[REVIEW] Never Never: Part One – Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
Never Never: Part One (Never Never, Book 1)
Hoover Ink (US: 8th January 2015)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide)

Be warned: this is not a novel, or even a novella. It’s more like a serial, and this is the first of reportedly three parts. And being only a third of a novel (the paperback is only 150 pages), it’s rather unsatisfying on its own. It has a premise, we meet the characters, and it ends on a cliff-hanger – and that’s it for now.

Colleen Hoover is known for her New Adult romance novels, but I’m unfamiliar with Tarryn Fisher’s work. Maybe she writes speculative fiction, because there’s some as-yet-unexplained weird stuff going on in Never Never. (I so want to put a comma between those words in the title. But I’m not a professional writer.)

Charlie and Silas are both in class when they realise they’ve lost their memories of familiar people. They still know reality TV personalities, but not themselves, each other, their families, friends, or acquaintances.

Their fathers used have a financial group together, but now one family is wealthy and the other is…not. Something shonky went down, and only one man was punished for it. Ah, the cut-throat world of business…

Silas Nash seems nice, such as when he checks that a drunken woman is okay. But reading from Charlie Wynwood’s point of view is not pleasant.

From page 82: “Amy,” I say. I wonder if she’s one of the girls I sat with at lunch yesterday. I hardly noticed names and faces. The car pulls to the curb and we walk forward. Janette climbs into the backseat without a word, and after a few seconds of deliberation I open the front door. Amy is black. I stare at her in surprise for a minute before I climb in the car.

Having read the entire book, I still don’t get why Charlie stares at Amy “in surprise”. Has Charlie never seen a woman of colour before? If Charlie’s familiar with celebrities, surely black people aren’t new to her, so I don’t understand the “surprise”.

Just a few pages later, Charlie has questionable thoughts about another character:

From page 85: My first thought is ugly. But it’s more of a fact than a judgment.

It’s a judgment. The girl Charlie’s judging is known only (so far) as “The Shrimp”. Because non-beautiful girls don’t deserve the respect of being referred to by their actual name?

Eff you, Charlie. EFF YOU.

To her credit, Charlie seems concerned about her younger sister’s dinner choices, so she does have a heart. Maybe only towards people who are both white AND beautiful. (Charlie notices that Amy is pretty, but that still doesn’t explain the “surprise” that Amy is black.)

I’ll be tuning into parts two and three to solve the mystery, but hopefully Charlie is more tolerable there than she is here.

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