Can acting in love lead to the real thing? This standalone addition to the Flirt series is sweet, fresh, and clean. Abbey couldn’t be more excited. The end of the school year is coming, as is the annual sophomore class renaissance faire…and the headlining theatrical performance, where Abbey will be starring as a lead. There’s only one problem: her costar, Jason Hardy. Everyone else might think Jason is perfect, but Abbey knows the truth. She remembers what he did at the school dance, and she knows he’s a total jerk. But during the daily rehearsals, Abbey starts to see a side to Jason she hadn’t noticed before...and he might not be as bad as she thought. Each day she’s falling for him just a little bit more, and she thinks maybe Jason feels the same. Or maybe he’s a better actor than Abbey could have guessed.
Never Too Late (Flirt)Featured
What I loved:
Abbey is completely relate able as a sophomore in high school dealing with the typical high school issues. She is the lead in the sophomore play for the end-of-year faire that is held every year and finds herself having to play the lead across from Jason, a boy she cannot stand. Abbey is sweet, kind, yet will stand up for herself when needed. Jason said some mean things about her last year and she struggles with forgiving him for that. I really enjoyed reading their characters. I thought their relationship was sweet, realistic and yes, even romantic. While Abbey struggles with her feelings for Jason, she must also hide her feelings from her best friend (who has a crush on Jason!). How many times does that happen? All the time! However, I really appreciated how the girls dealt with their friendship while both having feelings for the same boy.
I loved Jason's character. He is charming, funny, and very sweet. At first we see him through Abbey's eyes and he can be a jerk. But as we get to know him, we realize he was just giving into the real peer pressures of high school, and he's actually a great guy.
I just really loved how easy this book was to read. A quick, fun, feel good read for romance lovers!
What left me wanting more:
As an older YA reader, I did find it hard to really appreciate Abbey and Jason's feelings because they are so young and just starting to deal with this feelings. However, that is just an age issue for me, and I was still able to thoroughly enjoy the book!
I would love to read more on Abbey and Jason as they go through high school. :)
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.