Sunday, October 16, 2011

Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston

Published: July 2011
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Pages: 312
Copy: from Library
Summary: Goodreads

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.

'Once Every Never' is the first volume in Lesley Livingston's new trilogy.  I just loved it.  It was fast-paced, exciting, mysterious, magical, romantic and funny.  How could a book with a main character called Clarinet Reed not be at least a little funny?

Clare has been banished to England for the summer, albeit with her best friend Allie, so that she can stay out of trouble.  NOT!  In a very short time she finds herself transported back to Celtic Britain, where she becomes embroiled in the lives of Boudica and her daughter - .Along the way she meets mighty warriors (who just happen to be handsome), wild druid sorcerers, and a host of other characters, savoury and unsavoury alike.

Back in the here and now, she's also trying to sort out her feelings for Milo - whom she remembers as a forgettable nerd - and is now anything but forgettable.  Any guy who can walk around looking hot wearing a Star Wars t-shirt, gets my vote. I just loved Milo - be still my beating heart.  Allie and Milo are both amazingly smart and I loved the way that Clare keeps up with them in her own 'average' way. Clare's aunt Maggie was wonderfully distracted with her work at the museum and the historical aspects of the museum visit were very educational, without being in the least bit boring.There are romances going on in two different time periods, as well as mysterious bad guys who just keep popping up out of the woodwork. 

It is incredibly obvious that a lot of research went into creating 'Once Every Never', and the results are make for a seriously engaging read.  When talking to Ms Livingston last week at CPL (check post here) she told us that the next two books are very tentatively called 'Every Never After' and 'Now and For Never' -of course since she hasn't actually written them yet, that could definitely change, but I love the possible titles don't you?

For anyone who likes a touch of history with their romantic mystery, you just have to find a copy of 'Once Every Never'.  It was originally published just in Canada and I'm not sure if that has changed yet, but it is well worth hunting down a copy.  You will not be disappointed.


  1. I also really enjoyed this book. It's always so fun to read other reviewer's takes on books I've read. Thanks for a great review.

  2. Glad you enjoyed the book Dana. I can't wait for the next one, but it might be a while.