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I Never

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  793 ratings  ·  140 reviews
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
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  793 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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I had to calm myself down before I could even contemplate writing a coherent review.

I'd just like to preface this my saying, I'm not a very picky reader. My average rating is like a 4.2! If I enjoy the story I can usually overlook a lot of flaws. I picked this book up because I saw it on my favorite Booktuber's channel, and it was supposedly a must read for every young adult.

I hated this book with every ounce of my being. Quite frankly it offended me. Is this the kind of trash they think teena
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
Samantha (WLABB)
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, romance, ya, contemporary
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
May 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
What a disappointment this was. The blurb said it was about a girl struggling with the idea of a romantic relationship and whether she was ready for it. As a person who thinks about that idea a lot, I was excited to see it explored here. But nope! This did girl did not for a single second doubt if she wanted a relationship. She jumps in with no inner conflict at all. Also, she only finds herself beautiful because the guy tells her that she’s beautiful—she relies on him for all of her confidence ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
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

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
Tanya (Girl Plus Books)

With the strong comparisons to Judy Blume's Forever, which I remember well from my own adolescence, I was curious what I Never would bring to the table. Hopper does a credible job in exploring all the firsts that come with first love while neither condoning nor judging.

Janey is a high school junior who is a good student, good athlete, has strong friendships and close relationships with her parents. When her parents announce their separation and a new romance develops with a popular boy
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was just the cute, light romance I needed for the weekend, but... as a piece of literature, it really doesn’t hold that much value. While parts of it are relatable as a 17-year-old girl, it’s very clearly written by an adult trying to sound like a teenager. It was a stereotypical, love-at-first-sight, oh-wow-I’m-dating-the-hottest-senior-in-school novel with a small amount of originality thrown in.
Stay Fetters
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, arc, june
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. ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Janey can’t believe the popular Luke Halstrom asks her out. At seventeen, she’s never even kissed a boy, let alone dated. Her best friends have had or almost had sex, but Janey isn’t ready.

While I don’t usually read romances, many reviews called I NEVER a sex positive book, so I figured I’d read. The characters’ different, healthy approaches to sex (and other sexual activities) was the strongest part of the book. Luke never pressured Janey, the decision was entirely hers. One friend had sex with
Ron Bahar
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
the lady e
Jul 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Inspired by Forever, nowhere near as good.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-books
Okay book. A little too much insta love, though that was kind of expected. While it's sex positive, I wasn't a fan of Janey becoming more secure of herself all because of Luke. ...more
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
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
Originally published at

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.

There were so many reasons I liked this book and only a couple reasons I didn’t. “I Neve
Dennise Pendergrass
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
Dec 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
Ya know, I kinda forgot I read this book until a few days ago. Then I remembered all the wacky shit that happened in this book. I think originally read this in 5th grade, and I loved it? Ya know why? Because it had sex in it. That’s literally it. I then showed it to all my friends, who then also read, and they also loved it. And this book was fun for me at that age. But now looking back, damn this book is a whole ass dumpster fire. I remember the male lead was such a douche canoe, and when our c ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Pernille Ripp
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sex-positive, high school and up
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: realistic-fiction, ya
High school me would have loved this book! (Grown up me liked it too!) Janey is sure she is nothing special, just an average girl, with an average body. But after Winter Break of her junior year, two major things happen that shake up her average life. First, her parents announce that they are separating. Second, super popular, hot, track star, senior Luke starts showing an interest in her. At first she can't believe that someone like him could possible be interested in someone like her, but as t ...more
Anna Knutson
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
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!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Sweet book which turned out to be a very quick read. I enjoyed the realistic teenage relationship portrayed in the book and nothing was sugar coated at the end. I very much enjoyed the sex positivity this story delves into. We need more of this in YA. I disliked our somewhat boring Mary Sue main character, Janey. The girl is clearly very privileged and a star track athlete, yet we're suppose to believe she's "nothing special" and "not like the other girls who straighten their hair" by her romant ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
A sweet, endearing, and honest portrayal of first love and all of its complications. I loved it.
3 Stars.... That is being generous. I was very disappointed in this book. It was just so unrealistic and there was no explanation. The main focus on this book was sex and how it is okay to have sex with no strings attached. The scenes were very graphic. I have never read a book with those details. Yet, it was written for early teenagers to be able to read. I thought this was going to be a good book. Very disappointed. I did not like the characters. They all irritated me. It took me awhile to rea ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
This wasn’t a hit for me. It felt very much like a wattpad story, which is not always a bad thing, but not what I had expected. The writing wasn’t anything astounding, for example chapters would generally end with a small summarization of her feelings such as, “The thought of my parents not being together, as parents should be, is making me so sad. I guess I’m caught between needing them desperately and needing my independence even more.” That was it. I never had that feeling of “Wow, I need to ...more
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