Now & When by Sara Bennett Wealer

*Spoiler free*

There’s something about Truman Alexander that Skyler Finch finds incredibly annoying. Actually, several things: his voice (grating), his arrogance (total know-it-all), his debate-team obsession (eyeroll), and his preppy vibe (does he iron his shorts?). She does her best to avoid him and focus on the important stuff: friends, school, and her boyfriend, Eli. His promposal was perfect–just like he is–and the future is looking bright. Or is it? For some unexplainable reason, Skylar’s phone is sending her notifications from the future . . . a future in which, to her horror, she appears to be with Truman. As in, romantically. As in, Skyler cannot let that happen. But trying to change the future means messing up the present, and what Skyler sees keeps shifting. Classmates disappear and reappear, swap partners and futures. Turns out there are no actions without reactions, and life doesn’t come with a road map. But sometimes the wandering leads you exactly where you need to be, and people–like glitchy phones–are full of surprises.

When I saw the cover reveal for this book, I was instantly drawn in. The characters looked dorky and adorable and the synopsis only upped my excitement. Enemies-to-lovers with a dash of seeing the future. It sounded like something different, but something I’d like to try! Trigger warnings: mentions of cutting, mentions of a suicide attempt, depression

I hate saying I didn’t love a book. But I didn’t love this book. There were a lot of aspects that didn’t really work for me and I found myself getting frustrated. I don’t think it’s an inherently bad book, I just think it didn’t work for me.

There was a cheating plotline, there were multiple times where going to a State College was called not ambitious enough, and a moment where weight gain was a symptom of a downward spiral/something bad. These were the three main things that really rubbed me the wrong way. I thought I just get them out of the way right off the top haha.

The cheating plotline was where things really started to go downhill for me. First off, I do not like cheating plotlines at all. Just, I don’t like them. On top of that, it seemed like there was no reason for the cheating (if there can ever be a reason)? Like, the story could have progressed just fine, maybe even better if this was never introduced. I felt like it threw so many things off. It jump started the romantic relationship when I think a slow burn could have evoked a lot more feeling.

Speaking of it throwing things off, it also jump started the emotional pace of this book. I felt like it was all over the place. I didn’t quite get what this book was trying to make me feel or what it was trying to do. Skyler is having all these emotions and trying to figure all these things out, but I felt like none of them ever came to furition. I also felt like she made some pretty bad choices and did some bad things, but they were never fully acknowledge. I felt like she didn’t grow. All the aspects and all the challenges she faced were concluded in such an abstract way. I felt like there were no consequences or no acknowledgment that some of the things she did weren’t really great.

There was also other emotional plotlines and I thought they were done a bit better than Skyler’s. But, they are also very much side plotlines. I also didn’t feel very much towards them and a lot of time wasn’t spent really digging into them. A few of them also had the weird abstract, not enough acknowledgment conclusions. I wanted more out of a lot of them. I thought there would be more build up, more saying “hey, I was acting wrong but I’m going to try to be better”, but there was none of that.

The seeing into the future part was kind of cool. It was interesting and I found myself wanting to know more and more about the website and how it was updating. I also liked how it kept changing with Skyler’s action and how clearly they were connected and reflected.

Another thing I liked was how, before they got really convoluted, and lot of the emotions seemed really true to life. They felt messy and all over the place, but in a good way. In a way that I could connect them to being human. But, they did end up travelling down a path I didn’t particularly like, but I still did like them for a little bit!

In the end, I just don’t think I connected to this book. I didn’t connect with the characters, so it was hard to be invested with what they were going through. There were multiple things that rubbed me the wrong way, so I got frustrated. I was frustrated, which made everything else even more frustrating. This book just didn’t work for me. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you! If you think you’d like it, I urge you to give it a try!

Now And When comes out July 14, 2020! You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order a copy in the meantime!

Thank you for reading!

2 thoughts on “Now & When by Sara Bennett Wealer

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