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10 thoughts on “Never Have I Ever

  1. Deanna Deanna says:

    My reviews can also be seen at was a FANTASTIC novel One of my favorite reads this yearForty two year old Amy Whey has a great life She has a wonderful family and a terrific best friend She finally feels at home for the first time in her lifeTuesday May 28 1991 was the night that Amy’s life as well as many others changed forever After that night Amy tried a variety of ways to stuff her feelings Eventually it was diving that saved her Being underwater was the only place she could forget if just for a little while Then Amy met Davis and his daughter Maddy They became her family eventually adding baby Oliver to the mix Finding a new best friend Charlotte only added to Amy's happinessThe last seven years have been amazing but there are times she wonders if she should have told the people she loves about her pastAmy’s life is about to become VERY complicated “Is this where the book club meets?” Book club is well underway when the doorbell rings Amy opens the door to a pretty woman with beautiful dark hair The woman's name is Angelica Roux Roux for short She is a single mom with a teenage son and they are staying at the Airbnb next door She thought she would come to book club to meet some new peopleAmy never thought that book club would be the place where her life would start to unravel Roux introduces herself and the other women immediately start trying to impress her However Charlotte who is the leader of the group is far from impressed Roux insults the book sits in the host's chair and mixes drinks like she owns the place She basically hijacks the eveningSoon Roux has the women drinking shots and playing a game called “Never have I ever” The game starts out innocently enough but then one of the women confesses something that hits very close to home Suddenly it doesn’t seem like such a harmless game Roux says that Amy would win this game hands down She seems to be indicating that she knows something about Amy's past Amy has had enough and tells Roux to get out As Roux is leaving she tells Amy that they need to get together that they have a LOT to talk aboutAmy has no intentions seeking Roux out but she is worried She tells herself that it’s impossible for Roux to know about her past Truly impossible But when Roux comes looking for her Amy’s instincts are proven right Roux wants something from her and if she doesn’t get it she’s going to make Amy payHow will Amy protect the precious life she’s built? I LOVED this bookThe story is told from Amy’s point of view Most of it takes place in the present but we do learn about Amy’s past and what happened that fateful nightFilled with fascinating characters an engaging plot and twists that I NEVER saw coming I thought the story was well paced with perfect timing and I loved how it all came together in the endJoshilyn Jackson is a tremendous storyteller and I found this book so hard to put down It held my attention completelyA thrilling story about memory betrayal guilt lies love friendship and revengeI highly recommend this incredible domestic suspense novelI'd like to thank William Morrow for providing me with a copy of this novel All opinions are my own

  2. Holly B Holly B says:

    I was wrapped up in these characters from the first chapter The characters popped off the page with their strong personalities and I wanted to know what they were all about It was like watching a movie and things were unraveling fastIt starts with a mommies book club and the newest member is a doozie All the drama starts when this newest member Angelica Roux breaks out the drinks and engages the club mommies in a revealing game of Never Have I Ever  This will begin a series of events that I couldn't have ever imagined Roux totally hijacked the book clubInsert shockedAmy is on high alert with Roux's game and feels threatened by what it could cost her She has worked hard to cover her past Who is this new book club imposter? What is it she wants?Lots of eye popping heart racing moments that I never could have predicted No Never I loved the twisted game they were playing and it was nuts The characters are center and the skillful plot moves along with the fascinating tale of greed and guiltBombshell secrets will drop blackmail and dangerous gambles will occur each player digging up dirty laundry until the final chapterDid I mention page turner? I enjoyed this entertaining read Highly recommend to fans of drama what would you do scenarios and plenty of gasp worthy twistsThanks to the publisher for my early copy OUT on JULY 30 2019Blog review closer to publication

  3. Dita Dita says:

    You know those conversational terrorists who hijack group get togethers by dominating everything? Now imagine one shows up to your BFF's snoozeville book club You are secretly delighted until you realize that she has charmed everyone else as well and bish knows your deepest darkest secretAmy has created a uiet little life with her hubby step daughter and infant son when Roux tornadoes into her life hellbent on destroying it Why does Roux want to ruin her life and what lengths will Amy go to in order to protect herself her family and her secret?This was yummyThank you to Joshilyn Jackson HarperCollins Publishers William Morrow and Netgalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review

