Netgalley: Not Now, Not Ever

(received this courtesy of netgalley)33602144

Not Now, Not Ever

Pub: 11/21/17


  • I spent so much time not liking this book
  • The last 50 or so pages I had to push myself through
  • I did not like Ever/Elliot
  • Hipness vs Banter- can not tell if these are both products of the same issue or separate issues but the story felt like it was trying to be hip at points, the banter was not doing it for me
  • Most of the characters I could not remember their names or personalities but I do remember them being annoying a lot of the time
  • Not that invested in the love story

gets on soap box: If young adult is going to have more novels about college there needs to be conversations about mental health that do not divulge into get over it/you are weak for struggling with your mental health (this soap box is not completely for this novel because the story kind of fixed this critique in the end. Mostly this soap box is in result of seeing more novels set in college/preparing for college stages of characters life. Also, a lot of the novels I have read/am reading are not dealing with mental health and college).


  • Black girl who is into nerdy culture (it surprised me at first how current the nerd culture references were)
  • It feels very current to the issues and culture of teens (the genius/AP/accelerated class teens)
  • College Libraries- one of the things I do not think people talk about is how college libraries can be really amazing. I get why she would want to go to a college for the library because there are so many books that you cannot find at a public library (even though she could have interlibrary loaned books especially since the main character is in the California area which has more books in general…)
  • There were so many small little nuggets of wisdom that seeped into the story
  • There were a lot of information about the sff community that I did not know *insert tea emoji*

Objectively *** three stars

My Mood ** stars







Analyze Book Covers: Layers

*I could not find the cover artist for some of these so if you know it list them in the comments below and I will edit the post.

**Also, my analysis is based on seeing these covers online so there probably are so many elements that I am going to miss.

***have not read the synopsis or cover reveal (skimmed to find the cover designers) for most of these but know what they are vaguely about so there are obvious clues to the analysis that I may miss there too.


Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Cover Designer: Rich Deas

I already talked a bit about what I liked about the cover and reviewed first six chapters here.

Background: Completely black which I think is to emphasis the whiteness of the girl’s hair.

We have a view of the main character from her hair to middle of her face. One of the most striking parts of the cover is the darkness of the characters skin (the darkest that I have probably seen on a young adult book cover). Her skin has brown or yellow symbols (this is one of the elements that I think will be better analyzed in person). Her hair is bright white and her eyes are a light blue or grey.

The shadowing and the colors makes this feel very vibrant I would not be surprised if the cover is in that velvety cover material.

Her hair is straight bright white sticking up with a red, blue, and other colors head scarfs. There is a white chain thingy with beads on it and a blue jewel in the middle. There is white symbol  lines sitting on both sides of the jewel going down her forehead.  I can not tell if the jewel has something in it or not. The title is sitting in her hair (there are parts of the hair that is looping around the words).

Cover Reveal


Tagline: The revolution is here

Author:  Dhonielle Clayton


Point of view: We are shown the back of the girl with her looking back at us.

Background: light flashing like what usually is shown in glamour Hollywood book covers.

On side of  her of her hair  we can see her hair is sticking up in a fohawk, with an assortment of different color and type of flowers covering a large portion of her ear. Her dress is pink with a white top. Out of all the book covers I think her face looks the softest because of how she is sitting her mouth. Her mouth is slightly open showing a bit of her teeth, a look that a lot of models have in photos. Her facial expression does not have the determined/serious look the others have she is looking more  in wonderment (I wonder if that says something about who she is as a character?).

The title words seem to be breaking apart. There are black swiveling lines that are breaking apart the word “Belles”

Cover Reveal


Tagline: Rise Up.

Author: Justina Ireland

Cover Designer: David Curtis

Background: There is a big dingy, probably more because color of photo than anything, American flag in the background laying like it has fallen the rest is black

Point of view:  full back of girl in front of American flag

She has braids which make sense if she is fighting zombies but they are long so the zombies could grab one of the braids (but also it makes me think of action scenes where the character is fighting with their hair flying in the wind, I like it) Did you not notice that she is holding a bloody curved knife looks like a shortened sickle or hook? Is she wearing a long coat or a long dress? The outfit signifies this is in the pre/post-civil war. The cover is very dark, background and characters clothes are black. The character has a somber or serious facial expression looking off into the distance, makes sense for someone who has just fought zombies.

Overall look makes me think of an old photo.

