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Not Now, Not Ever: A Novel Hardcover – November 21, 2017
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Praise for Not Now, Not Ever:
"Why You’ll Love It: Anderson’s debut novel, The Only Things Worse Than Me Is You, was one of Paste’s best YA novels of 2016. It draws inspiration from Much Ado About Nothing, and now Anderson’s new book takes a page from The Importance of Being Earnest. Because Anderson knows book lovers adore classic retellings." ―Paste, "10 of the Best New Young Adult Books in November 2017"
“Witty, romantic, and exuberantly geeky, Lily Anderson’s clever teen tribute to The Importance of Being Earnest is delightful. Readers will be wooed by sci-fi fangirl Elliot’s compelling struggle to remake her identity while discovering how to be true to herself. Brimming with a cast of standout characters and spot-on family dynamics, this is a flat-out joy of a book. Oscar Wilde would applaud―I certainly did! Bravo!” ―Jenn Bennett, author of The Anatomical Shape of a Heart and Alex, Approximately
"Not Now, Not Ever is a smart, sexy, nerdy love story that would have delighted Oscar Wilde. Once again, Lily Anderson has reinvented a beloved classic with contemporary friends, fears, and fandoms, nailing humor with intelligence and heart." ―Cori McCarthy, author of You Were Here and Breaking Sky
"Extremely entertaining…Elliot [is] one of the most charismatic heroine sin recent memory.” ―RT Reviews (4 stars)
“This is a wonderful book that explores the desire to be loyal to family and to create a space that belongs solely to oneself. Ever’s is a fresh and welcome voice that unashamedly embraces her geekiness.” ―School Library Journal
“Smart, strong, and confident, Ever is a likable protagonist...and fans of The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You will joyfully greet the return of major characters. Good geeky fun.” ―Kirkus
“Fans of Anderson’s debut novel, The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, will recognize some characters and delight in the steady flow of witty banter and sci-fi references.” ―Booklist
Praise for The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You:
“A geeky Shakespearean retelling that tosses Much Ado About Nothing into a comic book store. The result is a hilarious contemporary romance that pays tribute to everything in the geek canon, from Firefly to Doctor Who.” ―Paste, “The 16 Best Young Adult Books of 2016 (So Far)”
“There’s a lot to enjoy in debut novelist Anderson’s geek-positive update of Much Ado About Nothing, including...an epic love-hate relationship. Readers familiar with the Shakespeare will enjoy Anderson’s riffs on the original’s plot points as Trixie and Ben get their nerdily-ever-after ending.” ―Publishers Weekly
"This book is the geeky best friend you've always wanted. A hilarious, heartfelt book that treats pop culture and Shakespeare with the same reverence and adoration, The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You a perfect geeky read that I wish I'd had in high school.” ―Eric Smith, blogger and author of The Geek’s Guide to Dating
“Full of modern-day fandoms, such as Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Wars and Marvel comics... [and with] lovable, relatable,and realistic characters...that fans of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park or Fangirl will enjoy.” ―School Library Journal
“The adaptation is spot on, the witty banter is quoteworthy...brain candy for the brainy crowd.” ―The Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books
About the Author
LILY ANDERSON is an elementary school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California. She is also the author of The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You.
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– Not Now, Not Ever. pg. 1
Elliot aka Ever is a bada--, but doesn’t know it. She’s stuck between a military family and a civilian one. Her mother and father may differ on their dreams of Elliott’s future, but damn if they’re not a united front about wanting the best for her. Instead of the typical dual family drama, it comes from being transracial with a white step-mom.
»FYI: Real Meaning of Transracial«
She’s an Octavia Butler loving Sci-fi nerd that thinks about the ethics of ghost busting before investigating if someone really is a spectre. She fiercely loves her little brother and helps her step-mom with her community plays. Ever “runs away” to a summer camp to try and win a scholarship to the only program specializing in Sci-Fi literature.
Ever’s government name, Elliot, is masculine coded and she’s actually named after a relative. So she deals with other’s preconceptions hearing the name, then seeing her as as tall, strong black woman. She handles this, not by putting down masculine coded things nor by embracing stereotypes. She just does her.
There is a throwaway line about coconut oil protecting her hair in the very beginning and I couldn’t help but snort given the Twitter conversations going on. Ya’ll really need to follow her on there. I could be wrong, but it felt like a timely middle-finger to white supremacy and stereotypes. After letting that bird fly, it is promptly never mentioned again. Bye, bye birdy! (<—-I had way too much writing out those puns.😆 )
Now, do not misunderstand. Her fro is mentioned often in all its glory, for how tall it makes her look and being against regulations. But that is not the same thing.
Dear fellow white people, don’t act like coconut oil is all it takes to be black and forget “coincidently” that coconut oil is all over white pinterest like a f-f--ng cult.
AIR FORCE VS. CIVILIANS: DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED FOES?
It’s rare for me to find books with military families, let alone one where they aren’t macho problematic (to put it gently) white people. My family were all “ground-pounders” so not quite the same as Elliot’s but I get the pressure and duty more than most people.
