Review – Never Been Kissed by Timothy Janovsky

Posted May 25, 2022 by Carole in Reviews / 10 Comments

I received this book for free from the Library, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review – Never Been Kissed by Timothy JanovskyNever Been Kissed by Timothy Janovsky
Narrator: Mark Sanderlin
Series: Boy Meets Boy #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on May 3, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ+ / Gay
Pages: 286
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Library, Publisher
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three-stars

A warm, witty, and hilarious LGBTQIA+ romcom from debut author Timothy Janovsky!

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 liked this book well enough but I didn’t love it. I didn’t really feel the romance and as a result, I never seemed to have any problem putting the book down to do something else. I felt like it took me a lot longer to read this book than it should have so I decided to switch over to the audiobook to speed things up a bit. There were a lot of things that I really liked and I am glad that I decided to pick this book up.

Wren is in his early 20s and is still waiting on his first kiss. He wants that kiss to be special and has had a few close encounters. In a weak moment, he sends out the emails that he kept in his drafts to the few people that came close to having a moment with him. Derick receives one of these emails and they end up reconnecting as a result.

My favorite parts of the book dealt with Wren’s special project of premiering a movie at the local drive-in that he works at as manager. The only obstacle is the movie’s creator, Alice. I really enjoyed Alice’s character and thought that the friendship she formed with Wren was very well done. I also thought that the way that Wren figured out so many things about himself in this book, including some important things about his sexuality.

I think that this is the first time that I have listened to Mark Sanderlin’s narration and I thought that he did a great job with this book. I liked the voices that he used for the characters and thought that he had a very pleasant voice. I would definitely listen to this narrator’s work again in the future.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that the story was well done even though I didn’t completely feel the chemistry between the characters. I hope to read more of this author’s work in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca and borrowed a copy of the audiobook.

About Timothy Janovsky

TIMOTHY JANOVSKY is a queer, multidisciplinary storyteller from New Jersey. He holds a degree in theatre and dance from Muhlenberg College. His work as a humor writer has been featured on Points in Case, The Broadway Beat, and Well Mannered Grump, and his fiction short story debut was published by Voyage YA Journal. When he’s not daydreaming about a young Hugh Grant, he’s writing the queer rom-coms he wished he had as a teenager. Never Been Kissed is his first novel.

10 responses to “Review – Never Been Kissed by Timothy Janovsky

  1. Do you ever find some books work better for you in a different format? I have seen so many raves for this one that I am surprised by this review. Sorry it wasn’t a winner. I would be disappointed if I read a romance and the romantic plot didn’t grab me.

    • I do think that some books work better in certain formats. I knew that I would be less likely to keep setting this book down if I switched to the audio. I did like the book but not as much as I had hoped that I would.

  2. It is hard to really love a romance when you just don’t quite connect to the characters. This does sound fun even if it wasn’t a total win.