Cover Reveal


A Blade So Black

Author: L.L. McKinney

Cover Designer:

Background: white and crème rhombus checked pattern, author name is in red on top of cover

Words: A blade is in white so black is in black it feels like the image is siting on top of the white, the K on black is elongated

Image: black girl with naturel hair (afro) holding two small knives, inside queen of spades silhouette with red and pink roses in the background (notice that the spade has paint splatter imagery  reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland where Queen of Hearts has her guards, if I remember correctly, painting white flowers red). Also, it looks as if the girl is bursting out of the card because the painted image inside the spade is painting over the white and crème patterned background (bringing color).   The girls gaze is off in the distance not looking at the viewer. Is she looking at the queen of hearts? preparing for a fight? She is obviously in a fighter stance.

The image of the girl with the two knives makes me think of those pictures/videos of someone playing the drums with paint. The paint is splashing out  like she is sounding the revolution.

Cover Reveal


Undead Girl Gang

Author: Lily Anderson

Cover Designer:

Background: Blue jean jacket

Point of view: focus is on one of the shoulder pockets 

There are pins throughout the jacket (7 in total)


(1) pink stone (diamond?)

(2) partially spread deck of black cards, showing only the face of one card which shows a gold crescent moon


(3) zombie green  hand with pink nails (decaying) pinky swearing with a brown hand with black nail polish and pink bracelet with star (occult?) in the middle

(4) author name in cursive pink with black outline with gold stars on certain parts around it

(5) sword with black hilt with pink or silver blade, black outlined

(6) little black banner off to the side that has in white lettering a novel by

(7) Biggest pin is pink heart with “Undead” in black (horror font) “Girl Gang” in black lettering in gold banner at bottom

Cover Reveal


Netgalley Reviews & DNFs

(received all these from netgally for review)

Killer Fashion

Why DNF?  DNF (for now) because I waited too long on book and its expired/got archived probably going to finish it from the library later. Other than that I did not like the poems and it was only 56 pages but felt longer. I cannot tell if this feeling is because of the ebook format or just the book.

Liked: The art gave the story the right tone for what it is about, information given gives the reader a look into not only the deaths but the life of the people at the time period of the clothing malfunctions

Art The art is in black and white with red put in certain parts (like feathers, belts, etc)

Ladybug In Plant City

Why DNF? (for now) I could not really read it because how it looked on adobe reader.  I am going to get it later from the library.

Liked: Cover

Noble vol. 1

Why DNF? I read the first issue and felt that it was confusing. I just did not feel engaged by the story.

Liked: Seeing a black family

Art was okay not amazing

Black Girls Rock!

Why DNF? I realized after getting this that I am not into essay collections, for some reason I thought this was an art book. I do think that there are people who will really enjoy this way more than I would.

Liked: Celebrating black women is always a plus

Ten Cents A Pound

Art: It was okay a lot of earthy tones

Story: Stories that push long-suffering of parent who is let behind to rot in poverty = the future is young, inequality works where only small amount of people can get out. I guess it sucks the whole situation.  It is a valuable story to tell but I wish it was not a that had to be told.


Art: Simple white with not a lot of stuff in the background which (I think) is meant for reader to focus on Petra

Story: It was okay. It went by fast I felt. Petra and the art is cute.

Cloudia & Rex

Art: Kind of ultraviolet look

Story: Halfway confused by certain events in the story did not like that, liked the art, the daughter is the typically written teen (actually not necessarily something you see in young adult books but more in television/movies), in the end I feel it was okay but not something I’d probably continue



Reprintable: Promises



Carlie and Gordie…
They had know each other since early childhood. Gordie had moved into the house behind Carlie’s when she had been only five years old. They had been inseparable for seven years until Gordie’s father had received another assignment and moved his family to Germany. For four long years Carlie had missed Gordie.
Now he had written her to tell her they were coming home. Carlie was having a fit. Had he changed over the years? Would he still be her best friend? Or would they greet each other as strangers?

The Rad

  • Has black teen characters but does not has race as a plot while not erasing the racial dimensions of the characters.
  • Friendship between a boy and girl. The story centers this strong relationship it could be said that this is the true love story.
  • Subplot which I will not reveal because spoilers but I liked it and it added dimensions to the main conflict.

The Damage

  • The shortness/there needed be a some sort of subplot or something that went beyond Carlie dealing with Gordie.
  • There was not enough put into the main plot or subplots that did exist.

Subplots that could have been beefed up

A. Friendship between Gordie and Carlie

B. Gordie *spoiler* plot

C. Carlie life outside of Gordie

The As If

There was some questionable things presented such as Gordie saying one girl was the bad girl who he would date but Carlie is the good girl who he would take home.

Felt a way about how the family took Carlie on like she was the wife or something to Gordie. I don’t know how to exactly explain it but it felt like too much for a teenager girl to take on.

