Never Always Sometimes
by Adi Alsaid
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: August 4th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Never date your best friend
Always be original
Sometimes rules are meant to be broken
Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they'd never, ever do in high school.
Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he's broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It's either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.
Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they've actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.
HOW DO I ANSWER THIS? I’ll say Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, but I hope you know I’m going to lose a lot of sleep wishing I could answer this a million different times.
I’d say I go through phases. Pushing Daisies is up there.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
THESE QUESTIONS ARE SO HARD. “No Children” by The Mountain Goats.
I’m going to cheat and say a whole category: Asian soups.
“An ordinary life examined closely reveals itself to be exquisite and complicated and exceptional, somehow managing to be both heroic and plain."- The Bullfighter Checks her Makeup, Susan Orlean.
Is undead an option? I’d love to meet Stephen King as a zombie. Cause, like, if he’s creepy now, imagine after he’s experienced death.
Hello Adi! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.
Of course! The book is about Dave and Julia, two best friends who’ve distanced themselves from others throughout high school, existing in their little world of two. They even went so far as creating The Nevers; a list of clichés they promised themselves never to do. When graduation approaches and they re-discover the list, they decide to burst their little bubble and try to cross out every cliché they swore off. Dave, however, is already guilty of number seven on the list: Never pine silently for someone for all of high school.
I want to call them smart and funny, but that would be totally self-absorbed and patting myself on the back, right? Julia has always been the driving force of the friendship, and she’s the one that insulates them from their high school classmates and eventually leads them back to explore the outside world. She idolizes her biological mom, who gave her up for adoption at birth and now roams the world being a very hip person. Dave, on the other hand, lost his mom as a kid, and now has a strained relationship with his dad and older brother Brett.
Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing? I think high school is such a struggle between finding out who you are and how you fit into the world around you. You want to be original and unique, but you also want to connect with others, be liked. I wanted to tell a story that was different than what I wrote in Let’s Get Lost, something that zoomed into two friends and what happens in their relationship when they change the rules of how to interact with the world around them.
I was already writing the story when I watched the movie Drinking Buddies, and that definitely had some influence in how I approached the arc of the best-friend love story, because I thought the movie handled it without a single cliché.
My favorite aspect of the book might be the one-liners and banter between Dave and Julia, so I’ll pick one of those, mostly out of context.
Dave: “I’m sure that’s an exaggeration.”
I was really proud of myself while writing the slam poetry scene. It’s full of ridiculous puns and I was being a weirdo and giggling to myself while writing it.
Not particularly. Male or female, I’m always trying to make sure a character feels well-rounded and like a whole person. I pay particular attention to this during revisions, but it’s just as true for male characters as for female ones.
It’d be so awesome. I’m a huge film buff so I’d be delighted to see my story in a theater. I know this is a ridiculous answer, especially when I write mostly teen characters, but I’d love to see a movie where Nic Cage plays every single role. So, why not in my movie? (Okay, there are a million reasons why not. I’d make an awful casting director. Or the best one.)
I’ve got a number of projects in the works! Nothing I can officially talk about at this time, unfortunately, but maybe soon.
Thank you so much for everything, Adi!
Thank you for having me!
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Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, then studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in class, he mostly read fiction and continuously failed to fill out crossword puzzles, so it's no surprise that after graduating, he did not go into business world but rather packed up his apartment into his car and escaped to the California coastline to become a writer. He's now back in his hometown, where he writes, coaches high school and elementary basketball, and has perfected the art of making every dish he eats or cooks as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he's lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas, and Monterey, California. A tingly feeling in his feet tells him more places will eventually be added to the list. Let's Get Lost is his YA debut.