Release Date: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Hachette | Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 272 pages
Source & Format: NetGalley; e-ARC
Amazon | Goodreads
Summary (from Goodreads)
"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 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 a 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.
Thoughts on Never Have I Ever
I loved the cover and premise of this memoir when I spotted it on NetGalley, but I convinced myself not to request it because I already had too many review books on my plate. Not long after, an article on The Huffington Post titled "I've Been Single My Entire Life" caught my eye. It was an excerpt from Katie's book, and all of my resolve weakened. Katie's writing had me laughing and nodding. I found myself relating a lot to what she wrote, and I knew then that I had to read Never Have I Ever.
While I don't quite have Katie's history, there are definitely similarities in our stories. My husband is the only person I've ever seriously dated. We met the summer after my freshman year of college, so it's not like we were high school sweethearts either. I remember so many of the feelings that Katie describes in her book - ones both positive and negative. By the time I met my now-husband, I remember feeling like I was so far behind most of my peers when it came to romantic relationships! And like Katie, I had very little to contribute in games like "Never Have I Ever." So, all of that to say, I was excited to spend a little time with her and listen to her story!
Never Have I Ever is divided into sections that correspond to where Katie is at in school: Elementary/Middle, High School, College, and Grad School. Finally, there's an Epilogue wrapping everything up. Personally, I really loved that it was structured this way. I found it fitting that the parts would be grouped by academic time periods since I remember my interactions and perceptions regarding boys changing or shifting at each of these different stages.
Whether or not you have Katie's history, there are things she talks about that I think everyone will be able to relate to. It's a book that will trigger so many memories: childhood crushes, unrequited love, someone liking you more than you like them, school dances, awkward first dates, etc. I think there are definitely things Heaney describes that some will relate to better than others, but it's still a really fun and enjoyable read. I found myself laughing out loud quite often! Katie has a quirky sense of humor, and she's not afraid to poke fun at herself.
My minor complaint about the book? I found Katie a bit hard to understand overall. Never Have I Ever is billed as Katie's journey "looking for love," but I never really got the impression that's what she was doing. It was more a series of stories that you would sit down and tell your friend over a cup of coffee - funny but also rambling and without focus at times. I think it was missing a bit more of the reflection element for it to really tell the full story. And it seemed like Katie cared more about living with her best friends (as long as they remained single) for the rest of her days than she did about actually finding love. Maybe that's just how it seemed to me, but it did leave me feeling a bit confused as to what Katie really wanted in her life.
I really enjoyed Never Have I Ever, and I'll be recommending this to so many of my friends whether they're married, dating, or single. Katie's book isn't just directed to girls like her - it's a funny and honest look at one girl's dating history (or lack thereof). If you love sitting down with your friend and chatting about boys, you'll probably find lots to enjoy in Katie's memoir since it reads like a long, hilarious conversation with one of your good friends!
"The problem with being neither adventurous nor reclusive, as I was then, and on some days continue to be, is that you want friends, but you don't want them to do anything you wouldn't do. But you wouldn't do anything."
*I received a copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.