Opposite of Always

464p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062748379. POP
RedReviewStarGr 8 Up–Jack King is the King of "almost" with a slew of unfinished projects under his belt. He's almost athletic, almost a rock star, almost at everything. He is sitting on the stairs at a college party staring at his best friend and unrequited love interest Jillian, when he meets Kate. These two teens forge a bond over the love of cereal, bad dance moves, and nerdy movies. Jack becomes the Cap'n to Kate's Crunch until Kate is a no-show at Jack's high school prom. Jack survives the heartbreak through the efforts of Jillian and his other best friend Franny "Francisco," Jillian's boyfriend. Jack learns that Kate has sickle cell anemia and was in the hospital during prom. While at the hospital, Kate tells Jack about a doctor who has some promising experimental trials, but the treatment is expensive. Jack goes home to rest only to be awakened by a phone call from Kate's mother telling him that Kate has died. He's headed to his car when falls down the stairs and wakes up back at the college party where he first met Kate. Jake's life now cyclically reboots as he attempts to save Kate and maintain his friendships. This is a love story about friendship with a "choose your own adventure" twist. The humor in this story will keep readers engaged. Any teen who's ever wanted a do-over will enjoy reading this story.
VERDICT A great title for public and school libraries seeking excellent realistic fiction with a twist.

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