Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston

Oh you know I really like Lesley Livingston’s books – ok she’s Canadian from Toronto, just down the road from here – so you know I’m probably a little biased – but heck if you haven’t read her stuff you should!  Now that I’ve expressed by bias and my thoughts on the author I’ll admit that I did enjoy Once Every Never but not as much as I enjoyed her previous Fey series.  You’re going to laugh at this – it wasn’t the story –  which I did LOVE – it was the perspective it was written in.  Every once in a while I had to stop go back and reread to see who was talking.  Maybe I’ve been reading too many 1st person books??  This one is written from the 3rd person perspective but like I said every once in a while I had to stop and figure out who was talking – there were a lot of conversations between and within characters.  Many of which were from Clare’s perspective and I think at times it felt like it was her talking or telling the story (1st perspective)….  I don’t know maybe it was just me.  But all in all I REALLY enjoyed the book.

So what’s it all about…  A really cool mix of sci-fi and Druid folklore.  Clarinet Reid, really messed up at home (something about a Facebook party – ask your teens at home about this one 🙂 ) and is shipped off to spend the summer in London with her archaeologist aunt.  Terms of her “punishment” are very clear – no extra-curricular activities, no boys, no shopping… all while living an aunt who watches her every move and has a very shallow opinion of her niece.  In any case, Clare and her best friend Allie fly to London with different expectations for their summer vacation.  First day there, they are indeed summoned to the British Museum, as expected, where Clare’s aunt Maggie, works.  Clare struggles to keep her interest up while touring the museum for Allie’s sake until they enter the room that houses the “Bog Bodies” where something just seems to grab her interest.  When they head down to the Restoration Room to meet with Maggie, Clare breaks her Aunt’s number one rule: “No Touching”.  From then on Clare’s summer vacation turns into an adventure and mystery of a lifetime or rather lifetimes.  Clare has somehow been linked to the artifacts recently acquired by the Museum.  The artifacts are 2000 years old and hail from Queen Booudica’s rule.  Along with the help of Allie and Milo, her once-geek turned hottie cousin,Clare discover that she has a new talent and that she can no longer call herself “average”.

Again – an awesome story!  I continue to be fascinated with authors who have this talent to create a story that is new! Sounds silly I know – but this whole area was new to me and it was great!  Sucked me in…  yes I did read it in one and half days – it helps when the sun is out and it’s too warm to garden 🙂  and you have a great book that keeps calling you back….  Looking forward to more Lesley!


Ages: 12 and up

Favourite Quotes:

“The whole thing was giving her a headache.  It was like one of those word problems in math class crossed with that broken telephone game.”         p. 80

“‘Clarinet.  I’ve never met anyone like you.’
‘I can believe that.’  Clare had come a long way from thinking of herself as just an average teenager from Toronto. She laughed a little. ‘I’m the kind of girl a guy like you only meets once every – I don’t know – never?’ ”          p. 211

Livingston, Lesley. (2011). Once Every Never.  Toronto, ON: Puffin Canada.

Author website:  http://www.lesleylivingston.com/


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