating on each other in the past, and that they didn’t know why. After that revelation, I had that in the back of my head when they would discuss their past or if they were being sweet to each other in the present moment.

It’s wonderful when a book is able to bring out a variety of emotions in the reader. This novella did a fantastic job of doing that.

 

I loved this novella as a whole, but there were a few parts of the novella that I didn’t like as much.

The cheating aspect of the romances made me like Charlie and Silas less as a couple. Sure, I understand that this makes their past more “real” and makes them re-evaluate things, but when both parties in a relationship cheat, then it doesn’t seem like a very healthy relationship.

A lot of books use Tarot card readings as foreshadowing, Never Never included. A few examples that come to mind immediately are the Throne of Glass, Vampire Academy, and The Mortal Instruments. These are all great series, but I just personally don’t like it when there’s Tarot cards or a “clairvoyant” to give clues to the reader. I believe that more subtle foreshadowing has a better payoff.

My last gripe about this novella was that I didn’t like how the series was broken up into three novellas – this all could’ve been one book. This is actually a prevalent complaint among reviewers. A lot of people think that splitting the novellas up was completely unnecessary.

Although there were a few aspects of the novella that I wasn’t the biggest fan of, I still loved this first part of the series. That being said, I’m glad that I didn’t take the time to read the next two installments of the series because of what ended up happening at the end.

 

Please close out now if you don’t want to be spoiled for the series next.


*** Warning: Series Spoilers Below ***

Never Never Series Spoilers

I thought that the first novella in this novella trilogy was amazing, as you can see from my novella discussion above. The following is spoilers from the third novella. I don’t go over the second novella much since it’s more or less a repetition of the first novella.

Now, let’s get to the reason Charlie and Silas lost their memories, i.e. the huge mystery. Was it because of paranormal powers, as hinted from the scene with the Tarot cards? A PTSD reaction from a possible crime, as alluded to with the dirt and blood on the bed sheets? Well no, none of these were close to the reason for this whole memory loss occurrence.

It turns out that Charlie and Silas were losing their memories because they were soulmates.

. . . Wait, what?

Yeah, let that soak in.

They lost their memories because they “weren’t in love enough,” and had to fall back into deep, deep love to stop the memory loss cycle since they were soulmates. Yep… That’s the climax and answer to what the series was building up for.

So before the memory loss happened, Charlie and Silas were unhappy in the relationship, cheating on each other, and basically broken up. But unlike in the real world where this is clearly a toxic relationship that needs to end, this novella series made this seem like a sign that they weren’t in love with each other enough – cue the memory loss to force them to fall back in love.

I don’t know about you, but I was expecting something more… profound than that. I thought they might’ve been part of a government experiment and secretly fed memory-losing drugs. Another hypothesis I had was that they had caught a new disease that caused Alzheimer in teenagers. I would’ve loved a variety of endings, including aliens taking over and brainwashing them. However, for the ending to be that they were soulmates… Well, it disappointed me to say the least.

There’s an epilogue with Silas and Charlie’s daughter. From what I understand of it, this epilogue is about their daughter who has been flirting recently with a neighbor boy, even though she has a boyfriend. As you might have guessed, the daughter loses her memory.

Although I’m obviously not a fan of this memory loss explanation, some people liked this soulmate ending because they thought it was incredibly romantic and a testament to true love. Okay, that’s fair. I personally don’t believe in soulmates and “the one” however, so to each his own.

 

A couple of other things:

  • The mud on the bed sheets is never properly explained. I’m assuming the blood is from Silas punching the guy that Charlie was cheating with at the bar, as mentioned in the first novella. The mud isn’t ever explained though.
  • Apparently Silas’s father welcomes Charlie back with open arms after Silas shows him the documents hidden under his bed. A lot of readers listed this as a complaint because it was such a stark and confusing change in attitude.

Knowing the ending of the third novella, I would rate this series a tentative 3/5 stars, teetering towards 2.5 stars. However, if I stay in my bubble where I tunnel in on the first novella and remember how much I enjoyed that, I would say this series was a solid 4 stars.

 

What do you think about this series?

 

15 thoughts on “Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher (Discussion)

  1. Michelle @ Addictively Turning Pages

    So, I love Colleen Hoover and her books and when I saw this novella series, I knew I had to give it a try. I’ve read all three novellas. 1) It was flipping torture waiting for each novella to come out. It should have been one book, hands down, no question. 2) I loved the first book, the second book was good, and the third book just went downhill from there. The ending with the soulmates was sweet, mind you, and super romantic but how anti-climatic was that?! It was super disappointing to end the mini series like that. However, the usual Hoover writing was enough for me to decently enjoy myself. It was mysterious and I had to give points to the authors keeping the ball rolling until the end when it just exploded in my face…

    I seriously recommend Colleen Hoover though. Phenomenal storytelling.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I completely agree – Colleen Hoover is an amazing author. I haven’t read as many of her books as I would like to, but I remember reading her series Slammed and Hopeless a few years ago and absolutely loving them. Her other books are high on my TBR list for when I’m in the mood for contemporary.

