What Ricky’s Reading

Never Have I Ever

by Joshilyn Jackson

What is the worst thing you did today? Last week? Last month? Last year? What is the worst thing you have ever done? “It’s in the past,” we tell ourselves. “No one has to know about it. It is locked away and will never see the light of day again.” In Joshilyn Jackson’s Never Have I Ever we learn that sometimes secrets have a way of finding us no matter how well we think they are hidden, and the price for silence is high. How much is a secret like that worth?

Amy Whey has a quiet life. Things are much different than they used to be. She attends book club with the neighborhood women, walks every day with her best friend Charlotte, and has a happy marriage. Life finally has some semblance of normal. That is until a newcomer named Roux attends book club.

Roux is in town on business and doesn’t know how long she will be there. Little does Amy know that the business Roux is in town to take care of will unearth a secret that Amy has worked hard to keep hidden from everyone. “Let’s play a game,” Roux says. That sounds harmless enough, but the stakes of this game are much higher than anyone can imagine.

It’s like “Never Have I Ever,” but for adults. The rules are simple. You tell the worst thing you did today. If yours is the worst, everyone drinks. Then you move on to the worst thing you did last week, last month, last year, and the worst thing you ever did. The game is not bad unless you have a secret like Amy’s that would totally destroy life as you now know it.

Amy may not play the game at book club, but the games are just beginning with Roux. She will be forced to confront her past and try to stop it from derailing her life in the present. How bad can a secret really be?

Do you want to play a game? Ready. Set. Go.

My thoughts: Mysteries are often hit or miss. The mark of a great mystery is that you never see the twists coming. You think you have it all figured out, but it turns out, you weren’t even close. You are blindfolded and riding on a roller coaster. Which way will we turn next? Never Have I Ever had me on the edge of my seat, flipping page after page saying, “I did not see that one coming.” Why this book hasn’t hit the New York Times Best Seller List yet is beyond me! It has hit the shelves at Oneonta Public Library, and I suggest you check it out and buckle up for a ride.

Ricky Statham is director at Oneonta Public Library. Visit the library Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to check out this or another great book.