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Review: Like Never and Always

spoiler free review

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Title:Like Never and Always

Author:Ann Aguirre

Series:Standalone

Rating★ ★ ★ ★ 

Note:I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

On a hot summer night, a screech of brakes and shattering glass changes two lives forever.

Liv wakes in the hospital, confused when they call her Morgan. She assumes it’s a case of mistaken identity, yet when the bandages come off, it’s not her face in the mirror anymore. It’s her best friend Morgan’s.

Morgan always seemed to have the perfect life, yet Liv must navigate endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety—and a romance that feels like a betrayal. Torn between the boy she loved as Liv and the boy she’s grown to love as Morgan, Liv still has to survive Morgan’s last request.

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Liv was definitely confused but who wouldn’t be in her situation? She was strong because she found a way to keep going even with her situation, and she was brave.

Nathan was kind of moody and could be self-destructive at times. He was a bit of a jerk too for a good chunk of the book.

Clay was very sweet and caring. He was selfless to a fault and deserved better.

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For the last sixteen years, I’ve been Liv Burnham… and apparently, I am dead. 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own!

Like Never and Always is a book that was deceptively good, although not without its flaws. The story follows Liv after a tragic accident that claims her life… and has her waking up inside her best friend’s body. Now, as Morgan, Liv must navigate a complicated love, home, and school life all while trying to figure out what it means to be Liv now that she’s dead to the world. On top of that, Live starts to realize that Morgan’s perfect life wasn’t what it seemed to be.

Without spoiling the book, Liv finds out that Morgan was trying to solve a mystery from her family’s past. She went to great lengths to find clues, any clues, and now Liv (as Morgan) is left to deal with the fallout.

What I loved best about this book was definitely the romance. Liv (now Morgan) finds her heart torn between two brothers. There’s Liv’s-before-the accident boyfriend, Nathan and then Morgan’s bad boy boyfriend Clay. You can expect things to be complicated and twisted, but also very sweet and steamy.

The only downside is that it was a little predictable about who the main character would end up with in the end. Right away you get the sense that Liv’s opinions about the boys are going to be challenged, and slowly you sense the shift; one boy is clearly meant to be the better choice while the other takes a bad turn. That wasn’t something I really wanted, but I think toward the end of the book we get a balance. Neither boy is better, it’s just that was Liv needed before and after the accident changed. That was something I could accept more than just turning one of the boys into a villain.

 True family doesn’t need blood ties; at the end of the day, they are the people who love you best, who laugh and cry with you, and who are always watching out the window when you come home. 

And while the basic premise of the book was interesting (the whole waking up in another person’s body and living as them), I was not the biggest fan of the mystery/thriller elements of the story.

Honoring Morgan’s last request was sort of made to be a big deal, but it really took more of a background role to the rest of Liv’s situation. There were some instances where she would try to pursue clues or ask questions, but for the most part, the story focused on Liv/Morgan’s family, love life, educational pursuits, and Liv’s psyche. When we were shifting to the mystery side of the story it tended to be very brief and often didn’t amount to very much.

Especially when it comes to the ending, the mystery/thriller aspects leave you wanting. Many of these facts that Live “uncovers” are big leaps she makes from small clues and that didn’t really do it for me. The answers you crave for so long throughout the book tumble out easily in just one page and it just makes the moment very anticlimactic.

Like Never and Always is a book that’s a little hard to pin down. If you’re going into the book with more of a craving for romance and drama then this book is going to be very enjoyable. The romance alone could carry this book through for me; however, if you’re going into it for the mystery/thriller side you might find yourself a little disappointed. But, overall, this book was a fun contemporary romance with hints of paranormal sprinkled in. This is one I definitely recommend for fans of romance.

Like Never and Always was released on July17th, it’s a book that’s worth checking out!

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If you could switch lives/bodies with anyone in the world, who would you switch with and why?

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