Cover Image: Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever

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7this was an enjoyable read from start to end, however I did find it all a little bit too predictable at times. However, the story itself is well written and the characterisation is brilliant, and I would certainly recommend it to others to read.
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Never Have I Ever is a psychological thriller revolving around suburban wife and mom Amy, and newcomer Roux, who as it turns out, happens to know Amy's deepest, darkest secret. It spirals downward with thrills and chills, blackmail and violence. The character types themselves all seemed a wee bit stereotyped and at first it seemed a bit too Desperate Housewives, but once it got going, it really got going. The plot itself took many twists and turns, genuinely kept me engaged and surprised, with a satisfying ending. Very cleverly written, so I'd definitely recommend it.
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This was a good read; well-written although slightly predictable at times. It dragged a little at points. Would recommend.
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Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this before publication. A deceptive read, where nothing is quite as it seems and our hero is (in some ways) just as bad as the villain.
The story begins in a way that almost had me switching off. A mum’s book club in a well-to-do neighbourhood full of women who are obsessed with their appearance and getting one over on the neighbours. The opening focuses on the appearance of a new neighbour, Angelica Roux, and her childish game of ‘Never Have I’ which seems a way of prising secrets out of those present.
Before we know it, Roux is trying to blackmail our main character, Amy, out of nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
Slowly we unpick why Amy has become a mark. We learn of some of the secrets she’s been hiding from those around her. Though, perhaps, they come from good motives, there’s no doubting that she has skeletons aplenty. It then becomes a question of which of these game-players will come out on top.
There’s some tense moments. We also get into some murky territory regarding Amy’s past...though nothing is quite as awful as what we learn about Roux. When faced with something so awful, I have to wonder who would be prepared to overlook Amy’s actions.
No easy answers here. No black or white response is evident, and the shades explored certainly made this more intriguing than first impressions seemed to warrant.
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Roux shows up in Amy's neighbourhood making it clear she knows something about her past, a secret that could blow her current world apart, and she wants something in return for her silence.

Amy, not one to give in to blackmail easily, starts a game of cat and mouse with Roux.  Determined to play her at her own game.

This was a slow starter for me and some of the characters I found slightly annoying, but I persevered and ended up enjoying it, needing to find out what secrets the characters were keeping.
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My head is still spinning from all the twists and turns in this book. Super entertaining, fast-paced and actually fun to read. Yes, there were some difficult themes but they were handled appropriately and didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of the book.
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If you like a twisting and turning domestic thriller this one is for you! I’ve had this book on my TBR for over a year now and was thrilled to be sent a copy by NetGalley and Raven Books to review.
Amy has been hiding a big secret for years. One day new neighbour Roux turns up at her door for book club and threatens to unearth it with her game of Never Have I Ever.
This was a slow burn at first, not so much a nail biter but absolutely fascinating. When the pace of the novel was slow, Jackson made up for it with her solid characterisations - I was so engaged with Amy.  Then in the second half the book takes off! I actually wtfed out loud at several points. 
I really enjoyed this and I’m glad I got to finally read it!
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Really loved this. Took a while to get going and there were some very strange stand-offs, but I got into it and was thrown into a twisting thriller. The writing was often a little over descriptive, but all in all it had fast pace, kept me gripped and I give it 5 stars. Thanks to Netgalley from the opportunity to read and review.
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Never Have I Ever is a rollercoaster ride of a suburban psychological thriller! It’s dark, perverted, tense and gripping. It won’t leave you disappointed...

When new neighbour Roux turns up at the local book club, Amy’s quiet domestic life begins to take a dramatic turn. Because Amy has buried a very dark secret from her past very deeply and Roux might just know all about it...but what does Roux want? And how far will Amy go to protect her secrets? A dangerous game ensues where Amy must try to regain the upper hand over Roux. If she plays to Roux’s rules she might just loose everything, but if she breaks them she may find out the truth about Roux and keep her own secrets buried...

Never Have I Ever is a fantastically well paced and disturbingly dark thriller. Jackson has very cleverly constructed a narrative that builds steadily to a climactic crescendo, repeatedly keeping readers guessing along the way. She pulls the proverbial rug out from under you too, creating an affecting and memorable story. The plot is multi-layered and I found myself drawn into all aspects - there is suspense and tension built into so many different plot lines. I was equally engrossed in the revelations about Amy’s past as I was about the neighbourhood secrets Roux unearths. However, it is the mystery surrounding Roux’s past, which Amy slowly and carefully unravels, that I found the most exhilarating part of this novel. The final reveal was completely shocking and unexpected!

There’s plenty of action throughout the narrative as well and the large part that diving plays in the plot makes for some great settings. I literally found myself unable to breath in parts of the chapter where Amy, Roux, Maddy and Luca dive to the English Freighter wreck! There are plenty of other moments of breath-holding suspense too, which help propel readers through the novel. There were parts where I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. However, Jackson has also created a masterclass in character here too. As the narrative unfolds, the layers of the key characters gradually peel back and there are revelations that make them both likeable and deeply flawed. I liked that Roux was not pure evil (manipulative, unethical, reprehensible for sure), but vulnerable and partially sympathetic in parts. Similarly Amy isn’t simply a victim - she has an emotionally fraught past and her subsequent actions are sometimes questionable. I found myself questioning whether some of her intentions were as virtuous as they appeared on the surface, or if they were actually more self-serving. However, she has grit, determination and fights Roux to the bitter end, which makes her a very likeable character.

