Review: Next to Never by Penelope Douglas

Posted January 17, 2017 by Bethany in Recommendations, Reviews / 0 Comments

Next To Never (Fall Away #4.5) Review: Next to Never by Penelope Douglasby Penelope Douglas
on January 17, 2017
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four-stars
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Family Life, Romance
Series: Fall Away #4.5
Source: ARC via publisher
Pages: 164

New York Times bestseller Penelope Douglas introduces Quinn, younger sister to Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon, in the latest novella in the series that began with Jared and Tate in Bully....Quinn Caruthers has several problems.  
Her father, Jason, and her three older brothers, Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon.  
Under the close watch of the men in her family, Quinn has found it nearly impossible to spread her wings—or even date—without them jumping in to hover. And when a family friend—several years older—from her childhood captures her heart, she knows they’re going to be a problem. Lucas Morrow is a man—experienced, sophisticated, and important. And knowing her brothers, he may as well be forbidden.  
But Lucas left town years ago and shows no signs of returning. Quinn knows she shouldn’t wait for him anymore.
But then a package turns up on her doorstep with no return address and its contents reveal family secrets that threaten to turn Quinn’s world upside down. She’s never asked about the tumultuous path of her parents’ romantic history, but she soon learns their happy marriage had a very rocky and passionate start.  
As she begins to see things around her with new eyes, Quinn will have to make tough choices about whether she’ll keep waiting…or finally go after what she really wants.

Review

This review will be slightly spoilery especially if you haven’t read the Fall Away novels. Just a warning.

I have stewed over this novella for a few days before writing this review. The two words that keep coming to mind are SAD and HOPEFUL. Next to Never left me feeling sad about the past but hopeful for the future of this large cast of characters and the “next generation.”

The writing in this book is very good. I believe Penelope Douglas continues to grow and improve with each new release. The way she was able to blend two stories into one novella is kind of astonishing with the word count she had to work with. Next to Never combines a coming of age story about Quinn (Jared and Madoc’s baby sister) and a love story from the past about Katherine and Jason who are Jared, Madoc, and Quinn’s parents. Below is the family tree. I had to refer to it a few times.

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Katherine and Jason’s story made me feel sad. All those wasted years was just so depressing to me. Yes, they eventually found their way back to each other, but it was such a hard and painful road. I guess that’s life though.

The book wasn’t all sad. We got to catch up with the old Fall Away crew and see their children as teenagers. You’ve heard the saying, you reap what you sew, right? Ha! Ha! I cannot wait for Penelope to give us stories for all the kids. I have a feeling those books are going to be so much fun and entertaining. I hope we don’t have to wait too long.

If you love the Fall Away world as much as I do, then NTN is a must read.

About Penelope Douglas

Penelope Douglas was born in Dubuque, Iowa and has a Masters of Science in Education from Loyola University in New Orleans. She lives with her family in Las Vegas.

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