Two teenage girls compete on a dating reality show to win a second chance with their mutual ex-boyfriend, only to fall in love with each other instead. Sophie Gonzales’ Never Ever Getting Back Together is a sweet and feel-good YA romance.
Maya and Skye are adorable together. I love how they initially hate and distrust each other (because of Jordy’s manipulations, obvs), but then actually work things out by talking to each other. Their romance is just fun and light-hearted; each heroine gets her chance at being a knight in shining armour to the other, and I love how openly they communicate with each other about their concerns. The story does touch on some more serious themes, like Maya’s single-minded focus on getting revenge on Jordy, Skye’s inability to trust people due to past trauma, and Jordy’s gaslighting and overall jerky-ness. But these are all treated with a fairly light touch, and I love how both heroines help each other through difficult moments.
I also really love the friendships formed amongst all the girls in general. Each contestant has her own reason for wanting to be on the show, which range from ambitions to be a social media influencer or meet Jordy’s royal in-laws to genuine desire for give Jordy a second chance. Jordy also varies in how he treats each girl badly — for example, he brushes off one contestant who tries to talk to him about her worry over a friend in the hospital. I love how even the other contestants get their own meaningful mini-subplots, so that even as we’re cheering on Maya and Skye to get together, we also get to cheer on other awesome young women to achieve their individual goals.
Finally, how awesome is that title? I love the Taylor Swift reference, and the overall mood of the story fits right in with this song. The ending was also super satisfying, and even though this did not happen in the book, I love imagining Maya, Skye, and other contestants singing along to a Taylor Swift soundtrack and letting Jordy know that they are never, ever getting back together with him.
Thank you to St Martin’s Press for an e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.