REVIEW: NEVER HAVE I EVER by Joshilyn Jackson

I don’t read thrillers. I read one thriller once and I hated it. I saw this ARC on the shelf at the bookstore I work at, and since Jackson is a local author (one I’ve met and thought the entire world of) and I have never read her before, I thought I would give her a shot. I devoured this novel. I literally read it in under ten hours. Bathroom and snack breaks were meticulously planned (and often foregone) around chapter breaks. I ate this book whole and I loved every bite.

There are deeply complex female characters. There are profound female relationships (friend to friend, step mother to step daughter, archenemy to archenemy). There are vastly complex ethical dilemmas, some I’m still trying to wheedle out now. There is love in high doses, and evil in equal measure.

Like I said, I’ve never read a thriller before, and I don’t really plan to try another one, but I enjoyed this novel a lot. I found myself shocked and surprised, and even had a few instances of that stereotypical gasp-and-stare-into-space-while-clutching-the-book moment. It was complex and thoughtful and thought provoking, and I don’t think a book needs to be a whole lot more than that. I will be selling this novel so aggressively this summer.

Minusing one star for excessive baby-talk and undeveloped romantic relationships. The former I can completely do without, and the latter I needed to justify Amy’s choice of partner….

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