  4. Will Byrnes Will Byrnes says:

    I opened the door to a stranger standing easy with the fat moon rising behind her practically perching on her shoulderShe was the pretty that’s on televisionsymmetrical features matte skin and that kind of long slim yoga body that still made me feel self conscious about my ownShe smiled and I had no premonition as I smiled back She didn’t look like my own destruction to me The past is never dead It's not even past William Faulkner Reuiem for a NunSometimes it comes crashing back in dramatic fashion banging on the door in a moonglow of dark intent and demanding that attention be paid and paid and paid Roux a new neighbor dropping in on the local moms book group must have parked her broom somewhere out of sight The ladies would not really get around to discussing Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth even though at least some of them had surely read it Those who had might appreciate that an evening supposedly dedicated to a book about the hypocrisy of social s in the high society of late 19th century New York would spark a battle royale in which the secrets of their small society were at risk of exposure The model level stunning Roux is a charismatic presence everyone wanting to earn her approval She encourages excessive consumption of alcohol starts a souped up variation of the Never Have I Ever drinking game assigns everyone individual spirit animals and begins harvesting secrets But this is collateral entertainment Roux is there for one person only and lets her know in no uncertain terms ”You don’t want to play? That makes no sense” she said and her spirit animal was a sinister version of the Cat in the Hat Hers was feral invading to unpack trouble in a house where no mother would ever come home In this house I was the only mother and I had let the trouble in I’d swung the door wide for it hoped it had the right house even “Because Amy? C’mon You would win this I’m thinking you got these low stakes bitches on lockdown” Amy Whey has a good life She has a happy marriage a beautiful baby a pretty sane thirteen year old stepdaughter and a successful career as a scuba instructor here in Pensacola It had not always been so One spell of adolescent foolishness had changed what had been a decent life into something else Half her high school a blur her relationship with her parents ruined disgrace brought down on her family Wastrel years followed with self destruction denied its ultimate prize when Amy was introduced to scuba Buoy meets girl? in which she found a joy that was spiritual as well as physical and a way forward to having a life But Roux knows Amy’s secret and that life is in mortal peril All Amy has to do to keep that life is give Roux every cent she has and then wonder when she will be back for Jackson diving under the salt pier on Bonaire – image from The Big ThrillIt turns out that Amy is not entirely sunk by Roux’s threat but rises to the surface gasping for air and finds a way to shore The benefit of having kept secrets all her life is having a pretty decent feel for how to go about uncovering the secrets of others It reuires some pretty bold action but having guts plus an excellent brain gives her the wherewithal to give Roux a serious run for her money Amy is no goody two shoes even since she began on her righteous path She has made decisions about how much to reveal of herself of her history particularly that dark bit to the people closest to her This makes Amy a particularly relatable character I mean don’t we all have things in our past that have somehow never made it into conversation with the people we are close to now? Little pockets of privacy we can rue in private at our leisure presuming we have failed to remove them from our memories entirely? Ok well then kick it up a few notches into felony territory No nice neighborhood Maybe no husband and possibly baby What would you do to keep that secret from becoming common knowledge? What lines would you cross? What further crimes might you commit? Amy faces many moral forks in the road ahead It was sweet to see Jackson work Amy’s feeling for diving into how she sees the world and the particular form of misery she faces in Roux I knew from long experience that I only had to wait the feeling out People say I don’t know how she lives with herself but every single one of them was living with their own worst thing just fine No one walks around holding their ugliest sin in the palm of their hand staring at it Our hurts are heavy and we let them sink Every day they drift lower settling in murky places where the light can’t reach All I had to do was wait My bad would fall down into the darkness again because the bad things always do The book alternates chapters up to a point between the contemporary blackmail duel and the events of Amy’s adolescence We get to know what there is to know bit by bit and with some nifty misdirections One of the truly