This Can Never Not Be Real Book Review | My Introduction to the Thriller Genre

This Can Never Not Be Real: ★★★★☆

Sera Milano

YA Contemporary Standalone

Out April 29th 2021

Thank you so much Electric Monkey Publishing for reaching out an offering me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! I loved this book

If you haven’t already, please follow this blog. You can also find HalfWildBooks on InstagramGoodreads, and Twitter for more bookish content!


This Can Never Not Be Real Synopsis

“Five teenagers with nothing in common, thrown together by an act of terrorism, can’t survive the night without each other.

A compelling, thrilling yet heartbreaking book for fans of Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Jennifer Niven and Holly Jackson.

In the unremarkable town of Amberside, the unthinkable has happened: Terrorists have attacked a local festival. No one knows why, and no one knows who the attackers are, but that doesn’t matter. What matters first is survival. And what matters after that is survival, too.

In this brilliantly written account of hope, humour and humanity, five ordinary teenagers are caught up in a truly extraordinary situation. It’s a heart-pounding and gripping account of the fight for survival, told from multiple perspectives, as the attackers prowl the festival grounds.” (Goodreads)


This Can Never Not Be Real Spoiler Free Review

Trigger Warning: this book contains scenes of terrorism, suicide, death, brutal injury and scenes that readers may find upsetting.

When I tell you this book is intense, I mean that I had to put it down to breathe. Everything feels so real. I felt as though I was reading about a true event, following real teenagers. The stress, the atmosphere, the fear, the eeriness made my heart pound. I have never read a thriller before, but if they’re anything like This Can Never Not Be Real, then Sera Milano has opened my eyes to a new genre in this heart pounding, intense story of survival during a terrorist attack.

What makes this book so great? The writing. Split into four main perspectives, with various snippets from others including the police, we follow five teenagers thrown together by an act of violence. Joe, Peaches, Violet and Ellie. The way it is written is almost epistolary. We’re getting witness accounts but never one after another, one character might only get a sentence in before it switches perspective, leaving you on edge until it switches back to them. You are left wondering what is happening, are they safe, and for how long? The characters cross at various points in turbulent mass panic. I adore books that step out of conventional narratives, and this Milano did a fantastic job.

Because of the writing and the relentless pacing, readers will be able to fly through this book. I managed to read this book in two sittings. Also, I feel as though this would make a great adaptation for film.

If you’re looking for a book to introduce you to the genre of thriller, or for one that offers a fresh writing style, then definitely give this one a read!


Are you planning on picking up This Can Never Not Be Real? Let me know!

Thank you for reading!

Until next time,

Nicole / HalfWildBooks

4 Replies to “This Can Never Not Be Real Book Review | My Introduction to the Thriller Genre”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s