I'm a bookworm of the highest caliber! If you see me, I'll probably be reading. There's nothing I love more than finding a good book, and then sharing it with the world!
So I imagine that if you were to time travel back to when I was a teenager, and somehow write everything I thought down into a book, it would be a chaotic mess. The sheer amount of thoughts that fly through the teenage brain at any given moment is insane. Truth be told, I'm pretty sure my stream of consciousness isn't any better now! It's just a little less focused on boys, confusing friendships, and fitting in. That chaotic mess of thoughts is essentially what this book is. Don't Ever Change is a look at the mind of Eva Kramer, in all its jumbled glory.
See, Eva is a writer. As such, she looks at the world through a different lens than most other people. She wants to live, to experience things that are worth writing about, but she doesn't know how. I'll admit, I have a soft spot for girls like Eva. That's what I was like as a teen. Lost in my own head most of the time. I loved watching her try to get out of her own way, and appreciate the last bits of being a high school graduate, before college and all the new things that it would bring. It's normal to feel afraid, and unsure, before heading off into something new. Eva just took that to the highest level possible, and it may have made her a little spastic at times.
Which, is actually one of the reasons this book started to go a bit off the rails for me towards the end. There is so much good stuff wrapped up in Don't Ever Change. High concepts like real friendship, judging others, and being accepting of your own faults. A lot of what comes out of Eva's mind, and mouth, is pure gold. The problem was that it's all jumbled. The closer it got to the end of the book, the less I was able to keep up with the manic pace that was Eva's stream of consciousness. There came a point where I just had to sit, breathe, and go back a few pages.
The ending itself really felt anti-climatic too. I think I was meant to see growth from Eva's character, but I didn't feel it. Plus, I felt like nothing was really wrapped up. No threads felt fully tied together at the end. It left me wondering if there will be more, or if this was a ploy to make the book feel like the one that Eva so desperately wants to write. A book that doesn't really have an ending, and starts in the middle.
So, overall I can happily give this book a 3-star rating. It's not perfect, but there's a lot about Don't Ever Change that is actually amazing. We need more real characters in the YA world. Ones who aren't afraid to admit that they're baffled by adult life. Because, really, who can blame them?