Never Ever Getting Back Together / Sophie Gonzales / Book Review

When Maya learns her ex-boyfriend Jordy has been invited onto a brand new reality dating show, her first thought is, Of course. Younger brother to a princess-by-marriage, Jordy has enjoyed the spotlight in the two years since they broke up--even though he doesn't deserve it. 

When Maya learns Jordy wants her to be one of the contestants on Second-Chance Romance, her first thought is, Definitely not. He cheated on her, after all, and somehow convinced the world it was her fault. But the more she thinks about it, the more Maya sees that this might be the opportunity she's been looking for. Where better to tell the world the truth about Jordy than international television?

But there's one problem: Skye Kaplan has been invited to compete, too. Skye, the girl Jordy chose instead of Maya. Skye, the girl Jordy dated for two months while he was still with Maya. And the producers want Maya and Skye to share a room... just for the fun of it. 


I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I don't genuinely go into a tropey romcom expecting it to be the best book of the year. It's just not my type. But even though this book wasn't the best-best-best book on my reading list this year, it's pretty high up there! I had a lot of fun reading this one. 


  • Scumbag Ex: This is the type of book that needs a real scumbag ex, and Sophie Gonzales definitely provided that. Jordy's a liar and a misogynist, and he nonchalantly proves himself time and again. The big red flags are glaring, but it was the little things that got me in the spirit--the constantly referring to women he supposedly cared about as "chicks," for one. They were definitely never, ever getting back together--like, ever.
  • Tropey: When tropes work, they really do! This book is set up like a second-chance romance (obviously, the whole "reality show" is spun around that concept), but with an ex like Jordy, there's no way that's going to happen. Instead, we get a handful of other  tropes playing out behind the scenes of the reality show, and I really, really enjoyed that. Gonzales embraces tropes to great effect. 
  • Talk It Out: One thing I hate is when the primary source of drama in a book stems from a misunderstanding--particularly, a misunderstanding that could easily have been avoided (or sorted after the fact) by people just, you know, communicating. Though some of the initial tension here stems from misunderstanding, these characters do talk it out, and that flips the whole narrative. And I loved that. 


  • Wrong Audience: The worst part about this book is that it's been written for entirely the wrong audience. Sure, these characters are technically of legal age, so the plot works. But who actually would watch a reality dating show about a bunch of eighteen-year-olds that isn't about the fact that they're, you know, eighteen? Maya's concerns about her suitability for college life could easily have been transferred to a concern about heading right into med school or some other form of graduate study. If these characters had been aged up four or five years, it would have made much, much more sense--and the writing otherwise wouldn't have needed to change. There were certainly enough shots downed and curses bantered about for these characters to feel pretty comfortable in their adulthood. Sophie Gonzales might have an active market already in YA, but this book wasn't the right fit. 
  • Immediate Relevant Details: This is perhaps a nitpicky issue I have, but it always makes the writing feel a little less-than-polished to me when details that are relevant to a scene are shared with readers immediately before that scene. Once or twice, when it's unavoidable, sure. But to have little things that happened in Maya and Jordy's relationship shared right before they're dragged up again in the show might make sense on reality TV but makes less sense in flashbacks behind the scenes. 
  • Chalonne: This faux-European country, a mixture of France and Germany as far as I could tell, is a fun setting. A romcom is always more fun in fake Europe. But maybe the setting should have been left at the setting, no language necessary. The characters here don't speak this faux language, after all. And as someone who has more-than-casually studied linguistics, the mechanics of this fake language, the few times the language was thrown into the mix, were grating, to say the least. Others might not mind or notice, but it hurt me so much that I couldn't not mention it. 



Those who enjoyed the reality-show mechanics of Kathryn Foxfield's Come Out, Come Out Whatever You Are will enjoy this behind-the-scenes dive into the world of "reality" as well. Those who enjoyed Elise Bryant's Happily Ever Afters will appreciate this fun, tropey romance. 


Publisher: Wednesday Books
Date: November 29, 2022
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


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