Ultimately, Never Have I Ever is a really entertaining novel. It’s also dark and disturbing, because there are elements that make it feel believable in real life. A mystery neighbour coming into our lives and rocking our comfortable, safe existence surely cuts to the very core of our deepest domestic fears. I thoroughly recommend this book!
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I thought I was interested in the basic premise, but boy did I enjoy the various twists. The main character was the perfect morally grey protagonist, and the unravelling of past truths and lies was masterful. The stakes felt read and they felt high, and I experienced everything. I recommend reading this when you have plenty of time to attend to it, because I found myself completely unable to put this one down!
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This started out feeling like a chick lit book an very quickly morphed into a thriller. The tension was allowed to simmer along, sometimes boiling before it dialled down again and then finishing with an almighty bang. The story took a few twists and turns along the way but they were necessary for the story. In all, a good book and well worth a read.
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After a difficult time during her teens and twenties, Amy Whey seems to have got her life together and made a new start in Pensacola Florida. Married to divorced professor Davis Whey, she gets on well with his teenage daughter Maddy, has a young baby boy and is looking forward to returning to work as a scuba diving teacher. She is friendly with many of their neighbours and hosts a regular book club run by her best friend Charlotte. Then into her quiet, orderly life, storms Angelica Roux, an charismatic new arrival in the neighbourhood, who walks into book club and hijacks the conversation, encourages them all to get drunk and spill their darkest secrets. Roux likes nothing better than to play games and seems to know a lot about secrets in Amy's past that she has never told anyone.

This is a very engaging and original read with two intriguing characters pitted against each other. While Roux is used to winning at the games she plays, using her brash confidence and sharp wit to outsmart others, she hadn't counted on Amy being less compliant than expected, even turning the tables to play Roux at her own game. These two soon become locked in a battle of wits and wills as Amy fights to hold onto everything she has built up. The plot builds slowly initially but hurtles towards the end as Roux becomes more and more desperate to win. Original and compelling, this is one of those books that's really hard to put down once you become invested in the characters, because you just need to know how it will end.
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I had read mixed reviews about this book before I requested it. 
It took quite a while for the story to get going, I nearly put it down, so glad I didn't. 
Amy Whey holds a dark secret from her teenage years.
Amy is happily married to Davis, they have a baby called Oliver, and she is stepmother to 15-year-old Maddy. Amy's best friend, Charlotte, lives on the same street.
Amy's comfortable life is disrupted when Roux and her 17-year-old son Luca move into the street.
Once a month, Amy lets Charlotte host her neighbourhood book club at her home as it has more space. 
Roux shows up at one of the meetings and soon makes herself at home, while there, she encourages members to over drink, as the alcohol begins to flow the atmosphere changes, 
Roux instigates an adult version of the game Never Have I Ever, while the game is in play Roux hints to Amy that she knows she has a secret.  
 If Amy doesn't play by her rules, Roux will ruin her life. Amy has so much to lose, but, she isn't the only one keeping secrets. 
I enjoyed this book, but I wish the beginning was in pace with the rest of the book.
I want to thank Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (UK & ANZ), Raven Books and the Author Joshilyn Jackson for a pre-publication copy to review.
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What happens in the past should state in the past right? If there’s a debt to society paid, all should be right in the universe. Not in Roux’s world. Not a chance… she believes the universe owes her and it’s Amy’s turn to settle part of that debt.

What ensued from Amy meeting Roux to the rather unexpected end is a twisty turny game of chicken. Amy is very protective of the life she’s built and she’ll do anything to stop it being destroyed especially by someone she’s known less than a week. I’ve got to admit, I was there with Amy, who the hell is this woman waltzing her way in to the hallowed sanctuary of a community book club and instantly starts ruffling feathers. Roux is definitely someone who needed to be watched like a hawk!

This psychological thriller kept me glued to my kindle, reading up to the last minute before I had to start work and then late into the night. I wanted Amy to no be beaten by this mysterious woman but there was a niggle in my mind that nothing never turns out as you expect when it comes to pysch-thrillers…. And that ending…BOOM I didn’t realise I was holding my breath as the story climaxed! Loved it!
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** spoiler alert ** 2.5 stars

I nearly gave up on this book several times... mainly due to the two main characters and their I teraction.
I couldn't face another "who even are you bitch?" type exchange.
Every time I was getting to the next chapter,something BIG hooked me back.
So,I got to the end... I read more exchanges,and saw more reveals some of which I didn't see coming.
So,in a nutshell,enjoyed the plot,just not the characters.
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I must start by saying that I had heard mixed things about this book before I started reading it. But I tried my best to go into with an open mind.
I can understand some of the misgivings that some had with Never Have I Ever.
It does take quite a while for the story to really get going. Up until around the half way point it is quite slow.
But I am glad that I persevered.
From about the half way point, the twists and turns really begin and the ending wasn't what I expected it to be in the slightest.
I could have gone without the rather unique names of characters in this, as some of them such as Lavonda and Panda made it difficult to truly take them seriously. And at points it feels overly descriptive, for the sake of it. But I would definitely be interested in reading more from this author in the future.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Really sorry, but I just couldn't get into the style if writing at all...I'm sure there are many who will, but it just seemed pedestrian to me. Many thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the chance to read an advanced copy.
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I really didn't like it. Too boring and predictable. Yet another author that focuses on descriptive words too much and not enough on the darn story.
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I'd heard mixed things about this one so I tried to read it with an open mind! It was pretty good, kept me entertained and I was surprised by some parts
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It took me a good few chapters to get into this book but bear with it as it was a fabulous read with a really interesting storyline.  Likeable, or not, believable characters who you really do 'root' for and a storyline that you need to keep following as you just need to know what happens.  This book totally drew me in and I was so glad I stuck with it. Will look out for more by this author.  Well worth a read!
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