Wednesday, September 25, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always by Elissa Janine Hoole

Sometimes Never, Sometimes AlwaysCassandra fears rocking the family boat. Instead, she sinks it. Assigned by her English teacher to write a poem that reveals her true self, Cassandra Randall is stuck. Her family's religion is so overbearing, she can NEVER write about who she truly is. So Cass does what any self-respecting high school girl would do: she secretly begins writing a tarot-inspired advice blog. When Drew Godfrey, an awkward outcast with unwashed hair, writes to her, the situation spirals into what the school calls "a cyberbullying crisis" and what the church calls "sorcery." Cass wants to be the kind of person who sticks up for the persecuted, who protects the victims the way she tries to protect her brother from the homophobes in her church. But what if she's just another bully? What will it take for her to step up and tell the truth? - Goodreads synopsis.

This book was a netgalley read exchanged for an honest review.

Cass is an atheist teenager stuck in a family who is overbearingly religious. She is slowly realizing that she has been a follower all of her life and hasn't really been who she actually wants to be. And when she tries to, people are all like 'whoa Cass, this ain't you, go back to normal". I get this. I mean, everyone has done it at some point, put out a persona because you think its what people want from you. You just go through the motions and then sometimes you just fall into that sub-type.  ( I'm not as shy and quiet as people think but sometimes its easier just to go with that then all of a sudden be outgoing and get stared down). Because Cass isn't sure about who she is, it was very hard to get a grip on her character. She is also very hypocritical. I mean she says she hates how the mean (ie: popular) girls bully and make fun of people for no reason at all, yet she does it herself.She even says that Drew (a girl who is in Cass' youth group and the schools 'loser') wouldn't be bullied if she actually put effort into her looks. She thinks its irresponsible when her best friend lies to her parents, yet she does the same thing with starting the blog. So Cass is I guess a fair representation of a high school student to be fair.

A main portion of the book dealt with the church. They seemed strict and very powerful in the community, I mean they even want the towns' winter carnival cancelled. And yah. I don't know. I could enter a whole rant on religion and how its fine to believe in what you believe in but don't shove it down every one's throat. But I won't subject that to you. Just respect that people have different beliefs, and while they can't all be right they can't all be wrong either.

I enjoyed the novel,  I just felt like there was too much going on in this book that it didn't know what to focus on. I mean it dealt with religion, gay rights, suicide, bullying, self-discovery, love.  I wanted to know what happened to each of the characters, but in a more though provoking way, not just  a sudden happy ending. I'm not saying it was a bad ending, I'm just saying that it felt rushed, like the author realized she only had 20 pages left to work with and BAM just make everything work out for the best. Not exactly realistic in my eyes.
 I didn't get the cover art either. I liked it, but after reading the book I see no connection to a mason jar filled with light.

2.5 stars.


  1. I really like the sound of this, and LOVE the cover. Shame it wasn't great for you.

    1. It has all the components of things I usually like in a book, but it just didn't grab me like I thought it would!

    2. I hate it when that happens :(