If this was printed today…

– there would be at least a 100 more pages

-there would be more subplots and a beefed up main plot

-it probably would not be painted as a romance (but also I feel I read it as a romance based on the cover and the “first love from silhouette”/”Americas favorite teenage romance” tags so it may be based on my assumptions because the synopsis does not read at all like romance)

T5W: Best Books 2017

*little factoids about the books which may possibly change since there are two more weeks left in the month

) Lines We Cross

A. Making the white guy love interest work to deserve his person of color love interest

Status update on goodreads at 60%: Doesn’t let Michael off hook for racism like every time I think they finna do it they do a nope. You are actually going to face the hard work without a poc holding ur hand and coddling you through it (trying to keep this light but interracial relationships romantic and non-romantic need people who not only care about their friend/partner struggles  but also constantly work to get rid of their racism/prejudice)

B. Marina (main character) has a full life

It shows her family, friends, experiences, and so much more.

C. Audiobook

Listened to this 97-98% on audiobook so the narrators had to be good.


) Piecing Me Together

*read this at the same time I read The Duff

A. Probably the closest I will ever get to seeing my experiences as a teen in a novel.

B. Focuses on intraracial issues

C.  Black feminist themes

It is connected to what feminism, womanism, or just what some black girls deal with. There was definitely a compare and contrast that happened between Piecing Me Together and The Duff.


The Duff

*most read by other people

*read this alongside Piecing Me Together

A.  Kind of progressive in terms of sex positivity (my review gets further into why its a kind of)

B. Main character is messy- opinionated, kind of judgmental,  all stuff honestly I was as a teen. A part of the compare and contrast mentioned earlier with Piecing Me Together is the fact that I found myself in both  novels.

C. Movie –>Book

Seeing the movie before the book is probably going to be my newest method since it has worked really well this year.


) Allegedly

*first young adult novel read

*only readalong finished

A. The book that made me get back into young adult

B. The mystery

C. The Readalong– the experience of asking, answering, and chronicling the progression of the story.



) The Hate U Give

*longest book

*highest rated

A. Visibility- the fact that it is so widely read that I can still find a new review about it in December

B. More than Police brutality- a lot of people describe this as a novel about police brutality which is a disservice because 1. it makes people go into the novel with a certain expectation that is solely about police brutality 2. it is so much more than police brutality

C. Own the physical copy- one of the few person of color (particularly black) young adult books I owned this year so I tabbed it up.

There is so much that it did that I covered in my review of the novel

(Covers are all from goodreads)

292: Bait



No one is coming to your aid. We have ensured this.

Six strangers wake up on a remote island in the Florida Keys with no memory of their arrival. They soon discover their common bond: all of them are heroin addicts. As the first excruciating pangs of withdrawal make themselves felt, the six notice a yacht anchored across open water. On it lurk four shadowy figures, protected by the hungry sharks that patrol the waves. So begins a dangerous game. The six must undertake the impossible—swim to the next island where a cache of heroin awaits, or die trying. When alliances form, betrayal is inevitable. As the fight to survive intensifies, the stakes reach terrifying heights—and their captors’ motives finally begin to emerge.

The Good

There is commentary on so many things:

  • How people see drug addicts
  • Drug addiction
  • War on drugs
  • Greed

Looking at how some bookish people reacted to the main characters being drug addicts this is not a misplaced commentary.

Also, I liked the horror moments that did appear.

The Bad

The racial representation is questionable.

I think this novel should have been longer just so there could have been more suspense. It spent a large amount of time building the character and not enough time actually having the horror happen. If it was longer there could have been more on the Lord of The Flies and Jaws elements that the tag on book talks about.

Reading Expectations Vs Reality

As you read you can never truly know what you will find in between the pages.


Expectation All the flaws of show/movie will be dealt with

Reality Most if not all of the flaws appear

Expectations Favorite characters will get chance to be centralized

Reality Characters I do not like are prominent

Expectation Story will dig deeper into underdeveloped parts

Reality Large boring filler parts

Reading Old Books

Expectation Discovering old books I never got chance to read

Reality Reaffirming why I never needed to read those books

Expectation Rediscovering old series I was into back then

Reality Realizing that most of these books are either bad or not of interest

Expectation Old books = cheap and easily accessible

Reality Hard to find and not cheap


Expectations This is going to bring so much depth and information to this topic

Reality Spends chapter after chapter repeating stuff

Expectation Balanced conversation about topic

Reality Biased and unbalanced on topic

Expectation  Story is only going to be about subject nothing else

Reality  Author centers themself in story


What are some of your expectation vs reality you have noticed in your reading?