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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson @wmmorrowbooks @jessmapreviews @JoshilynJackson

Never Have I Ever 
by Joshilyn Jackson

Thank you so much to William Morrow for these advanced copies - Jessica and I thoroughly enjoyed this read - please continue below to see our thoughts.

Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: July 30, 2019
352 Pages
Genre: Thriller

In this game, even winning can be deadly...

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. 

My Review:

Amy and Roux. Cat and Mouse. But who is chasing who? When someone new and shiny gets your best friend’s bookclub drunk and spilling secrets...there’s bound to be something devious going on. I remember those girls who would come in and their presence just took over the entire room.  This person makes you simultaneously want their approval while immediately disliking them.  It's a weird feeling.  You think you outgrow it after high school but surprise, surprise, you DON'T.  Roux picked on the wrong person this time.

I gotta say I had a lot of admiration for both of them and how damn smart they were in their actions. While I certainly didn't agree with Roux a lot of the time, the snippets into her past and why she's the person that she is became extremely intriguing and I started to feel for her... for a bit anyways.  As Amy and Roux both have a bit of a sordid past, these two characters became a bit complex and kept my attention.  Not everything can be taken at surface value but usually your gut instinct is right.   I got very involved with Amy and her family and I hope all women find their Davis.  I loved their easy relationship and I would LOVE to have something so solid and SAFE.

For me, this was a pretty moderate to fast paced thriller/drama with an ending went in a direction that surprised the hell out of me. My head spun and I’m surprised I didn’t spit pea soup.  Good job to the author for keeping me focused on one direction just to slam me in the face with something even more devious and disturbing. I’ll also never look at an electronic toothbrush the same again. 😉 


Jessica's Review:

I’ve been enjoying some thrillers and suspense novels lately, but this is more of a domestic thriller/drama. I haven’t really had too many of those lately, and most of them seem to be so similar to each other these days. NEVER HAVE I EVER by Joshilyn Jackson brings a new and refreshing take on the genre. Who here has played the drinking game? I mean, that was one of the games that you learned a whole lot about your friends and sometimes more than you wanted to know. Well, this game gets turned on its head and takes a darker turn.
Amy and her neighbors have a monthly book club and one night that changes when their new neighbor, Roux, joins them. She turns things into more of a drinking night and less about the book they all read. Drinking brings about a new game of hers that she calls a newer version of never have I ever. Only this one is about the worst things you’ve done. The winner is the one that did the worst thing for that period of time. Round one is that day, round two is that week, then it continues into the worst things you’ve ever done in your life. Amy has a terrible secret from her past that she never wants to get out, even her husband doesn’t know about it, but when Roux alludes to the fact that she is aware of it, everything turns into a little game. How far will everyone go to protect their secrets?
The beginning started a little slow for me despite the game being introduced in chapter one. I think it was the slightly longer chapters that felt slow for me. I’m so used to the 5 page chapters that the 10-20 page chapters felt really long (being someone that reads chapter to chapter). I loved the characters, and damn, Roux is ruthless. Jackson does a great job developing these characters and weaving the story for us. I haven’t picked up anything by Jackson in the past, but I will be now! I highly recommend this to anyone wanting a good domestic thriller/suspense
4 stars

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