I Never
Janey King’s priorities used to be clear: track, school, friends, and family. But when seventeen-year-old Janey learns that her seemingly happy parents are getting divorced, her world starts to shift. Back at school, Luke Hallstrom, an adorable senior, pursues Janey, and she realizes that she has two new priorities to consider: love and sex.Inspired by Judy Blume’s classic Forever, I Never features a perfect, delicious, almost-to-good-to-be-true high school relationship . . . and it doesn’t shy away from the details. Destined to be passed from teen to teen, this is a young adult debut that will get readers talking.

I Never Details

TitleI Never
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 7th, 2017
PublisherHMH Books for Young Readers
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Romance, Contemporary

I Never Review

  • Thamy
    January 1, 1970
    This book goes from the meet cute to the problems more common in a teenager's relationship in a very comprehensive and sometimes a little too graphic manner.Janey had never spoken to Luke even though they are in the same track team at school. After an embarrassing incident going back from her last vacations with her now about-to-divorce parents, he's taken a sudden interest in her. And she can't take her eyes off him.Why is the rating so low for this? I avoid reading what people say but always t This book goes from the meet cute to the problems more common in a teenager's relationship in a very comprehensive and sometimes a little too graphic manner.Janey had never spoken to Luke even though they are in the same track team at school. After an embarrassing incident going back from her last vacations with her now about-to-divorce parents, he's taken a sudden interest in her. And she can't take her eyes off him.Why is the rating so low for this? I avoid reading what people say but always think it's weird when the average rating is below my own. I'd even considered saying this was a 3.5 because it felt a little above my usual 3-star books. As it happens, I had gotten this book so long ago (hides in shame) that I'd forgotten the proposal of being like a new Forever by Judy Blume. From what I concluded as I read the many 1-star reviews—they are usually like unicorns when it's still before publication dates!—, I think people got it exactly for that reason though, and so they were disappointed.I won't say I was in love either. At the same time, it was impossible not to feel at awe with what the author accomplished in a normal-length without feeling rushed (most of the time, at least—we'll get there). I'm sure if I were a teenager I would have loved reading a book that discusses first times, falling in love, dealing with changes in the way I Never did. However, I do think the make out scenes got a little bit out of hand, almost into New Adult grounds. This was one thing that bothered me, sometimes it felt as if I were reading erotica, which will probably raise concern of parents and defeat purpose. I don't think she needed to go so far, it's not like there aren't enough NA's around if an older teenager feels like it, so this is a pity.As I mentioned before, she managed to go from A to Z of relationships and the rhythm in the book didn't feel rushed at all. Nonetheless, I don't think it was so believable how fast things progressed for Janey, to a point even her parents seemed okay with her active sexual life, even lending her a whole apartment for that? Instead of a rule, I'd call her an exception among teenagers. Am I too outdated on how the mind of an inexperienced teen works? And maybe I was too inside Janey's point of view but Luke's feelings never convinced me as real. That speed got me frowning but, as I said, the book itself had good rhythm.I like how the portrayal of her friends, although Brent sometimes made it awkward. I'm not so sure what his role was supposed to be and sometimes I even forgot he existed. Aside from that, books reminding us that teenagers can have good friends as a rule always earn extra points with me. It wasn't all heavenly but no one was faking anything, either. Also, each in the trio was a break from the stereotype you'd expect. One isn't really the easy lay, the boy isn't the one forever in love with the main girl and the other isn't a prude. Each have their own personality in addition to what they may look like. Nice job.My decision not to give a 3.5 was actually set in stone due to the end. This is not about being happy or sad. To be honest, it was probably the most verisimilar. But I don't think it represented a closure to this story and it basically made me swear very bad words. It was like Janey had become even more passive than she was in the beginning, like she had unlearned to control her own fate. That's not the lesson I wanted my teenager self to learn. And right because I was so frustrated, the whole magic dissolved and I questioned much of the evolution I thought Janey had had.So yes, Hopper didn't succeed in many parts. But it wasn't a bad book. It was quick and easy to read.Unfortunately, the ending was aggravating and the couple didn't do it for me. So it's your good old 3 stars. But I do recommend it to teenagers, this is the kind of book I loved reading back then.Honest review based on an ARC provided by Edelweiss. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.