Did you know the Air Force is 14% Black or African American? Check out more stats here!
Unfortunately, Not Now, Not Ever is even more timely given recent hate crimes and the ever present systematic discrimination.
While it doesn’t delve into these issues or mention them, that’s okay. It doesn’t have to. The positive rep and experience are also necessary. And valid. Maybe later we’ll get a sequel with Elliot a couple years down the line. Maybe we won’t.
Maybe it’s damn okay just to f--g exist without making educating white people the focus with providing struggle porn to get a load off.
Happiness is a radical act for Brown Girls img banner
OTHER GOOD SH!T:
Immediately engaging. Like jump of page, grab you by the throat and make you feel alive engaging.
Brilliant overachieving f--k up teenagers
Ever’s a realistic head on her shoulders and meets a dude that’s all starry eyed. This reflects the reality I know: girls are thinking about the future and worrying about commitment while
Best possible ending. Love how Ever squared up to deal with the fall out.
The typical romantic creepy gestures are avoided.
Major props for how they dissect The Breakfast Club. Privilege and intersectionality are a day to day concern for these teens.
I. Did. NOT. SEE THAT comiNG!
F--k yes: Awesome step-mom and half-sibling relationship
Ever and her cousin fight like enemies because of Reasons™ and family and gosh, I love their push/pull relationship of being so different but so similar with misperceptions.
Do not worry if, dare I say it,you’re not a fan of the classics, or have never read it. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I haven’t either. Thank f--- there are badass librarian authors like Lily Anderson that can re-write the sh!t for modern times and people!
And he was wearing loafers. I couldn’t get my swoon on for a guy who didn’t wear socks.
-Chapter 2, loc 222
Because how could we know we were on a collage campus if there wasn’t a loner with a hakey sack?
-Chapter 16, loc 1431
You had to leave home to make a home. You couldn’t wait to leave to be yourself.
–Chapter 16, location 1440
Now I was feeling the heat get cranked up and my sand was figuring out how to melt.
-Chapter 16, loc 1458
I was pretty sure when real college kids got in trouble, no one told them to sit crisscross applesauce.
-Chapter 24, loc 2375
I could almost hear Sid’s voice in my ear, telling me to go faster, to wear my Lawerence on the outside.
-Chapter 31 loc 3157
OTHER SIMILAR RECS:
If you like this, or it sounds right for you, please also check out Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne with more wilderness and a W/W romance. It’s another high ranking read for me, though I haven’t posted my review for it yet. Sorry
Inspired by Wilde’s play, in which a character uses his fictional friend Banbury’s illnesses to escape his family obligations, Elliot Gabaroche lies to her family about her summer plans so she can sneak off to a summer program for genius kids. The highlight of the camp is an academic competition whose winners get a full scholarship to the college hosting the program. Elliot really wants to win to give her an out from her mother’s expectations for her (joining the Air Force) and her father’s (becoming something practical, like a lawyer). So, adopting the name Ever Lawrence, Elliot runs away, only to discover that her extremely annoying younger cousin, Isaiah, had the same idea, forcing her to pretend that he’s her brother so neither of them has to leave. When she falls for one of her teammates, Brandon, Elliot finds her life reflecting the farcical aspects of Wilde’s plot ever more closely, as she misleads him about her identity just like Wilde’s characters do their love interests. But of course, just as in Wilde’s play, the truth will come out eventually.
If you read and enjoyed Anderson’s The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, you should definitely read this. All the important characters from the earlier book show up here. That includes Brandon, who was a nerdy freshman in the first book and is Elliot’s completely adorable boyfriend in this one. It was fun to get another look into the lives of Ben, Trixie, and all of their friends, at least if you’re a reader like me who always wonders what happens to the characters after the book ends.
To get maximum enjoyment out of the story, it helps if you are a Wilde fan and are familiar with nerd culture. If you can identify Star Wars quotations, know where the word “gorram” comes from, or understand the meaning behind “It’s bigger on the inside,” this is the book for you. And while you don’t have to have read or seen The Importance of Being Earnest to follow the plot, it will definitely make the twists and turns of the story more meaningful.
On top for the funny bits and the sweet romance, the book has an important message for young people about growing up. Elliot and Isaiah are both struggling with family expectations for their careers. Ever especially is so caught up in figuring out the future that she’s in danger of forgetting to enjoy the here and now. The book highlights the importance of pursuing your own dreams, not living out your parents’ hopes and expectations, but also of not placing so much importance on your future path that you forget to appreciate the journey.
I liked this book a lot and would highly recommend it if it sounds like the sort of thing you might enjoy. I’m really looking forward to the author’s next book, which she described in an online interview as “Veronica Mars meets The Craft.” Now that sounds intriguing!
An eARC of this novel was provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review; all opinions expressed are my own.
Most recent customer reviews
1) Elliot/Ever's inner monologue is hilarious. I wanted to spend more time in her brain. This girl is the whole package.Read more
Title: Not now, Not ever
Author: Lily Anderson
Review: In the opening chapter of Not now, Not ever we...Read more