By: Celine | August 24, 2015 | (10) Comments

Review: Don’t Ever Change by M. Beth BloomDon't Ever Change by M Beth Bloom
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: July 7th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Eva has always wanted to write a modern classic—one that actually appeals to her generation. The only problem is that she has realized she can't "write what she knows" because she hasn't yet begun to live. So before heading off to college, Eva is determined to get a life worth writing about.

Soon Eva's life encounters a few unexpected plot twists. She becomes a counselor at a nearby summer camp—a job she is completely unqualified for. She starts growing apart from her best friends before they've even left for school. And most surprising of all, she begins to fall for the last guy she would have ever imagined. But no matter the roadblocks, or writer's blocks, it is all up to Eva to figure out how she wants this chapter in her story to end.

What is the point of a book? Most books, when you finish reading them, leave some kind of mark on you. You know what it was about; you have a feeling about the theme(s). Whether you liked it or not, you usually take something away from a book. A lesson of some kind, even if you disagree with it. But with Don’t Ever Change I just didn’t get that. I closed the book and thought, what was the point?

Don’t Ever Change follows Eva, a somewhat unlikeable girl with a passion for writing. Eva managed to somehow be both bitchy and naive, and I have to say I didn’t really care for her a lot. There’s nothing wrong with so-called “unlikeable characters”, especially when the narrative makes clear we’re not supposed to like them. With Eva, I never got that. At times I felt like we were supposed to root for her (which I didn’t, really) and then other times like we were supposed to bear with her because she still needed to change. It was a bit confusing and it just didn’t really work for me, though it might for others.

Yes, Eva needed to change, to learn, but I’m not sure she ever did. Maybe slightly. I don’t really know what to say about it because it’s actually pretty good writing to have someone change only slightly and occasionally fall back into their own habits. It’s pretty realistic. But, aside from the fact that I just didn’t care all that much, maybe the change just wasn’t big enough for me to really see and appreciate it. Maybe I just didn’t get this book.

This was probably partly to do with the writing style. I think it tried to have this Marchetta-esque flair to it, with a hint of Rowell. To me, that means the writing in itself is actually slightly distant, but through simple statements and sentences somehow you get to know the characters intimately. The problem, for me, was that it just felt distant. I don’t know Eva like I do some of Marchetta’s characters. She’s a girl. She likes writing. She has a summer job at camp. Right now that’s pretty much all I can think of (though, to be fair, I *just* woke up. My brain isn’t really on yet). I don’t know her secret thoughts, her insecurities, her strengths. And I think all this contributed to that overall feeling of ” what’s the point?” that I got.

There were definitely some highlights, though! Eva gets a summer job at camp, and gets assigned to a group of little girls. It was pretty endearing to see friendships form between these girls and Eva, and how some characters go from disliking each other to saying “you’d be my best friend if it wasn’t for the age difference” (not a direct quote from the book!). The group dynamic was interesting and I really liked seeing what they gotup to now and what tasks Eva made up for them. I think the bits at camp were my favourite part of the book.

In all, I think I can sum up Don’t Ever Change as ‘not for me’. I think it’s one of those hit-or-miss books, and for me it just ended up being a miss. Though there were definitely good parts, they just weren’t enough to overcome my problems with this book.

Thank you, HarperTeen, for the review copy

2 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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10 Responses to Review: Don’t Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom

  1. I’ve seen very mixed reviews about this book and I do have this on my kindle to read. I’m not entirely sure if Eva sounds like a character I could really read about. Tbh I think she would get me easily frustrated. I really hate books that had no point in the end. Lovely honest review. 🙂
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book recently posted…REVIEW – AM I NORMAL YET? by Holly BourneMy Profile

  2. Awww…I’m so sorry to hear this was so mediocre Celine. 🙁 It’s always a bit annoying when you finish a book and your only thought is “and the purpose of that is…what exactly?” and it feels like that’s what happened to you here. Thanks for sharing this and, as always, fabulous review! ♥ And welcome back – I’ve missed you girlies! xx
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…The Shadow of BlackbirdsMy Profile

  3. Eeeh, I don’t know if I want to read this now. D: I’m notorious for not connecting to characters in usual books (where everyone loves them, hehe) so if she’s already so horrible and there’s a disconnect, I’m definitely going to feel it. STILL. It is about writers…I like books about writers. XD I SHALL SEE IF I GET TO IT. 😛
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…One by Sarah Crossan // conjoined twins? unique style? YES PLEASEMy Profile

  4. I just reviewed this the other day. It’s definitely a middle of the road book for me. I liked aspects of it, and I could feel for Eva in parts…but at the same time, I couldn’t relate to her a ton and there were various things I didn’t care for in this one.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…The War Against the Assholes by Sam MunsonMy Profile

  5. Now I’m kinda glad I didn’t get to reading this one in time before release. XD
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Unpopular Opinion Book TagMy Profile

  6. Aw, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this! I’ve never heard of this book before but when I read the synopsis now I thought OOH THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD but now I’m not so sure. I get quite frustrated if I don’t connect to a character and it’s awful finishing a book and thinking what is the point of this?! If my library gets it in I might give it a go because I like the synopsis but it’s not high-priority on my TBR pile.

    Great review, Celine! 🙂
    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic recently posted…Review – A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. MaasMy Profile

  7. First of all… I’ve missed you!!! <3

    Secondly, ugh. I'm so sorry this book was such a dud for you. I DESPISE that feeling of closing a book and feeling like it was a TOTAL waste of time. 🙁 I hope your next read is more enjoyable. Great review! 🙂
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Top Ten Books To Read For OTPs 101My Profile

  8. Hannah says:

    Ack, I’m sorry this one didn’t work so well for you! It’s always frustrating to finish a book and wonder what the whole point of it was.
    Hannah recently posted…Lady Knight (Protector of the Small #4) – Tamora PierceMy Profile

  9. Huh. I saw this in Barnes and Noble the other day and was intrigued, but I never buy a book right off the shelf (don’t judge ’em by their cover, right?) without checking out what people are saying about it first. I love that there are so many great book blogs out there to read through everything and help me figure out what I would want to read. Thanks for the thorough review, I really get a sense for why you weren’t a fan of this book, and think I can tell that it wouldn’t be up my alley either.

  10. Hmmm, you’re totally right in saying that this one just wasn’t for you because it didn’t really leave a lasting impression or invest you in the characters. The writing style is a big part of being able to connect too. At least you were able to find some highlights! Lovely review Celine.

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