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  • Sam Kozbial
    January 1, 1970
    This book took me back 30 years to when I was experiencing a lot of those firsts that Janey embarked on in I Never. I am such a sap and an HEA girl, that I had to shed a tear or two at the end, that part was hard for me, but I really thought Hopper did a great job navigating all these new, sometimes good, sometimes bad, milestones in Janey's life. This is a book about the things Janey had never experienced before, and it was quite a wistful walk down memory lane for me. It is blurbed as being th This book took me back 30 years to when I was experiencing a lot of those firsts that Janey embarked on in I Never. I am such a sap and an HEA girl, that I had to shed a tear or two at the end, that part was hard for me, but I really thought Hopper did a great job navigating all these new, sometimes good, sometimes bad, milestones in Janey's life. This is a book about the things Janey had never experienced before, and it was quite a wistful walk down memory lane for me. It is blurbed as being the modern day Forever, which I can agree with, as I read that book back when I was 15. It opened my eyes to a lot of new things I was feeling and thinking about, and I found some solace in knowing that I was not the only one.•Pro: This book is very sex-positive. There were frank discussions about sex between Janey and her girlfriends, Janey and her mom, Janey and Luke. I really appreciated all the different angles from which Hopper approached the subject. •Pro: Janey was not only experiencing first love, she was encountering a lot of other firsts: the first time seeing her parents as people, seeing them as flawed; she was starting to see that the world is not all black and white, but rather, there is a lot of grey, and this is a really pivotal time in a teen's life. •Pro: Hopper showed how the dynamic changes in one's other relationships, when they begin a romantic relationship. Janey's friendships changed, as did the way she related to her parents. She had to adjust. There were bumps, but she evaluated and made the adjustments necessary to make it all work. •Con: The ending was tough for me. I am an HEA girl, and although the ending was pre-determined from a very early point in the story, and is true to its inspiration, I still found it a little sad. •Pro: This was a story about Janey exploring her autonomy. That time in a teen's life, where they pull away a little from their parents, and begin to keep some things to themselves, while they make some of their own decisions. It was very realistic and relatable. •Pro: I liked Luke and Janey together. I thought he pushed her in a lot of good ways. He was patient and caring, and smooth-boy said all the right things. •Pro: I did think Janey grew some over the course of the story. She had quite a few ideological shifts with respect to her parents and sex. She was not totally over her insecurities, but she knew she wanted to work towards that. She knew she wanted to be able to feel wanted, beautiful, and desirable even if she was not attached to a man telling her that. I felt like she was moving in the right direction. •Pro: This book is really honest and realistic. I worked in a high school for 12 years, so if you think this is not the stuff going on in some teens' lives, you are mistaken. Overall: A bittersweet and honest story of firsts, which left me a little teary-eyed and wistful.*I would like to thank the publisher for the early review copy. BLOG | INSTAGRAM | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the idea of this story and even though I haven’t ever read the Judy Blume book it’s being compared to, I was intrigued...sadly I was bored right from the start. Janey and Luke are both so boring. There are a few details given about them, but both of them felt quite flat. Janey’s inner monologue sounded much younger than 17 and I never really settled into it. Plot wise, I don’t even know what to say. There’s a bit more drama than I was expecting as Janey seems to overreact a lot. I did li I loved the idea of this story and even though I haven’t ever read the Judy Blume book it’s being compared to, I was intrigued...sadly I was bored right from the start. Janey and Luke are both so boring. There are a few details given about them, but both of them felt quite flat. Janey’s inner monologue sounded much younger than 17 and I never really settled into it. Plot wise, I don’t even know what to say. There’s a bit more drama than I was expecting as Janey seems to overreact a lot. I did like the sex positivity through out, but fair warning: the sex scenes were more graphic than I was expecting for a YA book. I’m not condemning in any way, but I’m sure it could come as a surprise to some readers. Overall, it was a quick read and I think that might be the nicest thing I can say about it. **Huge thanks to HMH Books for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Thoughts: I'm a big fan of what I feel are ~realistic~ portrayals of teenage experiences (think Those Girls) and sex positive books in YA. There's still a need for more positive, un romanticized narratives, but I Never was a good start. This novel is pitched as being the "new" Judy Blume's Forever. I've never read Forever (this actually made me want to for the comparison) but there are certain high hopes that come along with comparing ones book to a cult classic. When I first came across I Never Thoughts: I'm a big fan of what I feel are ~realistic~ portrayals of teenage experiences (think Those Girls) and sex positive books in YA. There's still a need for more positive, un romanticized narratives, but I Never was a good start. This novel is pitched as being the "new" Judy Blume's Forever. I've never read Forever (this actually made me want to for the comparison) but there are certain high hopes that come along with comparing ones book to a cult classic. When I first came across I Never was very quickly intrigued by the premise, not only because of it's explicit discussion of sex, but also because it was about the first time. Before I get into the nitty gritty I should preface that this review might get a little TMI, I mean we are discussing sex here so please don't read beyond your comfort level.I never isn't a particularly short/long book, but I absolutely blazed through it in a day. My ferocity reminds me of the way that I tend to consume Taylor Jenkins Reid books–I fall fast and hard. The interesting premise of I Never aside, I very quickly found Janey to be a very boring protagonist. She seemed ~semi~ well developed...I think what she lacked the most was an emotional depth? I struggle with saying this because Janey does have emotional reactions in appropriate situations, but I think that they all felt a little contrived. BUT