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Never Have I Ever: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 359 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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From the Inside Flap
Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her infant son. But Amy's sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night.
Sultry and magnetic, Roux keeps the wine flowing and lures them into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it's naughty, harmless fun. Only Amy knows better. Something wicked has come her way--a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did.
When they're alone, Roux coolly explains exactly what it will cost to keep Amy's sins private, but Amy cannot give her what she wants. To protect her family and the life she's built, Amy must try to beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets.--Clare Mackintosh, New York Times bestselling author of I Let You Go, on Never Have I Ever --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
From the Back Cover
Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her infant son. But Amy’s sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night.
Sultry and magnetic, Roux keeps the wine flowing and lures them into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it’s naughty, harmless fun. Only Amy knows better. Something wicked has come her way—a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did.
When they’re alone, Roux coolly explains exactly what it will cost to keep Amy’s sins private, but Amy cannot give her what she wants. To protect her family and the life she’s built, Amy must try to beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- File size : 1388 KB
- Publication date : July 30, 2019
- Print length : 359 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- ASIN : B07DTC3MTW
- Publisher : William Morrow; Reprint edition (July 30, 2019)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #28,544 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Amy Way loves her life! It's a fairly simple one; she's a dive instructor in Pensacola, FL, very happily married, step mom to spirited15 year old Maddie and mom to eight month old Oliver. She lives in a middle class, family centric neighborhood and has many mom-friends. She has a very tight bond with her BFF, Char, who is one of her favorite people in the world.
Life is pretty nearly perfect except for a secret Amy has kept buried in her past. It is both her hidden shame and biggest regret. Although it happened more than 25 years ago, she still thinks about it almost every day.
One evening, a beautiful stranger, who has moved into the one and only neighborhood VRBO, shows up for Char's book club meeting. This stranger, Roux, manages to hijack the meeting, get everyone to drink too much and then, after most of the women leave, she convinces the remaining drinkers to play a version of <i>I Never</i>. Amy finds this very unsettling. Although she works hard to avoid answering any questions, she feels she has been singled out by this game. Maybe it's just guilt over her secret, but Amy feels Roux trying to corner her. Additionally, she finds out a few things about her neighbors that she really would rather not know. Pretty soon it becomes clear that Roux is not what she seems.
Told from Amy's POV, the story flips back and forth between the past, recounting Amy's secret, and the present as she and Roux face off against each other in a battle for everything Amy holds dear.
<b>WHAT I LOVED</b>
I really loved Amy! She was the kind of main character you wanted to see win in the end. As an overweight, marginalized teenager with an unrequited crush on her handsome BFF, it was so darn easy to sympathize with her. I desperately wanted her to find moments of happiness and of course I wanted the BFF, Tig, to love her back as more than a friend. Their personalities just clicked, it could have been great! Then, as the adult Amy; the one who had lost the weight, found herself and found the real love of her life, I wanted her to be able to hold on to this life. I loved how she managed to match wits with slippery Roux and hold her own. I loved how fiercely she loved not only her own baby, Oliver, but also her step daughter, husband and BFF Char. I completely admire that type of loyalty and the ability to love fully. She has definitely made a HUGE irreversible mistake or two in her life, but she knew it, she lived with it and suffered deeply from it. She really did try to set things right. It was one horrible mistake in an otherwise quite decent life.
I also loved Maddy. She was a spunky fifteen year old girl who called her step mom her "step monster" or just "monster" for short and it was truly a term of affection. I have an admiration for spirited girls both in literature and real life. They are just more fun.
The next best part of the book was the suspense. I kept thinking it was close to being done but then another twist would come along and I would realize there was more to come. I actually had to force myself to stop reading one night / morning when I realized it was 5 a.m.! I kept waiting for a good stopping point and never found one. I could not stop!! The ending was not at all what I expected!!! It took me by surprise!
<b>WHAT I DIDN'T LOVE</b>
There was one part near the very end that was pretty disturbing. I could have been just fine not having that in my head. Yuck. I don't want to say anything else about that because it leads to a big twist and it would be a huge spoiler.
Minus the part I mentioned above, this was a great story. It would make a fantastic book club selection; so many themes, moral and ethical grey areas to discuss and the characters would be so fun to dissect.
Kudos to Ms. Jackson for a spectacular entry into the field, and I hope we get more of these in the future!
Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Genre: Domestic suspense
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Amy Whey is happy with her life: professor husband, fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, baby son, best friend Charlotte. Sure, she doesn’t get to dive as much as she used to since the baby was born, but she wouldn’t trade her family for anything. She’s helping Charlotte with the neighborhood book club when new neighbor Roux shows up.
Roux charms the neighborhood women, and soon they’re drinking wine and spilling secrets. They all think it’s innocent fun, but Amy knows better. She sees the darkness in Roux’s eyes and sees the first tiny ripples of hurt she causes. When Roux tells Amy she knows the truth about what Amy did years ago—and she’ll tell that horrible secret if Amy doesn’t give her exactly what she wants—Amy wonders if she can beat the devil at her own game.
Secrets upon secrets unravel as Amy races to find out the truth about Roux before the women spills Amy’s secrets and ruins her life for good.
I do love Joshilyn Jackson’s writing, and, while I’m disappointed this one isn’t Southern fiction (my favorite), Never Have I Ever is an excellent, engrossing book. Amy’s been running from the truth for a long time, and she’s desperate to keep her secret and the life she loves safe. Roux is a terrifying kind of evil—if only she’d used her powers for good!—and Amy will do whatever is necessary to keep her family—and her secret—safe. Highly readable, and I cannot recommend this enough.
(Galley courtesy of HarperCollins/William Morrow via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)
Top reviews from other countries
It’s basically a psychological thriller. The protagonist Amy is feisty and likeable, the villainess Roux is not. Despite having done some very bad/silly things in the past, you are rooting for Amy and booing whenever Roux appears. It all hinges on Amy’s tough determination not to be blackmailed into giving up her inheritance, which she has actually retained for praiseworthy motives. Roux runs amok and causes havoc amongst the genteel, middle class Floridian housewives, gleefully uncovering their secrets and sowing discord, seemingly for the thrill of it. Her motives are actually grubbier and more mercenary, however. The scenes of Amy with her baby, and her good relationship with her teenage step-daughter are nicely portrayed. Dull hubby doesn’t really feature that much, but he is basically a good egg. For once, the weak link of so many novels, which involves the reader yelling “just tell them”- which would of course undo the whole plot - is not so appropriate here. Will Amy uncover enough of Roux’s secrets before her own are uncovered? Will her husband support her if she confesses her own dark past? We are left hanging on right to the end, which is a tad melodramatic, what with near drownings and shootings, but the reveal is unexpected. The tone is alternatively dark and quite humorous, with some deft changes of pace.
I had absolutely no expectations of this book, other than the recommend mentioned at the top, and I lapped it up. It doesn’t pretend to have great intellectual depths, but it’s well constructed, gripping and well worth the time and effort if you like a largely female based thriller.
The story stumbled on getting more and more pointless and although I tried very hard to stick with it, I gave it up around halfway in. I then found a synopsis online which revealed that the ending was pretty poor. I was glad I hadn’t wasted any more of my time getting there. As I found myself unable to finish the novel it doesn’t deserve more than one star from me.