Dear (never-been-quite-over-you) Crush,
It’s been a few years since we were together, but I can’t stop thinking about the time we almost…
Wren Roland has never been kissed, but he wants that movie-perfect ending more than anything. Feeling nostalgic on the eve of his birthday, he sends emails to all the boys he (ahem) loved before he came out. Morning brings the inevitable Oh God What Did I Do?, but he brushes that panic aside. Why stress about it? None of his could-have-beens are actually going to read the emails, much less respond. Right?
Enter Derick Haverford, Wren’s #1 pre-coming-out-crush and his drive-in theater’s new social media intern. Everyone claims he’s coasting on cinematic good looks and his father’s connections, but Wren has always known there’s much more to Derick than meets the eye. Too bad he doesn’t feel the same way about the infamous almost-kiss that once rocked Wren’s world.
Whatever. Wren’s no longer a closeted teenager; he can survive this. But as their hazy summer becomes consumed with a special project that may just save the struggling drive-in for good, Wren and Derick are drawn ever-closer…and maybe, finally, Wren’s dream of a perfect-kiss-before-the-credits is within reach.
I absolutely fell in love with this new adult queer summer romance. This rom-com was so much fun and had me laughing out loud many times! I especially appreciated the fact that the story revolves around a Drive-In (remember those?) where I used to spend a lot of time as a teenager. I also appreciated the demisexual representation in the story, something we don’t often see in romance novels. I loved watching Wren explore his sexuality and figure himself out, all the while waiting for that elusive first kiss.
This book totally entranced me, and I loved the story the author tells here. I always like the trope of the “childhood crush reentering the picture,” and it was exceptionally well done in this story. It warmed my heart to see how patient, compassionate and supportive Derick was toward Wren and thought the chemistry between them was perfect.
All in all, I loved this wonderful, heart-tugger of a love story. Half love story and half identity quest, Timothy Janovsky’s “Never Been Kissed” is 100 percent beautiful. It’s a big, beautiful novel with depth and a huge heart, and the story swept me up from the first page to the last. Derick and Wren are the couple everyone will fall in love with: funny, flawed, endearing, determined, a little bit angsty, and totally real. A sweet, comforting read with just the right amount of angst, and I give this one all the stars.
A huge thank you to Netgalley for providing a review copy of this book. Expected publication is May 3, 2022.