Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker… but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.
Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time—literally—maybe even get a date.
This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every… never.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.
Title: Once Every Never
Author: Lesley Livingston
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Paranormal, Time Travel
Publisher: Puffin Canada
Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Bronwyn from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
Tour: This review and author interview are part of the Penguin tour for Lesley Livingston's Once Every Never.
My rating: 4/5
Clare is unfortunately realizing that this might turn out to be the most boring summer vacation on record, ever. That is, until one tiny act changes her plans. Thrown into a turbulent time period, she has the chance to change history, and right a centuries-old wrong, but first she needs to find a stolen artifact. Maybe there are perks to being sent overseas to stay with her aunt, an archaeology professor. With her best friend Al in tow, and Al's gorgeous cousin, Milo, this might turn out to be the most exciting summer that Clare has ever experienced.
With quirky comments, and humour-infused dialogue, Once Every Never is a genuine pleasure to read. Throw in time travel, Celtic warriors, history, and a race against time and you have a phenomenal and highly original read on your hands. Jumping from present day into the past, and back again could make this read a confusing one, but it actually made it all the more intense and intriguing. As an avid history fan, I inhaled the history being doled out in the read. Though I don't know how much is actual fact, I loved Livingston's interpretation and creative license with regards to the history incorporated in Once Every Never.
Clare is a hilariously fun main character. Quips fly back and forth when she's at the helm; and her relationship with her friends, and aunt add humour to the read. Clare believes she is just your average girl. Sure, she has an IQ that lands her in the gifted range, but she doesn't really use her talents for anything. She's more interested in hot guys, and shopping, so it comes as a surprise to her aunt that she's invested in learning about the history behind the "bog bodies" that are on display at the museum. Their interactions over Clare's lack of interest in history had me grinning as I could see the conversation unfolding in my mind's eye. Actually, Once Ever Never has many scenes that come to life vividly as they are read. I would love to see the movie adaptation, as I think this would be a great movie.
All in all, memorable characters, history, and humour make this a compelling and all too fun read. I'll definitely be checking out more of Livingston's work. If her other books are anything like Once Every Never, I'm sold. Highly recommended, this is a book that I think you should get your hands on as soon as you can.
What is your favourite line from Once Every Never?
Ack! That’s a tough one. I really had a lot of fun—especially with some of the dialogue in this book—and there are some lines that are favorites that are kind of spoilery… two brief non-spoilery faves, then, one from Allie and one from Clare would be:
“Wow,” Al said. “Choice ride, Evil-doer.”
Time monkeys. Angry, angry time monkeys.
Neither of which, of course, makes a whole heap of sense unless you’ve read the book! =)
If you spent a day in Clare's world, what would you do?
In her regular world? Probably hang out the mall. In the world she finds herself in this book? Maybe something similar to what Clare does: spend most of the time trying really hard not to get impaled on swords or spears or barbequed on flaming arrows. Plus, I think I would find it just as irresistible as Clare does to go poking around in the lives of the legendary individuals she comes into contact with. I am, pretty obviously, a massive history geek—much more so than Clare—and I would do everything I could to learn about the lives and lifestyles of a people largely lost to the mists of time. Also, y’know, if there’s time… maybe a romantic, river-side stroll with a handsome Druid prince might work it’s way in there...
Would you make the same decisions Clare makes, or would you do anything differently?
That’s hard to say. In some respects, I think Clare is possibly a lot braver than I am. And a lot less… mindful, shall we say, of consequences. In that way, the things she does—while, ultimately, they might well have been the right choices to make under those circumstances (or not!)—they aren’t necessarily the same solutions I might have come up with under the same kind of duress.
Which character would you most like to meet from any book ever written?
King Arthur. Specifically from a book called FIRELORD, by Parke Godwin.
If you made the front page headline of a newspaper, what would it say? What would you not want it to say?
It would probably say something like: Actor/Writer Falls Down Stairs Lost In Thought, Fails to Notice
I think I’d like it not to say Actor/Writer Falls Down Stairs, Just Too Clumsy To Live
If Clare ever met Kelley, what would they say to each other? Would they be friends?
I think they would! They’re both pretty cool and plucky and have both experienced some pretty incredible things. I think an initial conversation would go something like… this:
“Uh… wow! So. Wings, huh?”
“Um. Yeah. And—hey—you… with the, uh, time travel? Really?”
“Is the really cute blonde guy with you?”
*blush* “I was going to ask you the same thing about the dark-haired guy with the… is that a sword?”
“D’you wanna grab some quality shopping time?”
“I’d love too! I’m so sick of having to borrow my roommate’s stuff! I keep wrecking her couture.”
“Yeah… I totalled my best friend’s favorite jacket. Scorch marks and blue war-paint.”
“Really. We should totally hang.”
*The girls smile and wander off towards a mall, arm in arm, exchanging ‘war stories’*
Can you give us a description of Once Every Never in haiku?
Duck when flaming arrows fly…
Blue stuff on Clare’s lips.
You find out you've been accepted to Hogwarts. Which house would you want to be sorted into?
Well, Gryffindor is pretty high on the list, but I think I might be happy if I wound up in Ravenclaw… they’re the thinkers, which would come in handy with the book-writing thing, and it would also correspond nicely with a lot of the imagery in ONCE EVERY NEVER—Clare certainly has an affinity for ravens and I’ve always found them fascinating creatures so having them as my house symbol would be cool! Of course… it’s really all up to the Hat, isn’t?
Thanks, Corrine for being part of the ONCE EVERY NEVER blog tour! And for the fun questions!
Thank you, Lesley, for being here today and answering these questions for me! I got a kick out of your answers and am definitely in agreement with you about history, and Ravenclaw. ;)