Never Been Kissed – eARC Review

Title: Never Been Kissed
Author: Timothy Janovsky
Series/Number: N/A
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Age: New Adult
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Themes: Movies, Drive-In Theater, Demisexual Rep, Gay Rep, MM romance, Self-Discovery, LGBTQ+ Side Characters, Alcohol Consumption, First Kisses


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.

A feel-good summer LGBTQIA+ New Adult RomCom, perfect for fans of Red White & Royal BlueBoyfriend Material, and What If It’s Us.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablance for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Oh boy. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this one to be honest with you. I wanted to read it because of the demisexual rep, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the story. And then I got into it and it was so much more than I expected! For starters, I adored Wren. He is awkward and nervous, but so passionate and kind. I adored watching him be passionate about movies and Wiley’s.

I really liked the discussion about growing up and being your own person. It was really nice to see Wren and his friends exploring what to do next with their lives and where to go next after finishing university. I also liked that there was a lot of discussion about choosing your own path even if other people don’t understand what that path might be. I also really liked how there was a lot of discussion about being open and honest and working on communication.

I really liked the discussion about demisexual and the way Wren and his friends discussed sexuality and supported each other. I think it was really nice to see Wren’s friends supporting him through his self-discovery. I really enjoyed how it was not treated as something that needed to be deeply understood, past explaining the definition and then accepting that, that is just how Wren is.

This book made me cry in the end, which I was not expecting. Just watching Wren and his friends overcome things to support his passion and his goals was so heartwarming. I adored this book and definitely need to reread it.

Rating: 5/5 stars

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