Saturday, August 15, 2015

Book Review by Anna: Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom

Author: M. Beth Bloom

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: July 7, 2015

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction

Pages: 368 [hardcover]

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads!

This is a new book that landed on our shelves a couple of weeks ago, and I was intrigued by the description and the cover. When I first read the synopsis of this book, I thought that Eva, the main character, would be someone modern and relevant in all of the right ways, but honestly she is entirely too opinionated and jaded.  She is this aspiring teenage writer who wants to experience life in order to be able to become better at writing, and she has this almost deluded perspective that she is so different from society and cannot relate to anyone - not even her own family. In reality, I believe that she is a little too prideful, narcissistic and close-minded for me. She pretty much remains this way for the majority of the book with little to no character development, so unfortunately, even in the end I was not a fan of Eva.

The book starts out with Eva thinking she's a good writer, but when her English teacher states otherwise, Eva sets off to go out and experience more in order to write more. The summer before her first semester at college, Eva decides to "live" and soon finds her life changing in ways she had never expected. She decides to explore the unknown and seek employment as a camp counselor for middle grade kids, and it is a disaster - and not even because of her inexperience. She isn't very open to things that she doesn't understand, nor does she have very much optimism about working at this camp - even though she literally signed up for it to broaden her horizons. Throughout the book, she talks about her two best friends, but it seemed like almost every other chapter she just treated them so poorly. When she's not working at the camp or treating her friends like crap, she is in this black hole of a relationship triangle where she bounces from one guy to the next just so impulsively. I understand that teenagers can tend to be a little more impulsive, but she was just careless and not smart at all - though she boastfully claims otherwise.. Her rigidity and sour attitude are an obstacle in every area of life, and she almost has a superiority complex that is completely undeserving. I'm all for wit and snark, but only when ultimately used in a respectful manner and not too liberally. She feels the need for every single word to be clever and funny, and it loses its value entirely too fast because of overexposure.

In the end, Don't Ever Change seriously missed the mark for me. Eva was annoying and the relationships she had were unbelievable. The premise was promising, but Eva ended up being selfish, self-centered, and very pessimistic. If you don't like books with annoying characters who you just can't connect with, I'd say to skip this one.

2 out of 5 stars