while I found the averageness of Janey to be a negative aspect of the book, this could potentially make her a more universally relatable character. Janey remains insecure throughout the novel, and I was disappointed with this lack of personal development because if Janey had changed due to her first boyfriend it would have been her "changing for a guy", it would have been her changing due to new experiences. The lack of this development in the novel caused Janey as a protagonist to be dissatisfying. However, boring Janey aside, her life is incredibly grounded in other details. The shifting relationship between her parents and the unexpected shift in home life continues to be a focal point throughout the novel, balancing out the romance. This is also another shoutout for family in YA, and although Janey doesn't have any siblings, her relationships with her parents amidst the tumultuous change in dynamic rings true for many people's experiences.Janey's story is not just grounded in her family, but also in her relationships. Janey's friends are very present during the novel, and Hopper makes a point to emphasize that friendships are not always hunky-dory. Important friendship lessons aside, I found that all three of Janey's closest friends could have been more developed. Their interactions, while sweet, always felt like surface interactions. I wish we could have seen Janey's friends as more realistic people, because I think that they would have complimented Hopper's characterization of Janey. I was proud to see the inclusion of a boy-girl friendship, but disappointed that it didn't really have a purpose other than for her friend to disapprove of Janey's new boyfriend (Luke). I also appreciated the respect the girl friends had for their varying levels of sexuality, especially because the social construct of a "virginity" was generally left out of the novel. But again, I felt like the characters were more tools for a message and not people.And now, the romance. I didn't LOVE that Luke was "popular" (and thus viewed as unattainable" because it romanticized their relationship in a cheesy way. Again, I felt like the relationship was contrived. However, social status aside, the beginning of their relationship was KILLER. I loved how Hopper conveyed the nerves and distractions and general feelings of excitement that come along with first dates. I loved it! The majority of the relationship was lovely, they were communicative and consensual. However, as sex positive as I Never was, I thought that Janey's parent's were a ~little~ unrealistic in the way that they handled it, but that's just me. Towards the end of the novel Janey began to be frustrating. Why didn't she and Luke discuss the whole "I'm a senior going to college" thing sooner. It just felt unrealistic that suddenly the reality of the situation just dawned on them. I'm honestly surprised she didn't dwell on it more.There were times when I Never was incredibly brave. And then there were times in which I felt like it could have been bolder. Janey has literally never orgasmed before her first relationship, and this disappointed me. In a novel chock full of other sexual positivity, why couldn't we have had a positive portrayal of female masturbation? I take issue with this. Also, while I Never's depiction of couples fighting in healthy/unhealthy ways (and distinguishing between the two) was awesome (!!!) I was frustrated that Hopper left out the hardest type of conversation...the "I love you but have to let you go conversation", because from the moment Janey and Luke go on their first date the reader is aware that this is where their relationship is headed. Deep down Janey and Luke really do care for each other, but the lack of this conversation detracts from the book. It's inclusion would not only have wrapped up several unanswered questions for the audience, but also would have been a very healthy way to reassure readers who are going through similar experiences. Lastly, I Never was very, very heterosexual, and this was disappointing. For novel that made so much of an effort to show sex positivity (which is still important), I wished that this had been expanded to include people across the spectrum in some way.Final Thoughts: As critical as I have been of I Never and its character development, there are so many things that this novel does well. Hopper has crafted relatable characters, characters going through the types of teenage experiences that make your heart ache. In this day and age sex positivity in teenage literature is imperative and important. I Never is not perfect, but it's a step in the right direction. This novel can open the doors for lots of inclusive novels to come and in the mean time it can remain relatable for the average American teenager.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    I Never is the story of what really happens in a High School relationship. Janey King thought she had it all until she learns of her parents divorcing while on vacation in Mexico. When they head back home to a new reality, she runs into Luke Hallstrom who has the power to change her life. With Janey trying to manage what has become of her home life, friends, school and track, Luke becomes the one person she wants to go that extra step with before he leaves for college. As Janey soon realizes tha I Never is the story of what really happens in a High School relationship. Janey King thought she had it all until she learns of her parents divorcing while on vacation in Mexico. When they head back home to a new reality, she runs into Luke Hallstrom who has the power to change her life. With Janey trying to manage what has become of her home life, friends, school and track, Luke becomes the one person she wants to go that extra step with before he leaves for college. As Janey soon realizes that growing up isn't easy and everything must come crashing down before she can finally see what everyone means to her in her life in a bittersweet ending to this story!This book will make you want to read it in one sitting just to see what happens next for Janey and Luke. The only thing that bothered me about this book was how detailed the sex scenes were between Janey and Luke, it could have been toned down a bit without losing what this story is telling. I do have to agree that this book definitely deserves to be in High School's for the message that it tells and it does comes close to Judy Blume's Forever! If you are looking for a read that oh so reminds you of what it's like to be a teenager with real life problems, you really need to read this book and to maybe share this read with your own teenager!Thank You to Laura Hopper for this story that reminds me of what it was like being a teenager!I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from RockStar Book Tours!
