So I went into this one thinking that Katie Heaney is going to become my new best friend, but after reading Never Have I Ever, that kind of didn’t really happen. I thought that we’d have similar experiences or thoughts… but we didn’t. I thought that we’d have similar relationship goals (or lack of) and types of friends… but we didn’t. I’m sorry, Katie, but we can’t be friends. 😦
Katie Heaney has spent 25 years looking for love, and this memoir chronicles her many struggles during that period of time.
Over the last decade or so, the gradual change in gender roles and societal values have led to the rise of “relationship virgins.” I, like many other readers, picked up this book most probably because we were also relationship virgins, like Katie claimed to be. It was definitely surprising to find that I didn’t really care about Katie’s experiences or old diary entries on crushes or about her crushes that never turned out to be anything more than crushes. Whether it was her writing style or just her experiences, I didn’t feel a connection to her, unfortunately. Usually, when my friends talk about their crushes, I’m excited to live vicariously through them. The fact that I’m excited in that sense but not with this book might be due to the fact that I already have connections and relationships with my friends, and I didn’t have that connection with Katie. One part of the book that I could relate to, though, is having a friend who was the opposite of a relationship virgin – in Katie’s world, her friend Rylee holds that position. I liked Katie’s interactions and conversations with Rylee as well as her other friends, and I wish we had that relationship too! I felt like such a fake friend just going, “Uh-huh, uh-huh” while staring at my nails and not really paying attention to her very-real boy problems.
Also, the main reason why I finished this book is that I kept waiting for something more – some insightful thoughts to wrap up all her relationships or something of the sort. Which never happened. Thus, this book could have very well been a diary, because Katie spent more time on the events and the happenings of her love life and less on the thinking aspect.
Humans are incredibly egocentric, and I think the reason why memoirs work is that people like talking or writing about themselves, and we are also interested in hearing about these people talk about themselves and their experiences. However, Never Have I Ever didn’t work for me. I’m still trying to figure out why it didn’t work for me (is it that Katie’s too different from me? Was it her lack of analysis of her relationships?), but I know that I was disappointed by this book.