Book recs: ‘Never Ever Getting Back Together’ puts romantic spin on reality TV


St. Martin's Publishing Group

Two reality TV contestants find love in an unexpected placae in this romantic novel.

Gianna Cocovinis, Staff Writer

We’re living in a world where everything is made into a reality TV show. Some make for good television and give us all the escapism we’re looking for, and some go completely off script and give us even better entertainment entirely. “Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Sophie Gonzales gives us exactly that in her splashy new romcom.    

There’s a new idea for a reality show and people are being called in to audition, including protagonists Maya and Skye. When their newly famous ex-boyfriend asks his exes to help him out and participate, these two eighteen-year-old girls agree to go on the show. One does so with the intention of getting revenge, the other with hopes of rekindling the romance that was lost. However, both get tangled up together in an unexpected twist when they fall for each other instead.  

It’s been over two years since Maya’s ex-boyfriend cheated on her, yet thanks to splashy headlines and the fact that his sister married the crown prince of a minor European country, she just can’t escape the exe that is now casting himself as the bashful heartthrob. Maya can’t help but wonder if the world knew who Jordy really was, or what he was capable of doing to her heart, if they would agree quite so easily. Skye Kaplan is careful to trust just any guy with her heart, but Jordy said all the right things, broke down her walls and just as easily broke her heart. Now she can’t stop seeing his face on newsfeeds, magazine covers and spoken about as some teen heartthrob that’s got everyone twisted around his finger.  

Both Maya and Skye are invited and agree to participate in this newest reality dating show, Second-Chance Romance, where they are swept away to a beautiful mansion-Bachelor-style. Alongside them are four more of Jordy’s exes, all with the intention of competing to win his affections back with the entire world watching on from behind their screens. For Skye, she can’t help but wonder if she and Jordy can recapture the sparks that existed before their relationship ended. Maya, on the other hand, has other plans for Jordy: exposing him and getting the revenge she has been after since he broke her heart. Yet as the two young women navigate the strange and intense competition, Skye and Maya can’t help but discover that the happily ever after they’ve been chasing isn’t going to be found on the screens with Jordy, but rather behind the camera with each other. With a connection neither of them saw coming, this romance was definitely not in the scripts, but their relationship proves to give even more of a dose of reality than the reality TV show community quite expected. 

For fans of “Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston and “Love Island,” this LGBTQ+ romance will entertain you from start to finish. Coming out at the tail end of November, this quirky, spunky romance will give you a feel-good story in the middle of finals season. It combines reality TV and lesbians getting revenge on a manipulative cheater. So seriously, what isn’t there to like?