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Introducing Jack: The Best Short King

This is a book review of Opposite of Always by justin a. reynolds.

“Everyone deserves to taste magic.”

– Jack

Quick Facts

Author: justin a. reynolds
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: Romance, Time travel fiction
Main Characters: Jack King & Kate Edwards
Number of Pages: 464
SJ Rating: 97%

The Synopsis

After meeting the incomparable Kate Edwards at a college party, Jack King finds himself quickly succumbing to the love bug. However, things get complicated when Kate reveals she’s sick, in a very terminal way. When Jack receives some of the worst news of his young adult life, he finds himself back to the day he and Kate first met. With multiple chances at fixing the craziness that happens in the four-month deadline he consistently receives, will Jack King be the new name we say for Hero of Love?

The Good

This book immediately grabs your attention before the title page. It piques your curiosity and makes you want to read more. I love when a book gets right into it. The fact that he started with “People love to say ‘There’s someone for everyone’“… I felt called out.

Furthermore, I love the way it’s broken up, the length of the chapters, and the title of the chapters. From the jump, this book was checking all of the boxes on my list of what makes a book great.

Plus, there is the amount of descriptive text; it makes it incredibly easy to visualize the story. It was like I was watching a movie in my head. The cover absolutely does this book justice; it is the perfect depiction of the characters and their story.

I like that Kate is older than Jack (though it’s just by a year), and it’s not a big deal. In other books I’ve read (ones I read before SJ was born), it was always a big deal if the woman was older than the man.

Not to sound weird, but I also like that Kate has sickle cell. The sickle cell gene affects Black people the most and is passed down genetically; we’re more susceptible to being carriers. This is a good book for people who don’t know about sickle cell but want to be introduced to it and how it affects one’s life.

This book is an amalgamation of the many things, good and bad (like sickle cell), that are a part of and affect Black culture, even down to the Will Smith vs. Denzel debate. Love it. Love it. Love it.

Honestly, I just love everything about Jack and Kate’s love story. I love how obsessed Jack is with kissing Kate and how he describes the bliss he feels every time it’s brought up. I like that his nickname is Jack Attack and not “bae” or “babe.” The progression to him admitting his love for her… my heart couldn’t take it. It just kept saying “Awwww.”

It’s been quite some time since I’ve read a love story completely from a male pov, and I love everything about it.

When page 408 happened… I was so unwell.


THE FOURTH WALL WAS BROKEN. We love to see it.

The Bad

The plot twist, if you can even call it that, made me uncomfortable. It’s like the part in the movie where you just want to look away but have to peek between your fingers for the sake of keeping up with the plot.

The Overall

I definitely need someone to explain the ending to me because I have so many questions.

Considering this book is well over four hundred pages, I’m surprised with how quick I read it; she’s a thick one but a good one. As much as I love this book, I’m honestly not sure if I’ll read it again. It’s one of those things where the first experience is the best experience, and you want to stay in its euphoric moment forever.

Next book to be read and reviewed: We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

“‘But honestly, there’s something to be said for finding that person who reminds you how happy life can be. You find that person, boy or girl, and you never let them go.'”

– Abe, Jack’s dad

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