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  • Stacy Fetters
    January 1, 1970
    "What I'm learning is that having a boyfriend makes me worry about that superficial stuff even more. If i say something wrong or wear something ugly or put my shorts on inside out, am I going to lose the thing I never even thought I wanted in the first place?" Seeing this cover at Ala, I knew that I had to read this. Then I read the synopsis and I was positive that this would be my first read after coming home from Chicago. Thanks, Ala Chicago!!! We all remember the weird awkwardness of our fi "What I'm learning is that having a boyfriend makes me worry about that superficial stuff even more. If i say something wrong or wear something ugly or put my shorts on inside out, am I going to lose the thing I never even thought I wanted in the first place?" Seeing this cover at Ala, I knew that I had to read this. Then I read the synopsis and I was positive that this would be my first read after coming home from Chicago. Thanks, Ala Chicago!!! We all remember the weird awkwardness of our first time. We thought we were in love and that it would be the greatest moment of our lives. How wrong we were! As I started to read this (like an idiot) I started to read some reviews. People have a lot of not so nice things to say about this book. A lot of comparisons to Judy Blume and her novels. This is where I lucked out. I have never read anything by her, so I believe that's why I enjoyed this so much. We watched someone grow from an insecure girl who started dating someone who people were envious of to a lady who was confident and secure in her life and relationship.Review to come
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  • Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
    January 1, 1970
    3.5
  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    A friend called this "[Judy Blume's] FOREVER for today," and while it is much less serious and brooding than I remember FOREVER to be, it is an emotional, clear, and fun look at first love, the first serious boyfriend, and the first time.
  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    To close out her holiday vacation, Janey King's world is rocked by two events. The first is her parents' announcing their separation. The second is being seen rocking out to her music on the plane-ride home by fellow track team member and all-around popular guy Luke Hallstrom. Janey soon finds the spring semester of her junior year is in upheaval. Trying to comes to terms with her parents' separation and Luke's romantic interest, Janey finds that her previous priorities of grades, track and fami To close out her holiday vacation, Janey King's world is rocked by two events. The first is her parents' announcing their separation. The second is being seen rocking out to her music on the plane-ride home by fellow track team member and all-around popular guy Luke Hallstrom. Janey soon finds the spring semester of her junior year is in upheaval. Trying to comes to terms with her parents' separation and Luke's romantic interest, Janey finds that her previous priorities of grades, track and family are taking a backseat to her budding romance with Luke. Laura Hopper captures the initial excitement, anxiety and breathless anticipation of young love in her debut novel I Never. And while the novel markets itself as examining Janey's decisions about how far things should progress in her relationship with Luke, there's actually a bit more to the story than that. Janey's journey feels like it's taken from a John Hughes film. For the most part, the story feels authentic and Janey's journey is well-told. Whether it's reconciling her feelings about her parents' divorce, trying to figure out how much to tell her friends or the comfort level she feels with Luke, Jane's voice is an authentic and engaging one. The reactions of her friends works well, though some are more supportive than others about her new relationship with Luke.The romantic arc that Janey follows hits pretty much all of the standard highs and lows of a teenage romance. There's angst, there are butterflies and there's humor along the way. I will admit I found some of the book stretching the realm of plausibility (her father allowing her access to his new apartment seemingly as a place for her and Luke to make love seems a bit of stretch).Marketed to young adults, I Never doesn't shy away from frank discussion of sexuality nor does it pull any punches when it comes to love scenes. The novel isn't as detailed as many romance novels, but it still includes multiple scenes of Janey and Luke enjoying and exploring their romance. All in all, I Never is an authentic, honest story of teenage romance and the decisions and pressures that can go along with it. In the interest of full disclosure, I received an ARC of this book as part of the Amazon Vine program.
