Book Review: Never Have I Ever by Katie Heaney

Posted March 12, 2014 by Stormy in Books / 16 Comments

Never Have I Ever

by Katie Heaney

Never have I Ever

Original Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Length: 272 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Obtained Via: I received an electronic advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This influenced my final opinion of the book in no way. 
Format Read In: E-ARC
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the story morning glory

“I’ve been single for my entire life. Not one boyfriend. Not one short-term dating situation. Not one person with whom I regularly hung out and kissed on the face.”

So begins Katie Heaney’s memoir of her years spent looking for love, but never quite finding it. By age 25, equipped with a college degree, a load of friends, and a happy family life, she still has never had a boyfriend … and she’s barely even been on a second date.

Throughout this laugh-out-loud funny book, you will meet Katie’s loyal group of girlfriends, including flirtatious and outgoing Rylee, the wild child to Katie’s shrinking violet, as well as a whole roster of Katie’s ill-fated crushes. And you will get to know Katie herself — a smart, modern heroine relaying truths about everything from the subtleties of a Facebook message exchange to the fact that “Everybody who works in a coffee shop is at least a little bit hot.”

Funny, relatable, and inspiring, this is a memoir for anyone who has ever struggled to find love, but has also had a lot of fun in the process.


As soon as I heard about this book and it’s adorable cover, I knew I had to read a copy of Never Have I Ever. See, reading the synopsis had me pumping my fist in solidarity, because much like Katie, I’ve never been in a romantic relationship, and am now in my early ’20s. And I was pretty sure before reading that Katie’s story and my own would hold some sort of similarity. And of course, since Katie and I are vastly different, our stories are as well, but I was right: there was something charming and familiar to so many of Katie’s experiences.

Katie’s story is quite in-depth. She doesn’t leave a single boy out, starting from her childhood crushes and working her way up to young adulthood. Katie reminisced about her elementary school crushes with humor and a slight nostalgic quality that made me remember the first boy I ever liked as well, and I laughed along with Katie when things didn’t quite go as plan with all the elementary and middle school crushes.

Of course, as Katie lets us in to her relationship–or lack thereof–with boys growing up, things take a turn for the more serious as she gets older, as things do. I definitely felt for Katie at times and loved her quite humorous insights into the her heartbreak and decisions. I have to mention that Katie mentions her friends a lot, and I loved this! She frequently uses the examples of her friends to give the whole story more scope and contrast, and this at times saved Never Have I Ever for me. It was fascinating to see the realization of relationships that both Katie and her friends whose stories are partially told as well.

However, while I enjoyed Never Have I Ever, I did have some issues that really hindered my enjoyment. First was the fact I felt every story, every anecdote about every boy, was drawn out for the sake of humor. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it didn’t. I really like dry humor, and some of the humor used in this book made me laugh out loud. After a while, though, my thoughts would turn more towards, “Okay, I get it. This was bad news from the start. There’s been five jokes about it so far.” At a point, it felt like the humor was being pushed too hard and I was laughing not because of something actually funny, but because I wanted to move on.

I also thought things wrapped up a little too quickly. For the entire length of Never Have I Ever, Katie spares no detail in actions or in her feelings. And with a book like this, one sort of expects a great ending to wrap up everything up. I enjoyed the message Katie shared–she’s glad for some of the things that being single has given her, like the freedom of being able to do what she wants without factoring in other people, being able to come into her own, etc. But it all wrapped up a little too much on the surface level for me. All along the way I thought Katie was saying great things about her experiences, but at the end it only barely skimmed the surface.


I enjoyed Never Have I Ever, and would not hesitate to recommend it to all my fellow perpetually single friends. Katie’s voice was often witty and endearing. However, I did find my enjoyment being lessened by overdrawn sarcasm(which is a sentiment I can’t believe I’m expressing, believe me), and an ending that had a great opportunity to be more than what it was: a bit flat. 3/5 cupcakes. 




3 Stars

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16 responses to “Book Review: Never Have I Ever by Katie Heaney

  1. This sounds like it has a lot of potential to be a hit with me, despite the overdrawn sarcasm. I can definitely see myself getting tired of it, but in the right mood? It could be gold!

    And the fact that the ending isn’t a “cutesy and they lived happily ever after ending”, despite falling a little flat, is promising.

    • Stormy

      I think you’d definitely have to be in the right mood, but I say to give it a shot! Some of the stories really are quite humorous and it does feel like you’re chatting with a friend!

  2. On one hand, this sounds like a cute story and one that I would feel nostalgic over. On the other hand, really draggy out stories may get to me. Hm… This may make it into my “maybe” pile. 😀 Still, I’m glad to hear that the development is really for Katie’s character.

    • Stormy

      Hm, yeah, it’s sort of a toss-up, I think. Some of the stories were genuinely funny, but doing the same basic humor over and over again really got to me after awhile.

  3. I just marked this one as DNF this past weekend. I got through about 40% of it before letting myself quit. The level of detail definitely got in the way of my enjoying it. Like you said, some of her stories reallyyyyy drag out, and I think they would’ve been stronger and funnier had she not done that. I think what was hardest for me was how she does a lot of self-sabotaging and I almost started losing sympathy for her. I mean, I’ve never been in a long term relationship, though I have dated a few guys, so I guess I can’t totally relate, but I can some. I just found her inaction with a lot of these “relationships”/crushes to be a little bit irritating. I’m glad you kind of liked it though, and I know there are others that did as well.

    • Stormy

      I totally get that, and I definitely thought there was some self-sabotaging too. I couldn’t help but to feel like maybe their were OTHER people in similar positions that would be more suited to write about it because there was definitely some self-sabotaging and just not really *getting* things there. I think the voice made it up for me(despite some of the dragging). I definitely liked it overall, but I don’t think you missed a whole lot by DNF-ing this one. It was definitely more of the same the whole way through!

  4. Okay, so I’m definitely interested in this. I have had very few romantic relationships, and none in a really long time. I’m sorry that this felt a bit flat for you.

    • Stormy

      It was still rather enjoyable over all–it was mostly just the ending that fell so flat. Not even “the ending” itself–since it’s a memoir and hey, you can’t always neatly wrap-up a chapter of your life–but more the conclusions that Katie drew. I wanted her to go deeper with it! But I totallly got where Katie was coming from for (most) of the book.

  5. I have been wanting to read this (and still will!) because like you, I identify with Katie a LOT! I’m sad to hear it wasn’t completely amazing, but I’m glad you enjoyed it anyway. I’ll read it for the solidarity if nothing else!

    • Stormy

      That’s pretty much why I read(and kept reading!). Katie seems pretty cool from a memoir-writing standpoint. She had a really great writing voice!

  6. This seems interesting! I can also relate to the story! I’m pretty much in the same situation. My only hesitation would be that I fear it might have a cutesy “and they lived happily ever after” ending which would ruin it for me…

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