In a sea of hot and swoony contemporary romances, NEVER TOO LATE brings a touch of sweetness that is perfect for younger YA readers or those who prefer sweet romances with a low heat level and no profanity. The situations faced by Abbey, the heroine, ring true for teens (insecurity, arguments with her best friend, and uncertainty in how to navigate her first serious romantic relationship) and find a hopeful resolution. The conflict, while realistic and painful for the heroine, avoids the darker themes of some contemporary romances--perfect for those who want a lighter story.
The relationship between Abbey and her best friend Olivia feels authentic, and their conflict (and the ways they handle that conflict) will ring true for many readers. Abbey is a rare heroine in that she is well-grounded with strong friendships and a good relationship with her family. The hero, Jason, also has strong friendships and a good relationship with his family. All in all, the characters felt like a slice of normal life which, in turn, made the difficulties of navigating a first romantic relationship feel like a glimpse of normal first love as well.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Much of this story depends on heavy exposition--long passages explaining every nuance of how the heroine feels or unpacking an encounter with the hero and parsing it out. Instead of showing the character growth and the romantic tension through dialogue and body language/body reactions, the reader is told that feelings are developing. This actually made it much harder to connect with both the main characters and the romantic relationship. It's harder to feel something for a couple when all a reader has to go on is being told what those feelings are.
At times, the heroine sounded old-fashioned, using words like tomfoolery or doofy or phrases that sounded more like a teen from several decades ago than a modern YA reader. For some readers, that may pull them out of the story, whereas for readers who enjoy old-fashioned, sweet romance, this story may be exactly what they're looking for.
Younger YA readers or those who enjoy sweet romances will enjoy NEVER TOO LATE.