Tuesday 24 May 2016

Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Never EversKicked out of ballet academy and straight into a school ski trip, Mouse knows certain classmates can't wait to see her fall flat on her face. Meanwhile, Jack looks forward to danger and girls, but hasn't a clue about either. That's until French teen sensation Roland arrives in the resort - who Jack's a dead ringer for. When Roland persuades Jack to be his stand-in for a day, Jack, in disguise, declares his feelings for Mouse. But what happens when he's no longer a pop star - will it be music and magic on the slopes?

Having read Lobsters and loving it, I was very excited about reading their second book. A little younger than their first one, but still so cute; more first crush than first time. However, they still captured that early teen voice perfectly, it was just as awkward and terrifying being a 14 year old as I remember.

I adored the instant crush between Jack and Mouse - sometimes you just know that there's something about a person you want to get to know and that was them. Of course things don't quite go according to plan, partly because they are both too scared to start a conversation, partly because Jack is mistaken for a French pop star. Because, duh, that's what happens on a school ski trip! This setting allowed some serious flaunting of rules but what else do you expect from a bunch of teenagers going away?

It also quite subtly explored self-worth, with everyone worrying over their appearance but in someone else's head, they look incredible - this was especially evident in Jack and Mouse, as Jack worried about his hair, his lack of facial hair, his height, just about everything but when Mouse sees him, all she sees is someone cute.

What I especially liked was the great displays of friendship, especially the girls. Mouse has been kicked out of ballet school and shamefully goes back to her old school but her slightly insane best friend is more than happy to welcome her back into her little group of two nutters. Then there's the ex-best friend Lauren and her fake nice girl act while slowly bringing down Mouse's confidence. There was always one of those with every school group and Lauren was particularly awful I thought, but Mouse handled her brilliantly.

All in all, a very funny and utterly adorable story about your first crush, first kiss and being true to yourself without letting fear rule your actions.

Published 7th January 2016 by Chicken House.

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