About The Book:
Title: I NEVER
Author: Laura Hopper
Pub. Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Janey King’s priorities used to be clear: track, school, friends, and family. But when seventeen-year-old Janey learns that her seemingly happy parents are getting divorced, her world starts to shift. Back at school, Luke Hallstrom, an adorable senior, pursues Janey, and she realizes that she has two new priorities to consider: love and sex.
Inspired by Judy Blume’s classic Forever, I Never features a perfect, delicious, almost-to-good-to-be-true high school relationship . . . and it doesn’t shy away from the details. Destined to be passed from teen to teen, this is a young adult debut that will get readers talking.
He gets up and guides me over to the mirror that covers the length of the door to my bathroom. He places me in front of the door and stands behind me, his hands interlocked near my bellybutton. “Look at you.”
Is he serious? I’m supposed to stand here, wearing jeans and a bra in a fully lit room and gaze into the mirror at myself with Luke Hallstrom supervising? I don’t freakin’ think so. I put my hands over my eyes and hope he’ll give up on this mission. He takes hold of my hands and pulls them down to uncover my eyes. My lids stay shut tight. I only wish I could make it dark for him as well.
“Will you please open your eyes so you can see what I see?” he begs.
I open my eyes, but look everywhere except at my own reflection – the sandy beige carpet, the molding around the doorframe, the backwards photos reflected in the mirror.
“Come on, just for a second. For me.” I finally relent and stare straight ahead.
I try to see in myself what he clearly sees. I look at my image and the self-consciousness slowly evaporates. A blanket of reassurance covers me in warmth and comfort. Everything in the room seems to change and Luke can obviously pick up on my new sense of ease. He reaches his hands behind my back and unhooks my bra. I keep my eyes locked on the mirror as my bra falls to the floor.
“My god, Janey, look at you.” I do as he says and I look, searching to find the truth in his words. It takes significant effort for me to let him stare at me. His hands wrap back around my waist and find their way up to my chest, cupping my breasts. I watch his hands and then I watch his face. I see how taken he is with me. I see appreciation and admiration in his eyes. Finally, his eyes find mine in the mirror. He looks deeply into me, making sure we’re in sync. I turn around to face him and feel the whole of my naked chest up against his smooth brown skin. I lift my face to look at him and he delicately licks the tiny space between my lips.
“You’re perfect, you know that?” he asks.
“Maybe I’m just perfect for you."
Laura Hopper has worked in the film industry and is currently a book editor. I Never is her first novel. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her family.