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Rarely Pure And Never Simple

Lily Anderson’s Not Now, Not Ever sets the farce of The Importance of Being Earnest in a summer camp for geniuses.

Rarely Pure And Never Simple

BOOK REPORT for Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson

Cover Story: Quarter Big Faces
BFF Charm: Heck Yes
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Talky Talk: Retelling (For The Geek Crowd)
Bonus Factors: Oregon, Familiar Faces
Relationship Status: More Than a Summer Fling

Cover Story: Quarter Big Faces

Good on the cover designer for using models that match the looks of the main characters. And for using a unique title treatment. I certainly wouldn’t be ashamed to read this book in public.

The Deal:

Elliot Gabaroche doesn’t want to spend another summer watching her stepmother act in a community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest. She doesn’t want to go into the Air Force simply because she’s expected to. She doesn’t want to become a lawyer just because her father is.

Elliot Gabaroche wants to attend Rayevich College, the only school in the country with a science fiction writing program. And if that means running away to the school’s elite summer camp to try and win a scholarship, that’s just what she’s going to do.

BFF Charm: Heck Yes

Elliot—Ever to her friends at camp—is an unabashedly nerdy girl with a love for pop culture and  science fiction books. I mean, if there was ever a fictional character more meant to be my BFF, I’m not sure I’ve run across them.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Elliot goes to the camp at Rayevich College with a specific goal in mind, and it’s not to fall for an equally nerdy guy with secrets of his own. However, would it really be summer camp without a fling?

Talky Talk: Retelling (For The Geek Crowd)

Not Now, Not Ever is a companion novel to Anderson’s debut, The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, so it’s no surprise that this retelling—this time of The Importance of Being Earnest—is filled with pop culture references and adorably nerdy characters. Not Now, Not Ever isn’t as overwhelming in its geek, but there are definitely still more than a handful of references that ground this book well in the same world. Additionally, I love how Anderson actually references the source material of this retelling in the story*; it’s delightfully meta to read about Elliot not wanting her life to be such a farce, and yet not being able to stop it from happening.

In the Not Now, Not Ever Blog Tour Q&A I posted earlier this week, Anderson described this novel as fluff, saying ”I want all my readers to take away a sense of happiness.” I certainly think she succeeded.

*If I admit to never reading The Importance of Being Earnest, would you hold it against me? Not knowing the source material didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel, and I totally want to go read it now.

Bonus Factor: Oregon

I wasn’t born in Oregon, but I lived there long enough (and during my most formative years) that I consider it my home state. I did a little mental fist pump when I realized that Not Now, Not Ever was set in a fictional college in a place I’m somewhat familiar with (Eugene). It made it much easier to picture the setting, and the Pacific Northwest does have the perfect weather/environment for summer camps.

Bonus Factor: Familiar Faces

A few characters from The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You have roles in Not Now, Not Ever, and I loved catching up with them.

Relationship Status: More Than a Summer Fling

Our time together was short, Book, but that doesn’t mean what we have isn’t the real thing. We’d be silly to call something so special quits before we’ve even gotten started.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Wednesday Books, and got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Not Now, Not Ever is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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