Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Review: Never Been Kissed by Timothy Janovsky

Never Been Kissed
(Boy Meets Boy #1)
Timothy Janovsky
Release: May 3, 2022
Goodreads Amazon
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.

This is one of those books where I read the synopsis and immediately knew I would be reading it. A queer romance that revolves around saving a drive-in? Yes, please! I grew up going to the drive-in and some of my best memories from high school revolve around my friend group piling into a couple of pickup trucks and going to see the newest releases. Never Been Kissed is the debut novel of Timothy Janovsky and it incorporated so many of the tropes I love! I would describe it as a coming-of-age, second chance romance and it was utterly delightful!

This book was the queer version of To All The Boys I've Loved Before that so many of us wanted. Wren Roland is still waiting to have his first kiss and he wants it to be movie perfect. Unfortunately, real life is not like the movies. After a disastrous birthday party, Wren drunkenly decides to send the emails he has written to the four guys he's almost kissed. The next morning brings regret and embarrassment of the OMG! WHAT HAVE I DONE?!? variety and it was so perfectly done!

Timothy Janovsky packed a lot into its 288 pages. Not only was there the romance and save the drive-in plots, this book was an exploration of the uncertainty that defines the transition from college student stage of life to the working adult stage. Wren and his friends have dreams but also have no idea how to achieve said dreams now that they have their respective degrees. Working at the drive-in is supposed to be their last hoorah before moving on to a 9-5 job. What Wren wasn't expecting was having to work with his former best friend who ghosted him freshmen year and one of the email recipients.

I loved the romance so much! Wren and Derrick have a lot of baggage and watching them work through it and start to fall for each other was *chef's kiss*. It was a little more dramatic than I am used to reading but it fit the story. I've seen mixed reviews on the Alice plot of the story and personally I loved the whole thing! Watching Wren and Alice both come out of their shells and learn to love other people was so heartwarming!

This story was also a beautiful and relatable exploration of what it means to be queer. And had the resounding message that it is okay to take your time. There is no deadline that you have to have your identity figured out by or that you have to hit any romance milestones by. Wren has figured out part of his identity but feels like gay is only the beginning of who he is. Labels are so important and when he finds that last missing piece of his identity so many things and past experiences fall into place. Wren's experience learning about the ace spectrum paralleled my own experience so much. I have started to see myself more and more in the queer books that have been released recently but this one made me feel so fully seen that I cried a few tears. Thanks for that Mr. Janovsky!

I loved this book so much and can't recommend it enough! I have already bought a physical copy to add to my personal library. I loved the cover! And I cannot wait for the second book in this series coming out this fall! I need it in my hands yesterday!

Also, can I say that it is so exciting and refreshing to see more and more romances written by queer authors?!? We definitely need more m/m romances written by more queer male authors like this one.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  4.5 / 5 Stars


Recommended for fans of:
To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to read comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...