Review: Never Have I Ever

Never Have I EverKatie Heaney, Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date

Katie Heaney is a 25-year-old writer for popular websites such as BuzzFeed and The Hairpin. Also, she has never been in a relationship — or, as she colorfully puts it, “Not one boyfriend. Not one short-term dating situation. Not one person with whom I regularly hung out and kissed on the face.” In this memoir (of sorts), Katie reminisces about her non-romantic history, from her first optimistic but doomed crush in elementary school to the humiliation of having no one to “couples skate” with during her 7th-grade field trip to the roller rink. She remembers her hopeless crush on the popular boy in high school, her romantic misadventures in college, and her almost-relationship in grad school that never quite worked out. Through it all, Katie maintains a tongue-in-cheek tone as she describes her own social awkwardness, how being dateless for so long has (and has not) defined her, and the relationships that truly matter most in her life, which are her friendships.

I picked up this book both for the topic and because I think Katie Heaney is hilarious. Overall, I really enjoyed the book, even though I think some of her other writings — particularly her Reading Between the Texts series — are much funnier. Basically this is a book that won’t surprise you: If you’re interested in the premise and enjoy the author’s sense of humor, you’ll like it. I found a lot of the anecdotes very relatable, especially those hopeless middle- and high-school crushes and the endless over-analysis that accompanies them (he said hi to me at lunch — what does that mean?!?!). But one of the most enjoyable aspects of the book, to me, was that her pursuit of romance turned out to be more of a quest for friendship; my favorite scenes were between her and her best friend Rylee, whom she obviously loves dearly. All in all, this is a fun, light read that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Recommended for plane or beach reading.

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