Title: Opposite of Always
Author: Justine A. Reynolds
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 5, 2019
“So. You know that saying ‘Time is undefeated?’ This is a story about the time that Time lost.”
Time loop stories can either really work, or get old fast and I’m happy to say that Opposite of Always worked for me. I loved Jack as a narrator (and Nile Bullock does a fantastic job with the audiobook narration). He’s quippy, cheesy, and hopelessly in love and fighting for it. But he’s not infallible – we get to see him make mistakes, have regrets, be selfish, and try again and again to do better.
Jack and Kate really grew on me as a couple. I have to admit, I wasn’t really hooked on them in the first timeline – feel like I didn’t really get to see them develop their relationship. So I thought that was going to be a big problem, because it’s kinda the crux of the story. But I got it the second time around and I really loved them together. I also really loved the strong friendships between Jack, Franny, and Jillian. They’re such a tight knit group with so much love between them it was great to see – even when they’re facing some huge problems,
I have to commend Justin A. Reynolds on the writing because it never felt repetitive to me at all. At best I felt nostalgia for the happier moments or fear and pain about the bad ones. And even in the midst of the time looping – there are wonderfully grounded moments with family that shows the growing pains of first love, leaving high school, and becoming an adult.
Opposite of Always was a unique story about fate – what seems inevitable and what we wish we could change. And all the hopes, fears, and mistakes that comes with finding your way – and the people who make the journey worthwhile.