I read over 100 books a year. I admit I only write reviews on Cannonball Read for 13 of them (too busy reading to stop and write 250 words about each one). The new psychological thriller genre which is all the rage is not my favorite. However, I do read the “hot” ones – The Silent Patient, The Girl on the Train, The Girl in the Window, etc. So, I picked up Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson in a desperate run to my library in March the day before it was closing up due to the pandemic.
The premise of the book is that a new neighbor Roux crashes the neighborhood book group and starts a Never Have I Ever type game with the ladies present. Her version is to tell about your worst deeds in life (oh and she liberally plies them with drink to get them talking). Of course, our protagonist Amy has a deep, dark secret which could be the undoing of her currently comfortable life. (Hey in all these types of books the protagonist has a deep, dark secret – it is a requirement of the genre!)
Roux and Amy start “playing the game” with blackmail and uncovering of secrets as “control” goes back and forth between them. So far, so good. The characters were fun, the writing was fine, and the coincidences and secrets were crazy (as they always are in these books).
And then came the ending. I won’t specifically put out a spoiler (although I hope after reading my review you skip this title and then there is nothing to be spoiled). The ending includes an almost graphic scene of an ugly unthinkable sexual assault on a child! Needless to say it ruined it for me. I am not a prude but I thought this plot twist was unseemly and offensive. I once stopped reading an author because she drowned a child in a book for no good reason. Never will I ever read anything else by Joshilyn Jackson.