"These 13 captivating short stories entwine fantasy, horror, and science fiction to explore monsters, Filipino folklore, immigration, and queerness. In the dark fairy tale 'A Cup of Salt Tears,' Makino’s mother warns her of the dangers of making deals with kappas, even though Makino was saved by kappa as a child. When Makino’s husband falls ill, she seeks out that same kappa. In 'Hurricane Heels (We Go Down Dancing),' a group of five girls befriend one another at a summer camp when a goddess charges them with protecting the world from darkness. Ten years later, the the girls are still fighting. These ambiguous, vivid, and dark tales manage deep characterizations despite their short formats."— Buzzfeed:21 Fantasy Books To Get Excited About This Winter
"Yap’s characters foster fierce protective love, and her ability to channel those emotions into extraordinary, strange tales is what makes Never Have I Ever such a joy to read."
— Booklist(starred review)
"Yap’s impressive debut collection of 13 fabulist, sci-fi, and horror shorts explores themes ranging from monstrousness, shared trauma, and systemic violence to friendship and the ambiguity of love. Yap is at home with whatever topic she puts her hand to, easily immersing readers in the perspectives of high schoolers, ancient goddesses, androids, and witches. . . . Yap is a powerful new voice in speculative fiction."
— Publishers Weekly
"Never Have I Ever proves Yap the master of both the grand and the everyday. In each of these hard-hitting, incredibly assured stories, Yap shows how deft her hand is by sliding effortlessly from marriages and monsters (‘A Cup of Salt Tears’), to future anxiety and food in a near-future Manila (‘Milagroso’) to the uncertain future of grown-up magical girls (‘Hurricane Heels’); her ghost stories terrify as much as they comfort (‘Asphalt, River, Mother, Child’) and are so woven into the fabric of our real and human lives that their power to unsettle is unmatched; imagine if M.R. James had known the precise 1990s desire to own a Baby G . . . But where Yap consistently dazzles is her unsentimental, tender, evocative and brutal examination of the life and interiority of young women and girls: the innate monstrousness of growing up in the shoes marked ‘woman’. A masterclass collection."— Tamsyn Muir, author of Gideon the Ninth
"These stories of shy witches, beautiful elementals, bloody and watery monsters, miracles and tender-hearted machines, are written with color and crisp precision, and all their startling invention is firmly grounded in our own familiar and endlessly surprising world."— Elizabeth Knox, author of The Absolute Book
"Isabel Yap’s fiction channels the wary energy of meeting places: schools, hospitals, offices, hotels. In her work, the spaces of everyday life brim with weird vitality, crossed by ghosts, monsters, and above all, stories."— Sofia Samatar, author of Tender
"Isabel Yap’s prose is a constant delight and her characters are endlessly rich and fascinating. I’m in awe of her capacity for playful weirdness and mind-expanding terror. These gorgeous stories will help you to glimpse a world that is both stranger and more immense and varied than any you’ve visited before. My head is just full of images and feelings and ideas after reading these wondrous tales. Isabel Yap is a writer to watch out for, and you need to experience her brilliance for yourself." — Charlie Jane Anders, The City in the Middle of the Night
"Never Have I Ever is a stunning, lyrical debut by one of SFF’s brightest voices. Isabel Yap’s stories are luminous. Intimate and tender, hilarious and cruel, they cut straight to the bone. This collection is full of deft, painful portrayals of Filipino girlhood, queerness, and struggling to find a place in the world. They remind me of being in my lola’s house in Manila, listening to my titas and titos gossip over the breakfast table. Yap’s stories feel like coming home." — Alyssa Wong, the award-winning author of Doctor Aphra
"Biting, searing, exquisitely wrought, Never Have I Ever is a tour de force of dark fantasy. The cultural and mythological vectors driving these stories transform the reader as much as the book's characters. Isabel Yap is a writer to watch." — Usman T. Malik, author of Midnight Doorways
"I am full of admiration for Isabel Yap. Her dreams are authentic and her nightmares vivid and inventive." — Priya Sharma, author of All the Fabulous Beasts
"Isabel Yap’s stories are somehow sharp and vivid and gritty at the same time as they’re timeless and mythic; I’ve been a shameless strung-out addict for years now, and I’m so excited to have this splendid overdose in my hands. And to watch as a whole new audience gets hooked on these stories drenched in heartache and salt water, folklore and monsters and gorgeous prose."— Sam J. Miller, Nebula-Award-winning author of Blackfish City
"Never Have I Ever is a showcase of Isabel Yap’s many enviable gifts: gorgeous prose, deep characterization, and exquisite ambiguity. Yap moves from humor to despair with easy confidence, plunging you down into the murkiest depths with the gentlest touch. You’ll get lost in these pages and each word will sit heavy in your chest. The best fiction does that." — Cadwell Turnbull, author of The Lesson
“Am I dead?” Mebuyen sighs. She was hoping the girl would not ask. Spells and stories, urban legends and immigrant tales: the magic in Isabel Yap’s debut collection jumps right off the page, from the joy in her new novella, “A Spell for Foolish Hearts” to the terrifying tension of the urban legend “Have You Heard the One About Anamaria Marquez.”