Joshilyn Jackson | Never Have I Ever

never have i ever joshilyn jackson

The Book: 

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson, 2019

The Characters: 

Amy Whey
Her best friend Charlotte
Her new neighbor Angelica Roux and her son Luca

The Plot (from Goodreads):

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.

Click here for book spoilers for Never Have I Ever
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Never Have I Ever, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Amy’s big secret was that she killed her neighbor Mrs. Shipley in a drunk driving accident when she was a teen. Roux uses this a sblackmail to try to get Amy to give her the quarter of a million dollars that she has left in her trust fund. Charlotte, Amy’s best friend, is the daughter of the woman she killed, but Char doesn’t know the killer was Amy. Trying to find a way out of paying Roux without her secret getting out, Amy discovers that Roux kidnapped and raped Luca, the boy that she told everyone was her son. 

The Ending:

Amy calls the police and confronts Roux, and ends up shooting her but claims it was self-defense. Luca was returned to his mom, who had left his abusive father. Amy’s secret didn’t get out, but Roux did tell Char that her husband was cheating on her.

The Review: 

Never Have I Ever begins with a book club meeting gone wrong–haven’t we all had those nights where we’ve drunk more than we planned and said things we shouldn’t have? Amy’s new neighbor, Roux, crashes the party and turns it from innocent to raunchy. 

Most of the characters are familiarly flawed, and this makes the reader care about them and what happens to them. Everyone has secrets, and some are better left uncovered. 

This book may have been one of the most engaging stories I have read all year. I definitely couldn’t have seen what was coming, and the twists kept the pages turning right up to the end. I love thrillers, but read too many with the same format and tropes and it’s easy to get bored with the genre. Never Have I Ever certainly breaks the mold of the typical, repetitive thriller. 

I’ve read and enjoyed many of Joshilyn Jackson’s other works, including Almost Sisters and Someone Else’s Love Story, but Never Have I Ever has been my favorite by far. I can’t wait to see what she does next!

never have i ever joshilyn jackson
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