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.
At 17, Janey has never had a boyfriend or even a date. Then Luke, the sexiest guy in school (and a senior to boot), asks her out. Despite Janey's doubts and self-consciousness about her inexperience, Luke genuinely seems to like her. But that doesn't make it easy: her best guy friend is mad that she's fallen for a player, one of her best girl friends is jealous, and her recently separated parents don't know what to make of a dating daughter. Debut author Hopper has created an alternative to YA novels that focus on girls being pressured into sexual activity by entitled bros; Janey makes her own choices and enjoys the results, and the result is a sweetly sex-positive book. Janey's romantic and sexual initiation goes well, and although Hopper makes Luke a bit too perfect, she avoids an unrealistically happily-ever-after ending. Unfortunately, the few obstacles in the way of the romance feel contrived, and there's a fair amount of extraneous adverbs, overly expository writing, and (except for Janey) characters with just one or two defining traits. Ages 14 up.