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?