This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage: Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston

This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage is new to The Word On the Street in 2011! This new stage features hourly, genre-based, interactive programming sessions showcasing great Canadian young-adult books, authors, and artists plus the all-new Open Mic Hour. To celebrate, we have asked teens to read and review the books appearing on the stage! This is Saambavi Mano‘s second review. She reviewed Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston, who is appearing on the stage at 5:15 PM in the session titled “When Fantasy Meets Science Fiction – Author Chat” with Robert J. Sawyer. To read Saambavi’s first review of Quiver by Holly Luhning click here.


More than a few of us are bored by stories about the ‘old times’, but even those who fall asleep during history will be won over by Once Ever Never by Lesley Livingston. This novel is funny, fast-paced and exhilarating, and it is sure to keep you interested.

After hosting a wild house party, Clarinet ‘Clare’ Reid’s punishment is being sent to England for the summer to live with her Aunt Magda, an archaeologist working at the British Museum. To Clare’s relief, her best friend Alice ‘Al’ McAllister is permitted to tag along. Clare’s problem starts when she touches an ancient artifact in the museum and is transported back into the Iron Age. She finds out that she has a century old Druid blood curse coursing through her veins, and she decides that this is her chance to right the wrongs in the past. Clare and Al are thrown into a whirlwind of Druid drama, and must race against time itself to save a Celtic warrior princess from the Roman invasion. The present also becomes complicated after a notorious museum thief learns to Clare’s time-travel abilities and is set on using her to his advantage. In addition, Clare finds herself torn between a chance of romance both in the past with a Druid named Connal and in the present with Al’s cousin, Milo.

This novel is like a movie in book form. There is always something going on, and I never found myself bored with this book. It is hard not to love Clare, the main character, because she is hilarious in an intelligent, sarcastic way and she has a unique personality. I would recommend this book to fans of the Indiana Jones series and the National Treasure movies. Overall, Once Every Never is an exciting, enthralling novel that can be enjoyed by anyone.


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