Title: Opposite of Always
Author: Justin A. Reynolds
Pages: 320
Publisher: Katherine Tengen Books
Published date: 5 March 2019
Genre: Young Adult

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves. (Source: Goodreads)

Because love is knowing the bad is there but choosing to appreciate the good.

Opposite of Always is Justin A. Reynolds' debut novel. Which can clearly be seen in his writing. But is it excusable for such a boring book? Let me tell you.

This book is about Jack who has a long-term crush on his best friend, Jillian, whom is coincidentally in a relationship with his other best friend, Franny. Despite the so called long-term infatuation for his friend, one night, that feeling vanished and suddenly Jack has fallen head over heels for a girl he JUST MET AT A PARTY named Kate. 

You see, I hate instant love. I don't remember any books that wrote instant love well. Or maybe I just don't read a lot. But I couldn't see the root of Jack's emotion. He was literally ogling silently at Jillian when Kate came to him and asked him to step aside and gave her space to pass through the stairs. 

Fast forward from the night at the party, Jack spent most of his time swooning over Kate (which I couldn't fully imagine her face, like she had this vague interchangeable features in my mind) until one day Kate fell ill and she... died. Well, what makes a time travel book if none of the characters die. 

And so, Jack found himself back on the stairs at the party, seeing Kate for the second time but it would be the first for Kate. The loop repeats for FIVE FRIGGING TIMES. I thought three were enough and then I flipped the next page and there was the fourth time. I was like, okay maybe this is the last but hell no. God forbid. THERE IS THE FIFTH TIME FOR WHAT. 

So, Jack assumed God put him in the past to save Kate because Jack is the hero. He's the main character after all. For each time loop, the main events occurred are similar to the other loop but with different outcome. Which should make the time loop not boring but it does. I was kind of hoping maybe the time loop wasn't about Kate at all. But, the ending... is annoying. It doesn't satisfy me at all. 

People have been claiming this book is hilarious, which I can see how but it was kind of awkward reading a joke that was supposed to be funny with a straight face. I got the jokes but I just didn't think they were funny.

I'm the kind of reader who loves the characters more than the plot. Like I don't mind the time loop IF I could connect with the characters. If the author was able to make me invested and root for Kate, then I would be exultant to go back in time. But... sigh. The banter between the three friends —Jack, Franny and Jillian— was stale. I just... didn't feel anything. My heart didn't do backflip, plummet or bubble up with warmth like I anticipated. *insert more sigh*

Enough with the negative remarks, I do think the writing is acceptable. It's okay, not annoying to read. A plus point for that. I tabs a lot of quotes which I found relatable. However, I wish I could connect the quotes with the characters in depth. The quotes felt superficial. I need like a punch to the gut reading the quotes, but I didn't experience any of that.

Nothing good in life comes easy, but it's about deciding each day that you will stick with it.

Overall, I think you should read this if you don't mind instant love. I LOATHE instant love, so it's my own fault picking this up. Don't let my review stop you from trying out Justin A. Reynolds' books! His other book is Early Departures, but I'm not planning to read that because I don't think his writing style fits me.

Rate: ★★★☆☆