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  • Hallie
    January 1, 1970
    I received a digital ARC from HMHTeen and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Judy Blume’s Forever has always been an important book to me. It was my first Blume book and a really old tattered copy was handed down to me by an older cousin with all of the juicy parts marked with post-it notes when I was in middle school. I was instantly intrigued by I Never when I saw it being compared to Forever.Unlike Blume’s main character, Janey is dealing with a lot more than just her first love. Jan I received a digital ARC from HMHTeen and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Judy Blume’s Forever has always been an important book to me. It was my first Blume book and a really old tattered copy was handed down to me by an older cousin with all of the juicy parts marked with post-it notes when I was in middle school. I was instantly intrigued by I Never when I saw it being compared to Forever.Unlike Blume’s main character, Janey is dealing with a lot more than just her first love. Janey is blindsided by her parents separating and breaking up her easy life. She has to quickly adjust to a new life of two homes and two sets of rules. The beginning of the book focuses on Janey trying to adjust to the idea that her parents haven’t been happily in love like she thought. Hopper perfectly captures the moments of turmoil that come from being a teenage child of divorce and realizing your parents are people too with their own hopes and desires. Janey has to reimagine her family’s future and the things she’s always believed to be true about love and living happily ever after. I Never follows a year of Janey’s life that has many ups and downs.Enter Luke Hallstrom, the most popular guy in school who Janey happens to see on a plane home from vacation. Luke notices Janey at the perfect time in her life when she needs a distraction from her home life. Luke, a senior, has never paid any attention to Janey before but they have a believable meet-cute on the airplane that jumpstarts their relationship. The two are quickly inseparable and the relationship provides the perfect vehicle for Janey to try to find her own definition of love in the wake of her family breaking up. Janey also has three best friends in various stages of their own sexual development. Danielle is in a committed relationship and the first friend of the group to have sex. Sloan has earned a nickname of “E.B.” because she’s known to do everything but have sex. Brett, Janey’s male best friend, serves as Janey’s biggest foil because of his outspoken views on how girls should look, think, and act. Each friend provides an alternative to Janey and serves to show multiple point of views about sex.Like Blume’s Forever, Hopper explores the first time and includes detailed descriptions of sex. Luke, who turns out to be a caring and considerate first boyfriend, lets Janey take her time to feel ready before they have sex. I Never is ultimately a sex-positive book where Janey feels comfortable exploring what she wants. Her mother and Janey’s best friend, Brett, (a not-all men type) both criticize Janey at first for her “fast” relationship. By the end of the book she develops a mature outlook on sex and is able to have an open dialogue with her mom. She realizes that just because she doesn’t want to have a hook-up or a one night stand, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with girls who do.I Never is a contemporary version of Forever but it certainly stands on its own for readers who have never read or heard of Blume’s classic 1975 novel. Though there is sometimes clunky and unnatural dialogue, I Never will appeal to teen readers of romance and contemporary. Pair I Never with a book like Moxie or Cherry to give readers a well-rounded feminist and sex-positive repertoire.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    I just want to express, that this was one of the most relatable books I’ve ever read. Literally, if I had one word to describe this book, I would say: real.Janey was a character I felt I could relate to on a deeper level. Especially with her thoughts on her parents separating as my own parents have separated as well. Janey’s reactions were very typical when it came to her insecurities and her naiveté on sex. I will say there were times I grew a little irritated by her, but that didn’t happen too I just want to express, that this was one of the most relatable books I’ve ever read. Literally, if I had one word to describe this book, I would say: real.Janey was a character I felt I could relate to on a deeper level. Especially with her thoughts on her parents separating as my own parents have separated as well. Janey’s reactions were very typical when it came to her insecurities and her naiveté on sex. I will say there were times I grew a little irritated by her, but that didn’t happen too often throughout the book (so, I’m gonna let that slide).I loved the familial relationship between Janey and her mother. She was very open and supportive towards Janey, plus it reminded me of my own relationship with my mom (she and I are very close). The friendships between Janey and her friends. It was so honest, real, and it reminded me of myself and my friends. Again, very relatable.My only issue with this book that prevented me from giving it a full 5 stars was the romance. Okay, before you get upset, I just want to state that I understand the sole purpose of this book is the discovery of one’s sexual awakening and things (like romance) tend to focus on one person (and that person alone). However, I still felt that the romance was a little too insta-lovey and it moved way too fast. Personally, I’m not into the insta-love trope. It just makes the story too cliché and unrealistic. I do appreciate some good romantic angst between the main love interests and there was just none of that present.I read this book in a matter of three days and it was one I very much enjoyed. I loved how sex positive this book was and I feel that many other teenagers (in their late teens) will be able to relate with what is happening in this book. This novel is pretty much all about a girl who is experiencing her sexual awakening and it does a perfect job of opening up discussions about sex, including the intimate details on it (especially with issues on condoms and what to do with them). Overall, I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to teens who are figuring themselves out in terms of their first relationship and their first time having sex. Review can also be found on my blog: NicoleHendersonReads