fun things about this book is Jackson’s ability to keep ending her chapters with twists and hooks that make you want to read just one chapter Read hook repeatAnother fun element is how Amy comes to see Roux ironically as the only person who really gets her I couldn’t call her I was not such a beaten dog that I would belly creep for petting from the hand that held the whip I bit and swallowed tearing at the meat What did it say about me that Roux was the only person I could be honest with? Only she saw me down to my core dark and deep bitter as wormwood All the things that made me hate myself she actively admired and she was the only one who saw me whole Roux keeps finding herself surprised that someone she had thought would be an easy mark had turned out to be a tough competitor in a game of spy versus spy Frenemies on steroids There is a nice scene in which Amy gives Roux a book to read Stephen King’s Hearts in Atlantis maybe hoping she would on reading it consider where she had gone wrong maybe rue her current life gig? The author here is reminding those who are familiar with the book that many many of us have not always lived our best lives Jackson had an interesting approach to her scene writing informed by her other career that explains why her dialogue makes sense and feels credible “After I draft a scene with say five people in it I do one revision per character I work my way through the scene through each point of view so even if a character has only one line it comes out of an arc and a train of thought and a motivation that I understand completely It makes a difference Even if each character’s motivation is not explained to the reader if I know the arc if their reasoning and their individual desires are clear to me that character’s actions feel authentic I learned to do this working in summer stock theatre I did a scene where my character sat silent on stage and watched actions unfold for 15 minutes and then said one line But to deliver that line authentically I had to feel every feeling and think every thought and react to every moment that happened I try to do the same in novels from The Big Thrill interviewThis is in addition to doing some serious hands on research into scuba diving There are several elements in Never Will I Ever that readers familiar with Jackson’s writing will recognize Redemption is a freuent theme Amy is certainly trying in addition to besting Roux to make up for what she had done Secrets are a favorite central pillar Amy has a few and so does Roux but they are not alone And Jax can usually be counted on to look at the construction and disassembly of families In this one Amy has forged a new family for herself with formerly married Davis and his daughter Madison adolescents seem a mandatory element so check and Roux arrives with one of her own so double check while her original family seems to have pretty much dissolved Jackson’s books can be counted on to present at least one mystery which is exposed to the light in a final revealtwist A pretty killer one here Somehow Jackson uses these familiar parts to construct a novel that feels uite different from her earlier work while somehow still managing to remain engaging and satisfying Highlighting the what are they hiding elements makes it feel like a thrillermystery than her prior work although there was no shortage of mystery in those I have one gripe about the book There is a point at which Amy misleads Roux by telling her something that was not true hardly an unreasonable approach when dealing with the criminal element But not having been clued in by the author makes Amy who had seemed pretty reliable an unreliable narrator It seemed inconsistentBut that's a uibble really Bottom line is that I found Never Will I Ever to be an addictive page turner of a thriller by a reliable author at the top of her game A terrific beach read but with plenty of meat on those bones to make it an excellent book club item as well Strap on a tank rub some spit on your mask slip into some flippers and take a long step over the side of your boat Never Will I Ever will take you for a time out of your world and let you float about in another for however long it takes you to read it Dive in Look around You won’t be sorry Review first posted – July 19 2019Publication date July 30 2019 Hardcover April 28 2020 Trade paperbackEXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal Twitter GR Instagram and FB pagesMy reviews of other Jackson work 2013 Someone Else's Love Story 2016 The Opposite of Everyone 2017 The Almost SistersItems of Interest BookReporter an excerpt Interview The Big Thrill Grown up Games Redemption and Diving the Deep by KL Romo Publishers Weekly BookExpo 2019 Joshilyn Jackson Asks if Redemption Is Possible By Beth Levine May 30 2019 JJ demonstrates the proper gin to drink while reading her book JJ’s Pandora play list for never Have I Ever what she listened to while writing

