Opposite of Always
Opposite of Always

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Annotation: After falling for Kate, her unexpected death sends Jack back in time to the moment they first met. He soon learns that his actions have consequences when someone else close to him dies.
Catalog Number: #169928
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 457 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-274837-8 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-2878-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-274837-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-2878-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018946216
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Romeo and Juliet meets Groundhog Day and Love Story in this wonderfully romantic story of teenage love and second chances.What can Jack say about a college freshman girl who's dying? That she is beautiful and brilliant? That she loves writing, witty banter, and him? Or that he is destined to meet her over and over again? In this engrossing debut novel, Reynolds creates both a pair of unforgettable protagonists who are doomed to love, lose, and work to find one another again and again and a well-rounded cast of supporting characters. Jack King, who is African-American, is an only child, caught in a love triangle with his two best friends: Franny, a resilient and optimistic Latinx boy, and Franny's Italian-American girlfriend, Jillian, who is grappling with family issues—and who is the one who got away. All of that changes when Jack meets Kate, an African-American student tour guide, during his visit to her university. When she stands him up for prom, he is heartbroken—even more so when he learns that she has a serious genetic condition. Among the best elements of this supernatural romance are the three-dimensional relationships between Jack and his parents and between him and his two best friends.A realistic teen drama that tackles complex subjects in an uncompromising way. (Fiction. 14-18)
Publishers Weekly
Ask African-American high school senior Jack who he is and he-ll tell you: he-s an only child, and the king of -nice try- and -almost.- Unlike his best friend Franny, he never makes the team. And he doesn-t get the girl because he-s in love with his other best friend, Jillian, who-s dating Franny. But Jack does learn from his mistakes, and he has lots of opportunities to try again when he finds himself in a time loop. It starts when his first girlfriend-who is already in college and into him despite his corniness-dies of sickle cell anemia, which Jack didn-t know she had. He plummets into a do-over, and then another, but for everyone else, it-s always the first time. Watching Jack scheme to save Kate at any cost, including ignoring his friends, betraying Franny, gambling, and lying, is both touching and worrying for the reader. Though Kate feels a little too perfect and Reynolds, an #OwnVoices debut author, occasionally hits the message (about loving people while they-re around) a little hard, he also creates an enormously likable character who is doing the best he can and then some. Happily, the book-s blend of humor and heartbreak wins out. Ages 14-up. Agent: Beth Phelan, Gallt Zacker Literary Agency; rights, the Bent Agency.
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Reynolds' snappy, dialogue-driven debut is a coming-of-age story with a time traveling twist. High-school senior Jack King meets Kate extra cute at a party while he's visiting her college, and their chemistry is undeniable. But Kate's ill, and their romance is heartbreakingly short-lived. Her death, however, sends Jack back in time to the moment they first meet, and every time he fails to save her, he returns to that moment again, getting another chance at love and, in the process, learning valuable things about himself. But sometimes trying to save Kate ruins something else in his life, and each trip back becomes a careful balancing act. Though the plot builds a little slowly at first, when Reynolds hits his stride, this charming, wry novel packed with witty, crackling banter is propulsively readable. Reynolds imbues his diverse cast of characters with rich, dynamic personalities. Jack is particularly multifaceted: this nerdy, awkward black teen resists any easy categorization, and in his witty first-person narrative, readers see him gain even more depth and nuance with each new loop into the past. Kate, too, comes through as a well-rounded character, and it's a joy to watch their romance play out. There are some big questions about choice, consequences, loyalty, and love in this novel, and Reynolds beautifully complements those heavy concerns with the sweet, funny, and genuine voice of his protagonist.
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12

“One of the best love stories I’ve ever read.” —Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give

“Read this one, reread it, and then hug it to your chest.”  —Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Debut author Justin A. Reynolds delivers a hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon and John Green.

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.


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