Review: Together for Never by Marilyn Kaye

Together for Never by Marilyn Kaye cover shows a girl looking in the mirror, holding up lipstick. The reflection shows another girl, standing behind her in a doorway, arms crossed.

Together for Never
Marilyn Kaye
Holiday House
Published March 14, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Together for Never

The Parent Trap meets Mean Girls when two polar opposites are squeezed into a tiny vacation house just because their parents are dating.

Charlotte is the queen bee of her 8th grade class—popular, confident, always wearing the trendiest clothes—and judging others for what they wear. Lily is a loner who dreams of becoming a writer—and she wants nothing to do with Charlotte and her snobby crowd.

Then Charlotte’s divorced father starts dating Lily’s single mother. Neither one of the girls even notices—until the day they learn that they are going on vacation together. Worse than that, they’ll have to share a small bedroom for two whole weeks. 

When The Parent Trap meets Mean Girls , can two girls ever make peace, or will they drag their vacations—and their parents’ romance—into disaster?  Every teen girl’s nightmare becomes an entertaining, surprising and heartfelt story in the hands of seasoned middle grade pro Marilyn Kaye.

Together for Never on Goodreads

My Review

This is a super quick read at about 150 pages. I liked that the girls were so different from one another– it created a lot of opportunities for misunderstandings and conflicts. The relationships between the girls and their parents were interesting, too. Charlotte’s relationship with her mom definitely broke my heart a bit. You could really feel Charlotte’s need to connect and that plus her mom’s behavior leading to Charlotte trying to act older than she was.

When Charlotte gets involved with the older kids at the beach, I couldn’t help feeling nervous for her. There were clear warning signs that this was going to go badly, but it made sense why she persisted in hanging out with them. I loved the way Lily was strong and independent, but that her independence and not caring what anyone thought about her left her vulnerable to some mistakes, too.

Ultimately, I thought this was a cool story about divorce and blended families as well as peer relationships. For a short book, the author really packed a lot in. Every scene, every page felt essential to the story.

Together for Never on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Major characters are white. A minor character is gay.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
One instance of mild profanity.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between a boy and girl. He’s older and in high school, while she’s in eighth grade. Lily’s mother makes a comment about needing to look “beneath the suit” to discover that Charlotte’s dad is a good person. Lily feels embarrassed at the double entendre.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
A girl is injured in an accident.

Drug Content
Charlotte’s mother pressures her to drink wine with her. Charlotte pretends to enjoy it, but doesn’t like the taste or the pressure.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of TOGETHER FOR NEVER in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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