Never Have I Ever
by Katie Heaney
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
View at the Traffic light:
“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.