While some people want to call this a sequel (many of the character’s from The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You are present in the background of the plot) I saw this more as an extension or companion novel. Not Now, Not Ever takes place three years after the closing of The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You and focuses on seventeen year old Elliot/Ever as she tries to escape the uncompromising expectations of her family.
She does this by running away to an Academic Decathlon type summer program where the focus is eliminating the competition by out geniusing them, the grand prize being a full ride scholarship to Rayevich College–a liberal arts school where E can study Science Fiction Literature. The crazy thing is, her nemesis (cousin) does exactly the same thing. So now E is watching the ripple effect of her lies and wondering how she will survive the parental explosion once her true identity is revealed.
There were many things I loved about this book.
- The cameo, and star appearances of The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You characters
- E’s love of science fiction and her reverence for the rare Octavia Butler book that she finds in the Rayevich College library
- The sharp writing and witty dialog that bring us the stumbling beginnings of a love story
- The awful moment when E breaks both his and her own hearts
- The snarling rivalry between E and her cousin
- And the French. I really loved the French
That said, I did not love this book as much as I did Anderson’s first one. There were a few things that did not resonate with me plot wise and the resolution felt a little forced. I was also disappointed that E did not end up launching herself, although I give her kudos for the selfless thing she does do.
Even though this did not live up to the shining star that is The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You, I had fun reading it and I cannot wait to see what Lily Anderson comes up with next.