I’ve just read Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney and at first, I was a little upset with the level of analysis and detail in the stories she shares, I realized that I was taking some very important steps back from the barrage of pieces on hook-up culture that I read online every day.
I thought, “Why are you looking into these things so much? Why are you analyzing these situations so intensely?”
Then I realized that this is what I do in my own personal writings, the ones I don’t publish online because they are in my private journals. But the thing about Katie’s writing is that it is more than just personal. She reaches into memories of things that some of us have long forgotten. She has constructed formulas for retelling memories, and as you read them, you will internalize a nostalgia for ’90s sitcom heartthrobs like JTT and you may even recall the sting of rejection when your best friend didn’t think of you as HER best friend. What Katie effectively did was dig into her life and give us, in vivid detail, everything she remembered about what it was like to maneuver through life while conquering the awkwardness of trying to figure everything out.
While some people like to safely assume that all women are the same, Katie’s book shows us that while we do have so much in common, we are still vastly different from each other in terms of when it is that we finally experience those coming-of-age moments that shape us into the adults we are to become. And what kind of adults are we?
Katie’s stories start as early as her elementary school years as she describes her early romantic (and fleeting) feelings for the cute boys at school as well as how she shaped out her friendships with the cool girls. As she enters her college years, she realizes that she and her roommates are progressing at different speeds, and that she must finally have her first kiss, even if it means getting a little drunk to accomplish the task.
Katie’s prose illustrate her life events by letting the voice in her head reveal all. Everything that ever crossed your mind while you were with your friends and crushes will echo back to you as you read about moments like a messy kiss with Eric or the feeling of helplessness when finding out that a friend of the opposite sex likes you and you just are not ready for that kind of information.
I believe that this memoir is how Heaney further refines her story-telling abilities. She will continue to gather our attention and I am very excited for her because the attention to detail is startling. As she moves on to examine other parts of the human experience, we will have a lot to learn from someone who weaves together the details of intimate moments and dissects them so that we better understand not just what happens, but why things happen and where to go from there.
Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date will be released January 14, 2014 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.com
You can find Katie on Twitter as @KTHeaney.
Featured Image via Goodreads.com