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published at www.bickeringbookreviews.comSummary:Seventeen year old Janey has never had a boyfriend and she has never really wanted one. But everything changes for Janey when she meets Luke Hallstrom. Luke is a senior superstar who not only notices Janey but he likes her and wants her. Janey enters her first relationship with her first boyfriend where she gets to experience many more firsts.Review:There were so many reasons I liked this book and only a couple reasons I didn’t. “I Neve Originally published at www.bickeringbookreviews.comSummary:Seventeen year old Janey has never had a boyfriend and she has never really wanted one. But everything changes for Janey when she meets Luke Hallstrom. Luke is a senior superstar who not only notices Janey but he likes her and wants her. Janey enters her first relationship with her first boyfriend where she gets to experience many more firsts.Review:There were so many reasons I liked this book and only a couple reasons I didn’t. “I Never” is a book about a young girl’s sexual awakening. It follows the story of a girl from her first kiss through losing her virginity and beyond. The book talks honestly about Janey’s experiences and her insecurities. She is not perfect and she questions why someone would want her. That part felt very really. Also, Janey has a realistic reaction to sex. Hopper doesn’t shy away from talking about all aspects of sex from the emotions to the physical and the possibility of teens wanting to have casual sex. Characters talk about birth control and enjoying sexual activities. Yes, at times the book feels a little graphic for teen audiences however there is nothing more graphic than what they can see in the average R-rated movies. All of this comes together to make “I Never” a book that teen girls are going to want to read. However, I will admit that “I Never” is not the perfect example of teen lit. Janey never felt completely developed to me and her love story with Luke felt a little rushed. Plus, much of the dialog between the characters felt disingenuous. But, these are issues noticed by an adult reading the book and these issues would most likely not even be noticed by a fifteen year old reader.Bottomline: “I Never” has some problematic aspects when considering character development and plotting but the novel intended audience will want to devour this book.Final Rating: 3.5 our 5
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  • Dennise
    January 1, 1970
    This was a decent read, and bittersweet. Definitely put me back to the time surrounding my first time. I appreciated all of Janey's insecurities, as they were super relate-able. I had a lot of similar feelings. Even with her parents giving her the space to do what she wanted to do, granted it took my parents a lot longer to give me that space. Some of the obstacles Janey faced were a little too easily overcome, but this is a book, not a how-to. The characters were a little flat. I liked how it w This was a decent read, and bittersweet. Definitely put me back to the time surrounding my first time. I appreciated all of Janey's insecurities, as they were super relate-able. I had a lot of similar feelings. Even with her parents giving her the space to do what she wanted to do, granted it took my parents a lot longer to give me that space. Some of the obstacles Janey faced were a little too easily overcome, but this is a book, not a how-to. The characters were a little flat. I liked how it went from the beginning all the way to the end of the relationship. It wasn't the best thing I've read, but far from the worst.
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  • Ron Bahar
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, I'll admit, as a middle aged man, I'm not in the target demographic for Laura Hopper's debut novel, I Never. However, I also admit that I was thoroughly gripped by Hopper's realistic, funny, yet gut-wrenching love story of a seventeen year old girl and eighteen year old boy. Her detailed, complicated psychological and physical descriptions of blossoming sexuality left me blushing, but in a good way. Hopper doesn't hold back, and while her fearless approach to writing is admittedly inspired Okay, I'll admit, as a middle aged man, I'm not in the target demographic for Laura Hopper's debut novel, I Never. However, I also admit that I was thoroughly gripped by Hopper's realistic, funny, yet gut-wrenching love story of a seventeen year old girl and eighteen year old boy. Her detailed, complicated psychological and physical descriptions of blossoming sexuality left me blushing, but in a good way. Hopper doesn't hold back, and while her fearless approach to writing is admittedly inspired by and certainly reminiscent of Judy Blume's Forever, the author is able to do so in an engrossing, modern, original, and, perhaps most importantly, thought-provoking manner. I Never is a superb read, and I highly recommend it for young adults and older adults alike.
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  • Cambear
    January 1, 1970
    It's a breezy read focused on the emotions of first love/sex. This does a good job of capturing some of the insecurities and intoxication and for being sex positive with some pretty graphic descriptions for YA. However, the characters (main and supporting) are too idealized and one note. They serve to provide an specific POV on sex, but don't really come alive. Mostly that's because the plot is pretty simple so there's no need for other characters to mess with things.Thanks to the publisher for It's a breezy read focused on the emotions of first love/sex. This does a good job of capturing some of the insecurities and intoxication and for being sex positive with some pretty graphic descriptions for YA. However, the characters (main and supporting) are too idealized and one note. They serve to provide an specific POV on sex, but don't really come alive. Mostly that's because the plot is pretty simple so there's no need for other characters to mess with things.Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of the book for review.
