Don’t Ever Change – M. Beth Bloom

Synopsis

Eva has always wanted to write a modern classic—one that actually appeals to her generation. The only problem is that she has realized she can’t “write what she knows” because she hasn’t yet begun to live. So before heading off to college, Eva is determined to get a life worth writing about.

Soon Eva’s life encounters a few unexpected plot twists. She becomes a counselor at a nearby summer camp—a job she is completely unqualified for. She starts growing apart from her best friends before they’ve even left for school. And most surprising of all, she begins to fall for the last guy she would have ever imagined. But no matter the roadblocks, or writer’s blocks, it is all up to Eva to figure out how she wants this chapter in her story to end.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell,Don’t Ever Change is a witty, snarky, and thought-provoking coming-of-age young adult novel about a teen who sets out to write better fiction and, ultimately, discovers the truth about herself.

Review

This book is kind of like an indie record. It tries really hard to be alternative and unique and different, but spends a long time not really expressing anything groundbreaking.

At times it was a little meta, making me wonder if the author was projecting her beliefs and struggles as a writer, but through this vehicle called Eva.

Eva wasn’t the most likeable person, which was painful because I see shades of myself in her. In particular, I can commiserate with her about wanting all people in life to stay the same, or at least grow the same way you do. And feel hurt and hung up about people drifting away, even when they’re not even the same people that you liked in the first place. Eva and I both need to learn how to let go (except, that lesson never makes itself clear in the story, argh!). There was one line in particular that resonated with me (not quoting verbatim) — Eva was upset about not being invited to someone’s house, even though she didn’t even like that person or the activities they were doing in the first place. Her friends explained that she wouldn’t have liked it anyway, but it was that idea of being left out that bugged her. Eva just wanted the opportunity to be included, even if she said no sometimes. I understand that feeling so much. I always felt annoyed that others didn’t get it, but now I’m thinking that maybe all those other people are right. If you’re always closed-minded, of course people aren’t going to feel comfortable bringing you along as they experiment with new things.

It makes me feel a little guilty that I dislike Eva as a character so much, because that’s not even the only way I completely agree with her. Take smoking for example: her reaction to Elliott was pretty much a carbon-copy of my reaction to someone interested in me several years ago. Except he only did it once. Does that make a me a judgmental and bad person?

This book was meandering, and evidently, made me start asking existentialist questions. I didn’t particularly like it, and I didn’t feel like much was accomplished. There really wasn’t even that much growth. I’m still on the fence as to whether this book changed me though, and whether it’s going to make me re-evaluate my perspective on things in life. I guess it doesn’t hurt to be assertive and keep an open mind. If those were the goals of this book, I’d say the story was a job well done.

Related Reading

  • The History of Love – Nicole Krauss
  • Finding Mr. Brightside – Jay Clark
  • The F-It List = Julie Halpern

Rating: 3/5

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