Release Date: April 20, 2015
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Twilight meets Eleanor and Park in this contemporary romance story about a love that insists on forever.
When Lenora Baker and Nathan Roqué run into each other in their boarding school courtyard, they have no idea that they are about to begin a journey that will take them the rest of their lives to recover from. Both scarred from parents who were once in love but ended up destroying each other, they are sworn off the possibility that there can truly exist a love that will never end.
But when with each other they find a passion so strong that it heals as powerfully as it burns, a love that will run out is no longer an option for them. Together, they discover just how far they are willing to go to preserve what they know they will only find once in their lifetime.
This is the start of their journey, and here you will come to realize, that falling in love is only the first part of the story...
I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.
My bookish tastes have clearly changed. When I first started blogging I was more patient, more willing to read a book without looking " too deep into it, " meaning I would read what's given to me on the surface, and could still come out with a decent experience. Now . . . not so much. I scrutinize. I compare. I pick apart a book until I get to it's core, and even then I continue to dig for the " good stuff ". I'm less patient with books now, so imagine my disappointment when The Beginning Of Never ended up being the beginning of alot of issues I had with the story.
When you put a tagline like " Twilight Meets Eleanor & Park, " idc. idc. idc. you HAVE TO DELIVER!! I'm a huge fan of Twilight, (talk about Edward and I will kick your ass) and come on, Rainbow Rowell is one of the queen's of contemporary, so you can't just give me anything less of perfection. It wasn't so much the plot I had a problem with, but the characters. I just didn't care for them, and they kind of made it impossible to do so in the first place.
In the beginning, I loved Lenora's attitude. She was still dealing with the death of her mother, making her closed off to everyone. She was a bit standoffish, resulting in her having no friends (you seriously can't count Kate as a friend) until Nathan (Alexandre) comes along. The thing is, she began to annoy me with her demeanor. I mean I understand, trust me I do, but this girl was always so. damn. angry. all. the. damn. time and after awhile I was ready to kick her out of the story.
Nathan did nothing for me, and I couldn't understand why all the girls in their school was obsessed with him. I did like how he didn't take any shit from Lenora, so I guess that's one thing I enjoyed about our love interest. Speaking of love, I just didn't get their relationship. It wasn't as genuine or realistic like Eleanor & Park's, and the only similarity I pulled from Twilight was Nathan's constant need to protect Nora. I found myself desperately seeking some type of compassion from the two -- some type of emotional connection between themselves and others, but of course with my bad reading luck, I never got it.
I remember skimming some reviews and seeing where readers stated they loved the " diversity " aspect of the story which kind of confused me. I know I'm blind, but I'm not THAT damn blind, so let's be honest here people. Nathan was Portuguese but he could've been a damn Zebra from Tanzania for all I know. Nothing bothers me more than when people call a book diverse when there's nothing that actually MAKES it diverse. It would've been nice to see some research done on Portuguese culture. Let me live it through this fictional world, let me imagine having a Portuguese friend that eats carne de porco à Alentajana, or curses me out in Mirandese or Spanish. (Thanks Google) Give me something that makes him the ethnicity that he is -- that makes him stand out as a diverse character, because wants the point if you don't?
I've probably given you guys the impression that I didn't like this novel, but in some ways I did. The writing was descriptive through most of the book, (it fell a bit flat towards the middle - end) and let's not forget how the story is set in a boarding school. HELLO MY FAVORITE! The author has a ton of potential, and with a bit of tweaking and polishing, maybe just maybe the sequel will be a step up from it's predecessor.