Book Review: "Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date" by Katie Heaney

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Title: Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date
Author: Katie Heaney
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: NetGalley eARC

"I've been single for my entire life. Not one boyfriend. Not one short-term dating situation. Not one person with whom I regularly hung out and kissed on the face."

So begins Katie Heaney's memoir of her years spent looking for love, but never quite finding it. By age 25, equipped with a college degree, a load of friends, and a happy family life, she still has never had a boyfriend ... and she's barely even been on a second date.

Throughout this laugh-out-loud funny book, you will meet Katie's loyal group of girlfriends, including flirtatious and outgoing Rylee, the wild child to Katie's shrinking violet, as well as a whole roster of Katie's ill-fated crushes. And you will get to know Katie herself -- a smart, modern heroine relaying truths about everything from the subtleties of a Facebook message exchange to the fact that "Everybody who works in a coffee shop is at least a little bit hot."

Funny, relatable, and inspiring, this is a memoir for anyone who has ever struggled to find love, but has also had a lot of fun in the process.

Katie Heaney has never had a boyfriend. No, really. She hasn’t. She’s 25 years old, and she has an amazing group of best friends, a supportive family, a college degree, and a job she enjoys. Still, she’s never even been on a second date.

Katie offers a miasma of reasons why her love life has been a non-starter: completely cluelessness, awkward conversations, bad timing, and her tendency to obsess and over-elaborate friendly interactions in overwrought (and hilarious) diary entries.

Her writing comes off as endearing, funny, and self-depreciating. She’s utterly likeable – which I don’t believe is so much of a sin as Katy Waldman over at Slate seems to think – and that shows through.  I could completely picture myself sitting on the couch, talking to this awesome girl with a bottle of wine and some bad TV on in the background. 

However - there were times where I just wanted to gently suggest (and by gently, I mean drunkenly yell it over a glass of wine while mashing a cupcake into my mouth) some alternate courses. I mean, I'm a totally awkward person myself, but even I have some wisdom to share. 

“There must come a time, after you've been online dating for months or even years, when you feel your spirit leaving your body. You'll stay online, but you won't even know why. You'll still sign in and look at people's profiles, just to pass the time, but you won't think of them as humans any longer. They might look like people, but then so do you, and you know that all you are anymore is a shell. You'll start flailing.” 
“I'm not trying to be self-righteous about that, but I am literally the best friend a person could ask for and I am a good listener and anybody who doesn't want to be my friend should take a long, hard look at him/herself and whisper, "What is wrong with me? Why was I born without the capacity to love?” 

Change "people" to books and you've got my life theory right there. This book was the perfect solution for a hard day of work. It's the kind of book you pour a glass of wine with, prop up your feet, and have all your stresses melt away. Moments of Never Have I Ever are laugh-out-loud hilarious, and many of Katie's stories brought a smile to my face.While it wasn't one of my all-time favorites, or necessarily a literary gem, it was like spending the evening with a good friend.

Three stars.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of this book for review. As always, I did not receive compensation, and all opinions are my own.