Starting from the title, Katie Heaney’s Never Have I Ever: My life (so far) without a date got me. As a single woman of approximately the same age as her, I knew I’d relate to her memoir of her own hapless dating experiences.
This is a super-short review because you really have to read it, to be in the mindset, to appreciate it fully. But if you’re anything like me, you will definitely identify with her insights. Heaney tracks her lack of romance from her first crush in elementary school through the post-college present day. As a millennial, I particularly related to her failed attempts at online dating, from the excitement to tedium of creating a profile to the very awkward first date – all experiences that my friends have repeatedly recounted for me.
Like my friends, Heaney’s tend to be the heart of her story of singledom. In particular, her best friend Rylee, whom she refers to as a “lighthouse” (i.e. the type of person whom other people are drawn to), reminded me of a number of friends and acquaintances. Additionally, I (prone to nostalgia) enjoyed her reminiscing about living with other women in a crowded college dorm – I fondly (and sometimes not-so-fondly) bring those stories out at any university reunion, be it with one person over coffee or with a crowd at a tailgate.
While not the most insightful memoir, reading Heaney seems exactly like gossiping with your girlfriends. Sometimes what you really need is an entertaining outsider’s take on the same awkward things you’re going through, a type of literary catharsis, and in those cases, this is the perfect read.