Reviews for Never Look Back, by Lilliam Rivera

vrobert's review

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adventurous dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

primrose's review

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mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

malachaifelix's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring lighthearted sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

plumpaperbacks's review

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challenging emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I’ve loved Greek mythology for most of my life, and I was excited to dive into this diverse new take on such a classic myth. Lilliam Rivera didn’t disappoint. From the very beginning, I was drawn in by her writing style and the story she was telling. Eury and Pheus are brilliantly written protagonists, and I also liked nearly all of the side characters. Even though everything happened rather quickly, I liked the romance; the chemistry between Eury and Pheus was still present and believable.

My one issue with the story was its length. It’s very short, and while that made for a nice, quick read, I felt it also resulted in some events in the second half seeming rushed. I think even an additional thirty pages would’ve been beneficial.

That being said, I did really enjoy this book, and I definitely recommend it. Even if you know nothing about Greek mythology, if you like diverse, well-written characters and sweet, whirlwind romances, I think you’ll like this book. After reading it, I know that I want to read more from Rivera, hopefully soon.

Representation
  • Puerto Rican protagonist
  • Dominican protagonist
  • Afro-Latinx side characters

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

sparklydraig's review against another edition

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1.0

This was so basic and all over the place, it's terrible.

Nothing was left out; insta-love for no reason, damsel in distress as always, typical boring jealousy, weird non-sensical demon/possession angle a la Mara Dyer (which doesn't fit with the rest of the book) and is not explained until the end, leading to yet another botched retelling of the Greek myths. As in, Greek myths meet YA, reminescent of that terrible Alice in Wonderland retelling by the name of Splintered, in the worst way possible.

I'd like to say it had potential, but it never did; it was rushed and unbelievable from the first. I wish I'd skipped it.

airykah13's review

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emotional medium-paced
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.0

anniekslibrary's review

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4.0

I've been wanting to read Lilliam Rivera's work for a long time, and I'm glad I picked up this one first. I read this in one sitting as I was just so immersed. I love retellings, I love Greek mythology, and I love how the Orpheus and Eurydice myth was handled here. It was a distinctly unique story and it was fun to see the familiar aspects of the myth play out in a whole new setting.

shelleygee's review

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adventurous dark hopeful tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

A clever and compelling reimagining of Orpheus and Eurydice for a YA audience, complete with summertime romance, otherworldly malevolence and Prince music.

lbandoch's review against another edition

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5.0

Thank you Bloomsbury YA for an ARC!

Whatever you think this book is - it’s absolutely not. It’s way better. Is it magical realism? Maybe. But to be honest it’s more of a modern day myth.

Why does this stand out? This story is based on a Greek myth - which comes with its own cultural aspects. But the author twists it to be a beautiful blend of Hispanic cultures while still delivering a meaningful story. Pheus has such a great voice (but maybe I’m just partial to a 17 year old calling an ancient god “deadass”). And Eury’s pain is so authentic that her story will resonate with readers.

Don’t classify this book. It’s a love story. It’s a Greek myth. It’s a book about music. It’s a book about love and loss. It’s so many things but it never loses sight of where it was going.

danielagreads's review against another edition

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5.0

Never Look Back is a Latinx retelling of the famous Greek myth, Orpheus and Eurydice. Lilliam truly transformed the piece into modern day, sprinkling in references to the original myth that make more sense towards the end of the story. Her blend of magical realism, along with the discussions of gentrification, recovering from trauma, and cultural identity. The characters of Pheus and Eury are so real, with Eury’s trauma from living through Hurricane Maria and Pheus unsure of what he wants to pursue in life. I loved the music that’s talked about, from the bachatas to the Prince songs. They help bring the book to life, giving the soundtrack of Puerto Rico and the States. I especially loved the ending of the book, which thankfully takes a turn from the myth and helps the characters to reclaim their story and show their inner strength. I would highly recommend this book!