  5. Crumb Crumb says:

    Intense Insidious and Intoxicating When you are reading Never Have I Ever at night in bed and the dreaded witching hour comes a tickin' I dare you to put this book down I dare youThis thriller leaked into every pore of my body I couldn't escape the plot You won't get many details from me regarding the storyline because it's best to go into this one blind Amy is a run of the mill suburban mom although she is in the 1% club She's a scuba diver What were you thinking I meant? She enjoys the boring satisfying routine of everyday suburbia Amy loves her husband and stepdaughter Maddy who lovingly refers to her as 'Monster' She is perfectly content with a perfectly boring life until book club When everything is turned upside down and inside out It's as if someone flipped the switch on the dryer to the tumble setting No Boring No Routine Here comes your Worst NightmareWhew Just writing this review re energizes me A guaranteed roller coaster ride On a number of occasions I've voiced my annoyances with the ever growing amount of similar psychological thrillers They are the same I even stopped reading that genre for a while because of my mounting frustration I'm happy to report that this one broke the mold Never Have I Ever doesn't follow the playbook It doesn't play by any rules Get ready to play detective and FAIL This book will keep you guessing all the way into the night while you fall all the way down its twisty rabbit hole

  6. Julie Julie says:

    Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson is a 2019 William Morrow publication A thrilling battle of wills Most of us have heard of the ‘Never have I ever’ game But what if the game was mixed up a little? What if instead of admitting to things you've never done what if you confessed to the worst thing you did that day or week or month or ever? Now that could be a very dangerous game indeed Amy Whey is happily married has a teenage stepdaughter and a young son She has a close friendship with her BFF Charlotte and lives in a nice home in a nice community and enjoys hosting Charlotte’s book club Her nice contented life is threatened in the worst way when the seductive Roux a new resident in her neighborhood pops in on their book club meeting and proposes they all play a little game Some shocking revelations come to light as the alcohol flows But the worst thing is Roux homes in on Amy pegging her as the one person at the gathering with the biggest secret – the one who has done the worst thing of all She then proceeds to lure Amy deeper and deeper into her cat and mouse game The strange thing though is that Amy seems to almost enjoy the challenge rising to the occasion to protect all she knows and loves Thus begins ‘a winner takes all ‘battle of wills’ between Amy and Roux Let the games begin This book is a wild psychological thrill ride It is jam packed with stunning mental maneuvers breathtaking revelations and taut suspense I loved every minute of the ‘game’ One could never put their guard down for a single minute The characterizations are well done even the secondary characters who add a great deal of depth to the story Jackson did a very good job with this book The timing and execution had to be pitch perfect to pull it off and it was all the way down the line No matter how hard I tried to put this book down I couldn’t It was just too much delicious fun and wickedly entertaining 4 stars

  7. Kaceey Kaceey says:

    35What if you had a secret so profound that you spent your entire life trying to hide it? And what if the new mom on the block decides she wants to expose that secret?Although Charlotte runs the neighborhood book club it’s always hosted by Amy and they’re meeting tonight Beautiful and sultry Roux new to the neighborhood decides to invite herself to the club Everyone welcomes herthat is until she hijacks the entire meeting and proceeds to get all the moms beyond tipsy She has her own agenda She wants to play a little gameNever have I everMaybe you’re familiar with this game?🤷🏻♀️ I wasn’t Made me wonder about these women and all their juicy secrets I think my neighborhood and group of friends would pale in comparison But then againI guess you just never know Make no mistake Amy’s secret is a doozy to keep And it seems Roux is determined to expose all But why? What could she possibly gain? And why is Roux fixated on Amy’s secret and no one else’s?This book starts off extremely slow I considered a DNF not too far in But I forged ahead and the story line really took off There are even a couple of twists that absolutely shocked me A buddy read with Susanne🌸Thank you to Edelweiss HarperCollins William Morrow and Joshilyn Jackson for an ARC to read and review

