New Beginnings: A Review of Some Other Now

Some Other Now
Written by Sarah Everett
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers
Available February 23, 2021
Ages 14+


Jessi Rumfield’s life was not perfect, living with a depressed bedridden mother and busy father. But, as long as she had Mel, Rowan, and Luke (The Cohens), she was happy. They were her surrogate family—Mel, the mother she needed; Rowan, her best friend; and Luke, the boy she secretly loved (who secretly loved her back). But when Mel got sick, everything changed. Rowan started to distance himself, causing Jessi to question her place in the Cohen family. This led to one fateful night—the night Jessi lost the Cohen family forever, or so she thought. One year later, Luke Cohen returns, asking Jessi to pretend to be his girlfriend to fill his mother’s last days with happy memories. Now, Jessi must face her painful past (and the feelings she still has for Luke) or lose the chance to spend the last moments she will ever have with the woman who gave her a home.

Some Other Now by Sarah Everett explores the themes of love, loss, and the meaning of family. Everett subtly tackles the issue of race, placing Jessi (a biracial child) and the Cohens (Filipino) in the mostly white neighborhood of Winchester. Plot points focused on race, mental health challenges, and the obsession with internet culture and celebrity reflect current events and conversations. Everett takes us through Jessi’s story with alternating chapters of “Then” (the past) and “Now” (the present), skillfully connecting the chapters to one another while also ending each on a cliffhanger. There is a cohesiveness to this narrative with constant twists and turns, keeping the reader engaged in this story of painful realities, courage, and new beginnings.