“A strong person realizes that the only love you truly need in this life is the love you have for yourself. If you have that, it’s like armor. No one can stop you. No one else matters.”
Ugh, I’ve missed the Fall Away characters SO MUCH!!! This novella was the perfect way to introduce the second generation of characters while still rewarding fans of the series with cameos of the original characters. Plus, we finally get Katherine and Jason’s full story! Next to Never was the perfect tease from Penelope Douglas – it left me desperate for more, but I loved it all the same.
Quinn – Jared, Jax, and Madoc’s little sister – is now a teenager, but her life is being overshadowed by everyone in her family. There’s Jared’s Dylan, Jax’s Hawke, and Madoc’s twins Hunter and Kade, who all have their own personalities and problems that seem to be bigger than they are. They have a presence that Quinn doesn’t believe she has, and she’s afraid to go after what she wants and to mess up the status quo. She’s stuck in her life, with no direction out – but when a book lands on her doorstep, its contents changes everything for her.
It turns out the book is actually a diary… the story of her parents’ relationship. I don’t want to say much about Jason and Katherine’s story because I feel like it’s best to go in blind, but the road to their now-HEA has not been an easy one. They had an addicting, intense, and ultimately toxic relationship that broke them both… but you’ll have to read this novella to find out how they healed themselves and each other.
Honestly, there’s so much to love about this novella. Seeing the original cast of characters was such a delight – you have no idea how giddy I got every time they appeared on the page. Reading about them here made me fall in love with the series all over again, honestly. But now that I’ve finished Next to Never, I’m dying for more, especially Quinn and Lucas’s actual book! The wait for them is killer, but I know Penelope Douglas won’t disappoint. If you love the Fall Away series, I don’t know why you wouldn’t read this novella (that didn’t feel as short as a novella at all, thankfully), because it’s everything you expect and more from PD and the series!
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Reading Order: Fall Away series
#1 ~ Bully: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Until You: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Rival: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Falling Away: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Aflame: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Next to Never: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads (Jan. 17, 2017)
#5 ~ The Next Flame: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (May 2, 2017)