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Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

t starts as a game at a book group one night. Never Have I Ever… done something I shouldn’t.

But Amy Whey has done something she shouldn’t. And Roux, the glamorous newcomer to Amy’s suburban neighbourhood, knows exactly what that is.

Roux promises she will go away. She will take herself and her son, who is already growing dangerously close to Amy’s teenage stepdaughter, and she will go. If Amy plays by her rules.

But Amy isn’t prepared to lose everything she’s built. She’s going to fight back, and in this escalating game of cat and mouse, there can be only one winner.

Publication date: 8th August 2019

My thoughts:

Never Have I Ever is an engaging and dark thriller which I couldn’t seem to put down. I was also surprised to find that it really resonated with me on an emotional level and I really related to the main character, Amy Whey. Usually, I don’t always relate to characters in thrillers as there’s not always a lot of character development but somehow Joshilyn Jackson manages to balance a well written plot with some interesting character work too.

The novel is focused on Amy, who has a picture perfect live on the outside, doting husband, newborn son as well as a step daughter who loves her to bits. She also has a circle of friends who meet up for book club every week, with no disruptions, that is until the mysterious and sultry Roux moves into the neighbourhood and hijacks the evening. While at first everyone is taken in by her beauty and charisma, she puts Amy on edge once she starts digging into everyones secrets through a game of Never Have I Ever. Except this game seems more than just a game, Roux knows Amys biggest regret in life and she plans to use it against her…

From the plot alone, I was interested in reading this book and I’m glad to say that it was every bit a great story. The tension and mystery behind Roux’s sudden appearance in town and then her behaviour towards Amy specifically is such a great start to this compelling novel. From there it moves to a battle of wills between Amy and Roux with high stakes and with so many twists and turns, I didn’t know what would come next!

As I mentioned above, I was surprised to find that I had such an emotional response to the novel. Specifically the flashbacks to when Amy is a teen and suffering from insecurities about her appearance and an eating disorder. There were so many lines of thought and dialogue which just hit so deeply as these were things I had also thought or said regarding myself. I found I could relate to teen Amy and I just wished I could have given her a hug. I also found the friendship between Amy and Tig, who was also her first love, so bittersweet. I desperately wished there was a chance for them but sadly it wasn’t meant to be.

Overall, Never Have I Ever is so much more than just a straight forward thriller, it has depth, compelling characters and an explosive final section which ramps up the tension even further.

Until next time,

Rumaanah x

6 thoughts on “Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

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