  8. Nilufer Ozmekik Nilufer Ozmekik says:

    To be three or not to be three that’s the uestion no no no I’m going back and forth between three to four like swinging on teeterboards because this book started good then it got slow slower slowest and BAMMMno I don’t talk about the twists I just dropped the book out of my hands because I started sleepingBut as a summary let’s stick with four hardly given stars Reading this book is one of my most interesting experiences in my life Because first impressions are so important for me if I like something from the first glance my feelings stay that way I hardly change my opinion But this book really confused me The blurb was so intriguing Before it’s released I was so curious and I wanted to have it ASAP I haven’t written any books of this author but as far as I saw her writing is highly recommended to me from so many readers which excited me The beginning of book was good We’re witnessed a book club gathering organized by Charlotte and taken place in Amy’s house We’re introduced Amy Charlotte other club members and finally Roux came into the party or forcedly included herself and took the control of everything by making all the members drunk and force them play “Never I have ever” game But we may have sensed she had a different agenda Her target was Amy who did a really bad bad thing as mentioned at the song lyrics And Roux thinks it’s time for payback and hunter prey cat canary or mouse cat kinda evil games are about to begin So WHAT I mostly LIKED about this book CHARACTERIZATION In my opinion author’s focus was creating a thriller story She concentrated on characters’ development their past faults flaws motives background stories and took us to a journey inside their heads to show how they think and inside their hearts to show how they feel It’s a different kind of story telling but it’s detailed well rounded poignantly described BUT yes here comes the big and fat BUT part I was so ready to read a page turner but this is definitely not a gripping unputdownable story It needs patience You may want to stop skip and choose another book It might bore you to death You start yawning You may feel like your eyelids getting heavier and your couch pillow starts to look heavenly You may suffer from unbearable lightness of taking a uick but peaceful nap My suggestion is if you have enough patience please keep reading Mostly I don’t but this time I trusted my guts not to put it down Because after the second half too many twists are going to be GAME CHANGERS and when you were taking baby steps on this book you are starting to run and then flyI wish this game changer part could come sooner So the writing is good the second half is excellent These facts made me give four stars to this book But there is always an option to stop reading before reaching the second half and automatically giving two stars and starting another book Writing a slow burn thriller is so tricky and compelling thing If the author couldn’t capture the attention of the readers from the beginning of the story you may lose them forever uestioning elements of the story which rekindle your curiosity could be added carefully so you want to learn I’m happy to keep reading I was expecting something mind bending thrilling nail biter sitting at the edge of the couch kind of book but I liked the character development writing and second half So far it worked for me

  9. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    It starts when s new member shows up at the book club A game Never have i Ever a secret kept for many years What if someone knows your secret? Is willing to do anything to win the game and get your money? Would you know how to play? Could you find a way to win?I've read this author for years has the undeniable knack of creating fully realistic characters Women and situations that could be taken out of the newspapers maybe even our own lives our neighborhoods These women seem real because they are multilayered not all good not all bad I found this story absorbing addicting Times I thought I knew where it was going how I felt something was revealed that I didn't see coming and my feelings changed again Couldn't wait to see how this was going to end Both women had much to lose so who would come out on top? Such a spider web of s story expertly plotted and expertly executed Step by stepARC from Book browse

  10. Charlotte May Charlotte May says:

    Fucked up twisty and with a solid ending 4 stars ⭐️ This was a sinister read When at her local neighbourhood book club Amy opens her front door to a stranger she has no idea the danger she is inviting into her home Roux is charismatic and sexy – she soon has the entire book club drunk and revealing their secrets and it’s not long before she hints that she knows about Amy’s past than she shouldAs Amy’s secrets threaten to become exposed she takes drastic measures to keep the new life she has made for herself safe view spoiler Roux was an absolute bitch Prying on other people’s secrets and blackmailing them for money honestly she was vile But that’s what kept me hooked – I wanted Amy to beat her hide spoiler

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Never Have I Ever In this game even winning can be deadlyAmy 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 nightSultry 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 didWhen 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 anotherTo 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 conseuences if she can't beat Roux What terrifies her is everything she could lose if she winsA 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