I adored “The Almost Sisters”, my best book read of 2018, so I was thrilled to get an Advanced Readers’ Copy (ARC) of Joshilyn Jackson’s Never Have I Ever (NHIE), releasing July 30. This book is also a Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide pick which only increased my desire to get my hand on a copy. In NHIE, Jackson ups the ante, stepping fully into the psychological territory first explored in “gods in Alabama”. It read like a departure for Jackson, yet hauntingly familiar.
The Snail on the Wall Books was kind of enough to provide me with an ARC in exchange for my thoughts and so I wanted to finish it quickly. I set aside an entire day to read it. Like most psychological thrillers, NHIE began with a slow burn but by page 100, I became interested and happily kept turning the pages to find out what happened next until I reached a satisfying conclusion (and after GoT, I needed a satisfying conclusion. LOL)
I missed the humor in The Almost Sisters that balanced out all that dark and twisty. And it is dark, ladies and gentleman. Individuals may find some triggers within its pages, so readers beware. And while “The Almost Sisters” held subtle but profound social commentary, NHIE is more personal. Jackson describes what happens when the secrets that we bury deep within us are threatened to be exposed and the lengths that we are willing to go when we’re pushed to the brink. It would make a good book club pick.
If you tend to be very conservative in your reading preferences, this may not be the pick for you. But if you are looking for a page-turner (my personal benchmark) for the late summer read in the same vein of The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine and a darker Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, give this one a go.
3 ½ stars
What are your thoughts? Have you read this or will you be reading it? Do you agree or disagree with me? And if you are looking for as noncommital a book club as you can get, check out the RCM Virtual Book Club.