Review: Some Things Never Change by Cee Yang





Julie Lo’s new interior design job leads her to relocate to a new city. But, it’s the familiar presence of her childhood friend—Andy K. Hughes—that steals the spotlight. They are roommates, after all.

They grew up with their lives deeply interwoven, thanks to their moms’ unbreakable friendship. As two adults now living together, nostalgia reignites as they build Legos projects brick by brick, share movie nights and car rides, and rediscover the magic of falling back in love with old hobbies. All as they live and work in proximity.

Julie is finally happy with her life again after moving away from a city that never welcomed her. In Santa Mariana, things feel just right. But life takes an unexpected turn after a date with “Mr. Perfect.” She also discovers Andy has been in love with a college friend for the last decade.

All this tips the axis of her world when she realizes that maybe that old teenage secret crush she used to have on him hasn’t completely dimmed out.

Will Julie seize this opportunity and muster the courage to do what she should have done years ago?


Reviewed by Dakota Watson

Cee Yang’s inaugural venture into the world of literature with Some Things Never Changed proves to be a promising start. This cozy debut novel invites readers into a world that is both familiar and refreshing. From the first page, Yang’s narrative style charms with its simplicity, making it an easy and enjoyable read. The brevity of the book ensures that it doesn’t overstay its welcome, yet leaves a lasting impression with its warmth and humor.

The story unfolds effortlessly, drawing readers into the lives of its characters with a delightful blend of relatability and whimsy. Yang’s skill in crafting authentic dialogue and endearing personalities makes it easy to root for the cast as they navigate the ups and downs of life. While this book may not reinvent the wheel, it certainly offers a comforting embrace for those seeking a light hearted escape.

The brief yet meaningful incorporation of Hmong culture offers readers a glimpse into a world they may not have encountered before. While I craved a deeper exploration of this rich heritage, there’s no denying the value of its inclusion, especially for those unfamiliar with Hmong traditions. The characters leap off the page with a vibrant three dimensionality that invites readers to connect on a personal level. Each character, carefully crafted by Yang’s pen, possesses depth that makes them feel like friends we’ve known for years.

While the smooth sailing and gradual build up of Julie and Andy’s romance may align with the cozy and easygoing vibe of the book, I actually prefer a bit of romantic turmoil to spice things up in a story when I read a book. After all, a little conflict can add depth and tension to a love story, keeping readers emotionally invested in the outcome.

The inclusion of everyday life chapters initially offers readers a refreshing glimpse into the mundane yet relatable moments that shape the characters’ lives. However, as the story progressed, these slices of daily routine  began to feel repetitive and lost their impact, leaving me longing for more substantial plot development.

Yang’s skillful crafting of the romantic dynamic between Julie and Andy infuses the narrative with a palpable tension that is both charming and alluring. From playful exchanges to subtle gestures of affection, the chemistry between the protagonists crackles with energy, adding an exciting layer of depth to the story. Despite its easygoing demeanor, the book delivers a delightful dose of flirty banter and an unexpected amount of spice, which I truly appreciated (lol) that keeps the pages turning with anticipation.

In conclusion, Some Things Never Changed stands out as a stellar debut novel by Cee Yang. The book’s cozy charm, relatable characters, and the unexpected depth of its romantic elements make for an engaging and enjoyable read. With a keen understanding of human connections and a knack for crafting narratives that resonate, Yang has certainly established herself as an author worth watching.


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