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  • Pernille Ripp
    January 1, 1970
    Sex-positive, high school and up
  • Anna Knutson
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to HMH Books and NetGalley for a PRC. The story of Janey and Luke was a bittersweet love story. Janey never thought she would be dating the most attractive Senior guy in her school, the way he acted kind and caring throughout the story was amazing. I couldn't put this book down and it was a great read with just enough sex to keep it spicy and entertaining. Thank you for a great read!
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    This book is being touted as the new "Forever" by Judy Blume. It is the story of first love (leading to first sex). The writing is not very captivating and the story really drags. The characters are hard to even like. The long expository passages just drag. I did think that the novel initially touched on the problems with teen sex and getting too serious too fast, but the problems were resolved very quickly and not very realistically.
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  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    Not a big fan. I appreciate the sex positivity, but I felt the voice was inauthentic-the writing was stiff and Janey didn't sound like a real teenager to me.
  • Summer
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 Stars. This is a modern take on Judy Blume’s Forever, which I’ve never read, so I can’t speak to the similarities or the changes, I just felt like this particular version would have benefited from the characters and the story having more layers. Just as her parents have announced their amicable divorce, Janey enters into her first romance and first sexual relationship. There are slight conflicts along the way, friends jealous that they aren’t in a relationship, Janey suffering through her ow 2.5 Stars. This is a modern take on Judy Blume’s Forever, which I’ve never read, so I can’t speak to the similarities or the changes, I just felt like this particular version would have benefited from the characters and the story having more layers. Just as her parents have announced their amicable divorce, Janey enters into her first romance and first sexual relationship. There are slight conflicts along the way, friends jealous that they aren’t in a relationship, Janey suffering through her own jealousy due to her boyfriend’s flirtatious nature, and mother and daughter’s hypocritical opinions about one another's sex lives, but they’re all too easily dismissed to feel like the genuine issues they might have been, the same goes for her parents’ divorce. There were many instances where the book could have had a greater emotional impact, dug deeper, but it rarely did, I mean, to a certain degree it almost felt as though the divorce was just a means to open up opportunities for Janey to grab alone time with her boyfriend in each parent’s house, rather than to truly explore how Janey’s affected by her new family dynamic. The scenes of sex and sexuality, though not erotica explicit, are certainly more explicit than what you’ll find in most young adult novels, so readers should determine what their comfort level is with that before going into this one as it’s a significant portion of the story.I didn’t really have a problem with the amount of detail in the sex scenes though I happily would have exchanged it for more detail when it came to the characters, I felt like I didn’t have a really defined sense of who they are, something to make them feel like less of a type and more of a person, like for instance, maybe I would have found Luke more interesting if I’d been given some hint as to why he’s so intent on being liked by everyone, or with Janey, it would have been good to see more of who she was beyond the girl with her first boyfriend, the track team and debate team scenes were more about being distracted by Luke than they were about telling me who she is on her own and what her aspirations are outside of their relationship, does she want to go to the Olympics? Become a political candidate? Were the extracurriculars more about pleasing her parents? It would have been good to know her better. I thought that I Never nicely captured the initial rush of seeing your crush, talking to him, the first kiss, anticipating the next time you’ll see him, etc, and I also liked that Janey very much makes up her own mind about sex and whether or not she’s ready, but I think I would have enjoyed this book more had it spread the focus across the various aspects of a girl’s coming of age rather than zeroing in so heavily on her romantic relationship.I received this ARC through a Goodreads giveaway.
