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I Belong


Review: Don’t Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom

Don't Ever ChangeTitle: Don’t Ever Change

Author: M. Beth Bloom

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: N/A

Publication Date: July 7, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062036882 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062036889 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Michelle

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.

Quick & Dirty: A young girl sets out to write a modern classic, but in her journey to gain more experiences, learn a few lessons along the way.

Opening Sentence: AMERICA, I, AMERICA is a play about freedom and being an American girl, and it’s the first thing I ever wrote.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Don’t Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom is about Eva, a young girl determined to write a modern classic. A classic to appeal to peers in her own generation. But Eva quickly realizes that in order to write a modern classic, it would probably be best to have gone through a few experiences. And in hopes to experience life, she gets a job as a summer camp counselor, she reevaluates her current friendships, and she builds new ones with people that surprise her.

Eva’s life transitions from high school to college, where she decides to become a Writing, Literature & Publishing major. But her lack of adventures leads her towards a summer day camp for girls and Foster, who also works at the camp. To further step out of the box, she attends a graduation party, which leads her to Elliot. Elliot has a lot of swoony band moments that solidifies the budding friendship.

It was a little difficult for me to connect to Bloom’s Eva. To be fair, I’m in a different place now than where Eva is. Eva is young and filled with bright, vivid dreams. She speaks to the reader in an honest and poignant way. She shares her hopes, dreams, and ambitions. But along the way, there is a moment that she begins to grow. I feel that it’s difficult for any woman in her shoes, in the in-between, and more so when there is so much added self-pressure.

Bloom’s voice for Eva and the other characters were straightforward, and Eva can come out to sound pretentious. It felt that at times I didn’t appreciate everything she had to say, let alone her actions. I felt disconnected from her and couldn’t understand her actions for certain things. There was a turning point, where Eva decides to change her ways.

Don’t Ever Change is a good book. It had many different plot points and turning points for a coming-of-age young adult novel. But my personal preferences just didn’t get me to completely connect to the story.

Notable Scene:

“You bought me a soda?” I say.

“I know the bartender,” Elliot says. “It was free.”

“I only want it if it you bought it,” I joke. “If it took some effort.”

“Well, I tried pretty hard not to spill,” he says, and sticks out his tongue playfully. The cold of the ice has turned his tongue hot pink.

“Do you want to go and actually watch the band?” I say. “You know, see the music play?”

“You can’t see music,” Elliot says, like it’s his deep personal philosophy.

“What was the better one then?” I ask. “You were saying you had a better one. . . .”

“Oh yeah. It’s by A. A. Milne—know him?”

“The guy who wrote Pooh,” I say.

“C’mon, it wasn’t that bad,” Elliot says.

“Okay, what’s the quote?”

“So Christopher Robin asks what day it is and Piglet says, ‘It’s today,’ and then Pooh says”—here Elliot leans down, his face close to mine—“Pooh says, ‘Today. My favorite day.’”

“Is this a real date?” I ask, my eyes right beneath his, my nose just below his nose.

“It’s a little date,” he says. He chomps on another cube of ice. “A half date.”

“Still half to ask me,” I say, pretty pleased I left my bedroom for once in my whole life.

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FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Don’t Ever Change.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  

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