Have you ever done something you were so ashamed of that you would do anything to keep it a secret?
Amy Whey has a perfectly normal and happy life. She is a mom of two, a diving instructor, and she helps her best friend, Charlotte, run their neighborhood bookclub. But Amy‘s life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night. Roux beguiles the group and keeps Amy’s wine and liquor flowing, luring the group into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it’s naughty, harmless fun but Amy knows better. Roux seems to know the terrible truth about who Amy is and what she once did.
When they are alone, Roux tells Amy that if she doesn’t give her what she asked for, what she deserves, she’s going to make Amy pay for her sins. One way or another. To protect herself and her family and save the life she’s built, Amy must beat the devil at her own clever game matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets.
“No one walks around holding their ugliest sin in the palm of their hand, staring at it. Our hurts are heavy, and we let them sink. Every day they drift lower, settling in murky places where the light can’t reach. All I had to do was wait. My bad would fall down into darkness again, because the bad things always do.”
Never have I ever scuba dived, but this is the first book that has ever made me wish I did. I absolutely loved Joshlyn Jackson’s references to the ocean letting you in and letting our hurts sink to those murky places where the light can’t reach. Jackson‘s writing and characters were delightfully clever, and the pages seemed to just turn themselves.
Never have I ever read any of Jackson’s previous books, but I found this one highly entertaining with quick pacing. I particularly loved Amy’s character and how quickly she became courageous and learned how to fight fire with fire, while never sinking down as low and dirty as Roux. Amy became a smart and strategic thinker very fast. I love a strong female character and there are two in this book. Roux’s character was totally diabolical and, as much as I hated what she was doing, she is exactly what made the story intriguing and suspenseful.
Never Have I Ever author Jocelyn Jackson is the New York Times best-selling author of eight novels, including gods in Alabama (2006) and the Almost Sisters (2017). She is a former actor and an award-winning audiobook narrator. She lives in Decatur, Georgia with her husband and their two children.
Thanks to LibraryThing, Joshilyn Jackson and William Morrow for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher William Morrow
Published July 30, 2019