Back in the summer of 2019 my friend, Alison Law, gave me a paperback Advance Reader’s Edition of Never Have I Ever. I didn’t get a chance to read it at the beach but I finally picked it up last week and couldn’t put it down. It was a terrific read that kept me up late past my bedtime a few nights. I would start reading it in bed with every intention of reading for about 15 minutes and an hour later I was still reading. The alarm dings early at 4:45 am so there were some weary mornings.
No spoilers here but the book is fast-paced even as the storyline keeps moving between the past and the present. There are some captivating characters that I might even say need their own book to delve into their stories.
One of the most interesting aspects about the main character, Amy, other than the big secret she is hiding, is that she is a scuba diver. Diving helps her escape and is also so much a part of the actual story.
“It was not a bad place, under. It was the place I felt most at home in the world. I paused, breathed in, breathed out.”
As much as I love the ocean and know it is my happy place I’ve often wondered about scuba diving. I’ve snorkeled quite a few times but never gotten close to scuba diving. I love swimming in the ocean. Not just going to the beach but actually being in the water. We might have to look into scuba.
There were a lot of twists in the story even though I saw some of them coming. But what I didn’t see coming was the end. The crime that was going on while Amy was being bribed for her “crime.” I really almost had to put the book down it was a tad too disturbing to me and it was a major upheaval of a typical “crime”. I’ll give her kudos for that one and for also making me come back to see it through to the end because I had to know how it ended.
Every one of Joshilyn’s books has now been placed on my hold list at the library. How can I not like her already? She too has a ginger cat. Her Mango is fluffier than my Stringer Bell but I’m sure they would be fast ginger friends. I wonder if Mango is as mouthy as Stringer Bell is.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Have you ever done something so bad, so shameful that you would do anything to keep it secret? What if your worst enemy knew . . . and was determined to expose you?
Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it—teaching diving lessons, baking cookies for new neighbors, helping her best friend, Charlotte, run their local book club. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her adorable infant son. And, of course, the steadfast and supportive Charlotte. But Amy’s sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night.
Sultry and magnetic, Roux beguiles the group with her feral charm. She 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 tells her that if she doesn’t give her what she asks for, what she deserves, she’s going to make Amy pay for her sins. One way or another.
To protect herself and her family and save the life she’s built, Amy must beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets. Amy knows the consequences if she can’t beat Roux. What terrifies her is everything she could lose if she wins.
A diabolically entertaining tale of betrayal, deception, temptation, and love-filled with dark twists leavened by Joshilyn Jackson’s trademark humor, Never Have I Ever explores what happens when the transgressions of our past come back with a vengeance.
ABOUT JOSHILYN JACKSON
Joshilyn Jackson is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of nine novels, including Gods in Alabama, The Almost Sisters, and Never Have I Ever (July, 2019)