      I’m extremely glad that I didn’t have to wait for the novellas to come out individually because I can imagine how awful that must’ve been. I was about to auto-buy the next two novellas once I finished this one since it ended on such an large cliffhanger, but then I saw the negative reviews for the third novella and decided to drop the series. I would’ve been beyond upset if I were like you, and read the third novella after waiting so patiently for its release. It’s great that you’re able to look past that however, and still say you enjoyed the series!

  2. Hey Ashers!

    “Because of that, I decided to look up spoilers. I had to actively look for them, and it took a considerable amount of time and effort since a lot of people were saying that they hated the ending, but wouldn’t say why they hated it. I finally found descriptive spoilers, but it took a bit too long in my opinion. I therefore decided to list out the series spoilers in this book discussion.”

    Thank you so much for the spoilers! It’s aggravating to read reviews that tip-toe and vaguely hint at aspects of the book that the reviewer found frustrating, problematic, or just poorly done.

    (And, having read the spoilers here, I now know ever to pick this series up; it seems perfectly crafted to press all my outrage buttons. So thanks for that, too!)

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      You’re very welcome! I know that I would’ve loved a post like this when I was searching for spoilers.

      I’m glad this post helped you to realize that this novella isn’t up your alley! Everyone has different reading tastes, so it’s always nice reading reviews to determine whether of not a book is right for you.

  3. booksblurbsandbeyond

    Colleen Hoover’s writing never ceases to entice me. I think it’s why, despite the reasoning, I still enjoyed it. I do agree, it should have been one novel instead of three novellas. I read the first two novellas a few weeks before the third’s release and the wait was terrible.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      It’s really nice that you were able to still enjoy the novella series despite the reasoning! I’m not sure if I would have if I read all three novellas. I agree that Colleen Hoover has great writing, but sometimes reasoning like that can frustrate me to no end. I also know it would have been even worse for me if I had to wait for the third novella’s release.

  4. Hilary (SongsWroteMyStory)

    Wow. I am glad that I opted to just check out your spoilers instead of actually reading the final book. I may still take a peek at the second if I get bored, but knowing that some silly relationship is the reason behind all this makes me not want to bother.

    I literally just finished this (set the book down and came to check this out 🙂 ), so I don’t have my thoughts entirely together yet. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I hoped that I would. A number of things just irked me, and the only thing that really kept me going was the mystery. The part of me with 8 psych courses under my belt was driven insane by how these two handled their amnesia, also.

    This was my first new adult book, and I’m really confused about that (I’d never even heard of it until Instagram). So new adult is just young adult, plus more explicit scenes?

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I’m so happy that you decided to read the novella and join this discussion!! Yeah, I felt the same after I read about the ending – I just lost interest in reading the next two novellas.

      I completely get where you’re coming from! I didn’t really think about this at the time, but retrospectively, they should have gone to the hospital or something because sudden amnesia like that is very concerning. What other things in this novella irked you?

      In addition to having more explicit scenes, there are some other differences that the new adult genre has from the young adult genre. For instance, the age and life stage is different for young adult and new adult. In young adult books, the main characters are usually still dependent on someone. For new adult books, the main characters are usually in a life stage of transition where he/she is finally independent (e.g. leaving the nest, going to college, etc.), and has adult responsibilities. There’s also a different target audience – young adult mostly targets teenagers, while new adult mostly targets adults.

      1. Hilary (SongsWroteMyStory)

        Right? I work with people with memory loss (usually dementias, but amnesia in one case), and I’ve never seen anyone handle it like that. Most of them are willing to acknowledge that something wrong and ask for help. Granted, maybe because they’re teens, it’s different, but even so.

        I found that the book just relied on the mystery that went along with the lack of memory. Until close to the end, we didn’t get much about it, and it seemed like the authors were just relying on that to keep the reader hooked. If I wasn’t so curious what it was all about, I would have put it down. I also didn’t find the characters particularly likeable, but maybe that’s just because there isn’t much time to develop anyone outside of the main two in less than 150 pages.

        Oh, that makes more sense. Thanks for clearing that up! (I’m awful for just looking at summaries and ignoring what genre they are)

        1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

          That’s so interesting! It must be more frustrating for you especially since you actually work with people with memory loss. I’ve taken a few psych classes myself so I understand that it’s not a very normal response, but it’s definitely more apparent for you.

          That’s a great point – the mystery definitely seemed to be there as the primary source of intrigue for readers.

          No problem at all! Feel free to ask me questions on anything else if you ever have them in the future!

  5. youmeanme

    Thanks for this! I got the first book for free but wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to the series. I was desperate for spoilers as book three was getting loads of hate but not details as to why.

What are your thoughts?