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  • Katelyn
    January 1, 1970
    I won an ARC of this through a goodreads giveaway and I had abysmally low expectations. I'm thrilled that everything I expected from this book was absolutely wrong. I loved it!I kept expecting the handsome popular athletic boy to be a jerk and pressure the main character. He wasn't and he was SO GOOD about making sure she fully consented to EVERYTHING (which is super important for young readers to see modeled in a way that is realistic and still sexy). I was expecting the female friends to get s I won an ARC of this through a goodreads giveaway and I had abysmally low expectations. I'm thrilled that everything I expected from this book was absolutely wrong. I loved it!I kept expecting the handsome popular athletic boy to be a jerk and pressure the main character. He wasn't and he was SO GOOD about making sure she fully consented to EVERYTHING (which is super important for young readers to see modeled in a way that is realistic and still sexy). I was expecting the female friends to get super catty and spread rumours and basically stop being friends. There is tension, there is jealousy, there is a rift, but there is no drama for the sake of drama. There is a lot of the girls supporting, validating, challenging and protecting each other. When Janey finds out her parents are getting divorced I was prepared for it to be messy and cause tension in the plot. Though the author acknowledges that these changes aren't easy for any of the characters, it is handled in a beautifully mature, sensible and loving way. I expected her parents to freak out about their nearly adult child discovering her sexuality in a way that is damaging to their child and their relationship with her. There are realistic conversations and clear settings of boundaries. All the characters model deep love and respect for each other in the way they interact. There is conflict without harm. I could go on and on, but I am very proud of the author for giving the YA crowd such a good romance/coming of age story that sets such high standards for consent, parenting and healthy relationships. I would absolutely recommend this to parents or teenagers. If teachers can slip it into school libraries I'm all for that as well.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Don't go in expecting this to be good like FOREVER... or anything like FOREVER..., unless you're looking only for unapologetic sex writing. It's graphic, though not necessarily gratuitous. The thing is, everything else, especially main character Janey, is exceedingly boring. There's nothing here. To be honest, Luke, the boyfriend made out to be the golden boy popular kid everyone should hate, was the only good character. He actually had a head on his shoulders. Skip it unless you, like me, are u Don't go in expecting this to be good like FOREVER... or anything like FOREVER..., unless you're looking only for unapologetic sex writing. It's graphic, though not necessarily gratuitous. The thing is, everything else, especially main character Janey, is exceedingly boring. There's nothing here. To be honest, Luke, the boyfriend made out to be the golden boy popular kid everyone should hate, was the only good character. He actually had a head on his shoulders. Skip it unless you, like me, are unable to not read books packaged this way and are okay with watching the story crash and burn. There are better "first time" books out there. Like FOREVER.... Also, Cherry by Lindsey Rosin. I could rattle off a few more.
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    I am unsure if this book compares to Judy Blume's "Forever" or not because I've actually never read it. That being said, I do not think the contents of this story would ever happen in real life and hopefully "Forever" is more realistic. It read too much as if someone's mom wrote it as an idealistic version of what *should* happen when teens have sex for the first time. I think it's still worthy because of how positive it cast everything and it could provide a smart, necessary example for teens u I am unsure if this book compares to Judy Blume's "Forever" or not because I've actually never read it. That being said, I do not think the contents of this story would ever happen in real life and hopefully "Forever" is more realistic. It read too much as if someone's mom wrote it as an idealistic version of what *should* happen when teens have sex for the first time. I think it's still worthy because of how positive it cast everything and it could provide a smart, necessary example for teens unwilling to seek answers elsewhere. I mostly enjoyed reading it (even through my smirks when the language got a bit flowery), but ultimately I would feel a bit awkward ever recommending this to a teen.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    I read "Forever" by Judy Blume when I was a teenager and it gave me the blushes when reading something I had no experience in. Now in 2017, Laura Hopper is bringing a new version of the first time story.Overall, I was disappointed in "I Never". I wanted to really like the book but I ended up giving up on it before I finished. The story was not bad but everything felt like cardboard. The characters were especially cardboard cutouts. Janey is boring and Luke is the cliche perfect boy. Janey's frie I read "Forever" by Judy Blume when I was a teenager and it gave me the blushes when reading something I had no experience in. Now in 2017, Laura Hopper is bringing a new version of the first time story.Overall, I was disappointed in "I Never". I wanted to really like the book but I ended up giving up on it before I finished. The story was not bad but everything felt like cardboard. The characters were especially cardboard cutouts. Janey is boring and Luke is the cliche perfect boy. Janey's friends are YA book and movie cliche friends and the dialogue comes off as kind of stilted to me. Just a disappointment, which is sad because I wish I could be glowing about this book.*Book received through the Amazon Vine Program*
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  • Angela Williams
    January 1, 1970
    While I typically love YA fiction, I think this book was a little more young, than young adult. While YA can be rather predictable, I found this book to be too full of stereotypes to be fully enjoyable. That said, I think it would absolutely appeal to a younger audience.(Note: I received a copy from NetGalley for feedback)
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  • caitlin
    January 1, 1970
    Inspired by Forever, nowhere near as good.
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    The actions described in this book makes me want to categorise this book into a new adult book, but then the rest of the book makes me want to categorise it into middle grade..
  • Brianna Westervelt
    January 1, 1970
    The runner in me doesn't believe that a high school track season would end in late March...But the reader in me read this book as a modern-day version of Judy Blume's Forever...
  • Joli
    January 1, 1970
    A sweet, endearing, and honest portrayal of first love and all of its complications. I loved it.
  • Be A Rebel
    January 1, 1970
    While this book is compared to Judy Blume's Forever, it doesn't stand up to the original. The book contains long expository passages describing the action interspersed with dialogue which allow the reader to see other parts of the action first hand. The expository passages detract from the novel and make it hard for the reader to understand the characters. The novel revolves around Janey and Luke and their relationship - which is told in graphic terms.
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