❈ Huge thanks to Penguin for providing me with an ARC for Reviewing & Fanmixing Purposes ❈
Title: Always Never Yours
Author: Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Release Date: May 22nd 2018
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A contemporary Shakespeare-inspired YA from a fantastic new author couple! What’s it like to play the understudy in your own love story?
Megan Harper is the girl before . . . just like Rosaline from Romeo and Juliet. Every one of Megan’s relationships has ended the same way–her ex replaces her with someone perfect. But instead of crying over every breakup, Megan spends her time on her two passions: pursuing her next fling and directing theater. She hates the spotlight, and she’s hoping to fulfill her college program’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible.
But then Megan’s theater teacher casts her to play none other than Juliet in her school’s production of Romeo and Juliet–and she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright. In exchange for Megan’s help writing a play, Owen agrees to help Megan catch the eye of a hot hipster stagehand. Between rehearsing and contending with her dad’s plans to move with Megan’s pregnant stepmom to New York, Megan begins to realize Owen– thoughtful, unconventional, and utterly unlike her exes–might be the Romeo she never expected. Better yet, with him, she might finally be a Juliet.
Rarely do I connect with heroines like I did with Megan in Always Never Yours. I love the idea of “the girl before”. Occasionally in Romance, there’s the misfortunate situation in which the girl before the heroine is the one who gets scorned. The girl before can easily become the villain. I always wonder what would’ve happen to those girls if their characters were given the agency to speak for themselves. Always Never Yours did exactly that in a way I didn’t know I needed. This book encompasses exactly what I want to read more about in Young Adult.
Truly, the stars aligned for this book & I to meet. I mean, the authors got engaged at The Ripped Bodice (aka my favorite bookstore of all time). I could not ask for more, which is why I’m breaking out my long dormant fanmixing/playlist making side especially for Megan Harper. You’re about listen to a playlist that is basically my love Letter to Megan.
I love this girl so much. Megan is the accumulation of everything I love in fictional characters: she’s direct, a shameless flirt, brash, uses humor to deflect, and gets in trouble when her desire to help her friends gets too involved & crosses boundaries. I can’t wait for you to read about her. But, until then, you can listen to the non-spoiler-y songs that remind me of her story arc. In this playlist, I wanted to highlight her growth from feeling left behind & replaceable, her learning to not resign herself to failure, and her slowly falling in love. My explanations for each song choice will be below!
[UPDATE 8/21/19] — Unfortunately, both Red Bird and Colin’s March are currently unavailable to stream on Spotify. If you want to listen to this playlist in its entirety, you can check out the new 8tracks link which includes both songs here.
💐Red Bird by Huski:
I love this song for a lot of reasons. I chose it as the starter for Megan specially because it shows how left behind she feels between her family, friends, and love life. And I couldn’t resist the stage references. SORRY. ↳ Watching this house split open // Reading all the rage that comes with this ///// All of the faces raised up to the lights // Wonder in spectacle, silent night // Red bird the stage girl falls // Closer the moment, she’s ready to go
💐Stay Golden by Au Revoir Simone:
Megan wrote this song when she knew another one of her boyfriends was leaving her for “the one~” & tries to brush off her feelings. Facts. It was totally in the book. ↳ I saw it coming // I just thought that you should know // I’m feeling better every day
💐Cheerleader by St. Vincent:
Listening to Cheerleader, I always reminds me of one scene in this book. Without getting into it too much for the sake of revealing content, Megan flat-out addresses her life as being “the girl before” Also, the bit about lies and smiles is so her. ↳ I’ve had good times // With some bad guys // I’ve told whole lies // With a half-smile /////// But I don’t wanna be your cheerleader no more
💐Feelings by LEO ISLO:
I’m not going to provide commentary on this one besides, THE MAYBE LOVE IS JUST A HABIT PART KILLS ME. ↳ And maybe love is just a habit // another means unto an end // but you’re the vice inside the magic.
💐Words Were Wars by Lowell:
Part breakup song & part brazen-ness I love this fit for Megan at this point in the novel. Oh, Bravado. And the part about words being wars is soooo fitting. ↳ I don’t need ‘em anymore // these lips you’ve given me // they’re yours to keep// you can throw them back to sea // the words were the wars
💐Colin’s March by Bevo Francis:
Instrumentals are a funny thing when it comes to fanmixes. I use them very intentionally when I don’t think words get across, and I love the more mellow mood to the strength of an Explosions in the Sky song. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve listened to them. ↳ (Instrumental)
💐Thursday Girl by Mitski:
This is Megan in the final act. She’s lost, but almost there & need in of some resolution…. You won’t get anything more out of me besides the fact that I love the song is called Thursday Girl. I get the “girl before” vibes from it. ↳ It shows me what I am // I’m not happy or sad, just up or down // And always bad // And tell me no // Tell me no, tell me no
💐I Look to You by Miami Horror:
Here’s the Megan breaking the cycle. ↳ I wanna change the future as I look into your eyes
ABOUT THE AUTHORS 💐
Raised by a school librarian, Austin’s always had a passion for books, especially books for young people. He met and fell in love with Emily in high school and went to Harvard University for undergrad. He studied English (focusing on Shakespeare) and graduated magna cum laude in 2014. Recently, Austin worked as a journalist for The HollywoodReporter and was a UCLA law student; however there’s nothing he loves like writing with Emily. Emily, whose parents are screenwriters, has loved writing and story-telling since an age she hardly remembers. Since meeting Austin (she says it was middle school–accounts vary), Emily attended Princeton University for undergrad, studied psychology, and graduated magna cum laude in 2014. While at Princeton, she wrote the first novel in her self-published YA fantasy trilogy, The Last Oracle, which was featured in USA Today and was a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Follow the Authors 📱
Follow the Blog Tour 💐
May 7 – Lindseyybooks – Review
May 8 – Just Commonly – Author Guest Post: Favorite Classics that inspires your writing
May 9 – BookCrushin – Creative
May 10 – Lacy Literacy – Playlist HEY, THAT’S ME!!
May 11 – Books and Blends – Review
May 14 – YA Books Central – Author Guest Post: Who would they Fancast/Dreamcast if their book was turned into a movie?
May 15 – Finding Wonderland – Creative Instagram Post
May 16 – Bookish Things & More – Playlist
May 17 – The Review Room – Moodboard
May 18 – Just Reading It – Review
May 21 – The Fandom – Review
May 22 – Riddle’s Reviews – Author Guest Post: Summer Reading Essentials
May 23 – Book Briefs – Review
May 24 – Passionately Perusing – Listicle: Top 5 characters from other books that could cast as Juliet.
May 25 – Pop! Goes the Reader – 2018 debut list + Author Guest Post: pros and cons of a high school romance from the perspective of high school sweethearts
May 28 – Belle’s Archive – Review + Playlist + Fancasting Characters
May 29 – Simply Kelina – Review + Instagram Post
May 30 – The Blonde Bookworm – Review
May 31 – Snowandbooks – Review + Author Guest Post: What do you think your character, Megan, would have to say about you?