cover image Never Been Kissed

Never Been Kissed

Timothy Janovsky. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $14.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-72825-058-8

Janovsky debuts with a sweet gay romance that will hit the spot for fans of classic rom-com films. Days before college graduation, 22-year-old movie fanatic Wren Roland drunkenly emails the four boys with whom he almost shared his first kiss to lament the factors that kept them apart. He wakes mortified, but distracts himself from lingering embarrassment by throwing himself into his summer job at a struggling drive-in theater. Then Derick Haverford, Wren’s painfully estranged childhood best friend and one of the email’s recipients, shows up as the theater’s social media intern. Slowly, the pair inch toward reconciliation and Wren’s oft dreamed of cinematic first kiss. Meanwhile, Wren works to revitalize the drive-in by tracking down Alice Kelly, a reclusive local director, whose lone feature film, a zombie romance made 40 years before, never had wide release. She agrees to a belated showing at the drive-in if Wren will fix up her dilapidated farmhouse. With Derick’s help, Wren plunges into that project and for a while, everything falls into place—until a discovery about the theater’s future jeopardizes Wren’s happy ending. Charming characters and genuine wit buoy the delightful story, while a thoughtful exploration of Wren’s sexuality adds depth. Janovsky is a writer to watch. Agent: Kevin O’Connor, O’Connor Literary. (May)