Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Book Review: Never Have I Ever

By Melissa Amster

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. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

This is my first experience reading a Joshilyn Jackson novel. She has impressed me right off the bat! The premise of Never Have I Ever is interesting. It uses a classic drinking game to unearth a secret from Amy's past that threatens to upend her safe and happy life.

The story is definitely suspenseful. Even though Amy says early on what she did, there is still a lot to unwrap with many surprises along the way. I really had no idea where the story would go and Joshilyn kept me guessing the entire time. Just when I thought I had an idea of what would happen next, she threw me for a loop. Amy made some decisions I wasn't expecting her to make. At first, I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel, but then I couldn't put it down. It is definitely a thriller that had me on the edge of my seat.

I'm not personally into scuba diving (let alone any kind of diving), but it was cool to read about what happens during a dive. I learned some new things and thought it was a unique career for a character to have. There were times that the story felt too introspective, but it didn't take away from the plot too much. Joshilyn made some bold choices with some of her character's names, such as Panda and Tig.

Overall, I liked this novel a lot and would definitely recommend it to someone looking for a unique thriller.

Movie casting suggestions:
Amy: Lauren Ambrose
Char: Nina Dobrev
Roux: Erica Cerra
Davis: Adam Scott
Maddy: Landry Bender
Luca: Charles Vandervaart
Tig: Casey Affleck

More by Joshilyn Jackson:

1 comment:

Dianna said...

I really liked this book! It was my first time reading something by Joshilyn Jackson. Now I follow her on Twitter.