I Never

Laura Hopper. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-328-66378-8
At 17, Janey has never had a boyfriend or even a date. Then Luke, the sexiest guy in school (and a senior to boot), asks her out. Despite Janey’s doubts and self-consciousness about her inexperience, Luke genuinely seems to like her. But that doesn’t make it easy: her best guy friend is mad that she’s fallen for a player, one of her best girl friends is jealous, and her recently separated parents don’t know what to make of a dating daughter. Debut author Hopper has created an alternative to YA novels that focus on girls being pressured into sexual activity by entitled bros; Janey makes her own choices and enjoys the results, and the result is a sweetly sex-positive book. Janey’s romantic and sexual initiation goes well, and although Hopper makes Luke a bit too perfect, she avoids an unrealistically happily-ever-after ending. Unfortunately, the few obstacles in the way of the romance feel contrived, and there’s a fair amount of extraneous adverbs, overly expository writing, and (except for Janey) characters with just one or two defining traits. Ages 14–up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/11/2017
Release date: 11/07/2017
Ebook - 978-1-328-80989-6
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