Never Have I Ever

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

Twenty years ago, four friends started playing a game of Never Have I Ever that began as mean and cruel but may have ended In a fatality. After returning to her home town, San begins receiving letters that seem to tease that someone knows about their game and Sam is certain the person responsible was her childhood tormentor.  Letters continue to arrive while Sam digs into her past and tries to reconnect with her old friends. 

This is the first book by Lucy Hay that I have read and I enjoyed the book and found some elements of the story to be creative but the resolution was not surprising.
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This was good book but it wasn’t fast paced enough for me though.  The plot was great along with the characters. Towards the ending it picks up and I didn’t predict what happened. A good psychological thriller for people who like this genre. I’ll be keeping my eye out for more books by this author in the future. Thank you netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review of it.
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Compelling Psychological Suspense...
Compelling psychological suspense with a swiftly moving storyline zipping between past and present events, when a teenage game returns to haunt protagonist Samantha, maintaining  tension until the finale. An engrossing read.
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Great book. Well written. The story was fast past with great characters great plot. Highly recommended.  l
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The book description and gorgeous cover is what pulled me to this book. Samantha (Sam) was a teenager in the 1990s like I was  I identified with Sam on that part and enjoyed the 90s references that were used in the novel.

Now an adult and published author writing under a pseudonym, Sam and her family move back to her hometown then she starts receiving notes. She and her friends played “Never Have I Ever” when they were teens and now that Sam is back, it seems like the game is continuing despite Sam not wanting to play.

Over the course of the novel, Sam thinks she has it figured out and then the final act was significant to read: This is where the past and the present collide together to form the climax of the novel and we finally find out what happened over 20 years ago.

Though a good novel, a few parts of it did not work for me: Sam really was not that likeable and it was just hard for me to think of someone having a huge high school grudge 20+ years later.
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What a very jumpy, shocking and creepy read. This was written very well apart from the beginning. It took it's time to get into the story and couldnt wait to get to the better bits. Once it got going it came alive. The characters were exactly how they should of been and of course I was suspicious of everyone. A childhood friendship that has a dark secret only they know and it comes back to haunt them. But who is behind it all? A good read if you like the jumpy/creepy bits
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I enjoyed this book, full of suspense and mystery, for me I felt it lost track a little in the middle, but it definitely picked up pace again soon after. 
If you like a twisty turny book then this is the one for you. 
I'll be on the look out for more by Lucy V Hay in future.
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This book was just okay for me.  I need a faster paced book and a likable protagonist helps.  I know a lot of people love a slow burner and can handle unlikable people but I just need someone to relate with in some kind of way.  

Thank you for the opportunity to read this book!
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EXCERPT: I think briefly about screwing up the letter, shoving it in the recycling box; even burning it. But I know curiosity alone won't allow me to do that, and it could be nothing. I am probably overreacting again. I find myself muttering 'I reject fear,' just like Lindy does.

There must be a logical explanation.

Perhaps someone from school has seen me in town. Or maybe they even live near my new house, have seen me coming and going? But why not come up to me, like Michael had? Maybe they were shy. Or maybe they weren't sure it's me. But if they'd recognized me from afar in the street, they could recognize me online, even with my SJ Scherer pseudonym. Why not send me a message on Facebook? Why go to the trouble of putting something through the door? It's so old fashioned.

Unable to take it any longer, I rip the envelope open. A thin slip of paper flutters to the floor. I lean down to grab it, eager to read what it says. Once I have, I wish I'd never set eyes on it.

'Never Have I Ever been punished for what I have done.'

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Sam is doing well in her career, she has a husband and a baby and life is going well. That is until she gets the note through her door that stops her heart in her chest. Never Have I Ever Been Punished For What I Have Done.

Sam is catapulted back to those teenage years spent with her best friends, teasing out each other's secrets by announcing things they had Never, ever done. Pushing each other's boundaries, growing closer and growing up.

If only they had stopped there. But they added their own rules. They went from sharing secrets to sharing firsts. First kisses, first drinks, first fake IDs. And that was before it all went spiraling out of control. Before that day in the woods ended it all.

Because no matter how far it goes, you have to obey the rules of the game. Even if what you've never done should stay that way. And now Sam is about to discover that the game isn't over . . .

MY THOUGHTS: Never Have I Ever lacks a few things, including cohesion and momentum. And I am not overthinking (one of the author's favourite words, along with 'maybe') this. I was tempted, multiple times, to abandon this read, but how could I abandon my first read of the year? Of the decade? I stuck with it and stumbled through the read.

This book is repetitive....we hear the same things repeated over and over. And mundane.....there is a lot of 'filler' in there. I didn't find Never Have I Ever even remotely suspenseful or thrilling. One thought was running through my mind from early on in the book - 'Just get on with it, will you?'

And when I finally got to the climax? Doubtful... and really not worth wading through all the dross for.

Beautiful cover!

Reading is a personal and subjective experience, and what appeals to one may not please another. If you enjoyed the excerpt from Never Have I Ever by Lucy V Hay, and the plot outline appeals, please do go ahead and read it. You may well enjoy it as have many other readers.


#NeverHaveIever #NetGalley

THE AUTHOR: Lucy V. Hay script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers DEVIATION (2012) and ASSASSIN (2015), both starring Danny Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for The London Screenwriters' Festival. Lucy is also an author, writing both screenwriting books and crime fiction.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Never Have I Ever by Lucy V Hay for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and my webpage
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So this started out so well then settled slightly losing momentum and then the ending kind of rescued things a tad, so mixed bag from me really.
So this story is told from sams Pov a successful author who moves back to Ilfracombe her childhood stomping grounds with her husband and son.
I liked that it was set in Devon and the author has done their homework well, I recognised many place names from our family holidays including the Wetherspoons pub, which was nice.
So there's really two-story threads happening here, fan-mail from an anonymous person that is kind of freaking Sam out that she's been having for a while and after she moves home Never Have I Ever Letters, a game she used to play with her friends when they were teenagers.
A game she would rather forget they ever played.
So the story here was interesting and I kept reading because I wanted to know the outcome and who was behind it all terrorising Sam.
My issue was there was a tad too much of the mundane everyday thrown in to keep my attention wholly and I got to be honest with that ending that pulled it out the bag my rating would probably be lower.
I also couldn't stand Sam herself she was narcissistic and Selfish and plain mean to her poor hubby, who was lovely by the way, so that also put a damper on the whole thing.
So yeh I did enjoy this to a point, it was a good read, it just didn't manage to blow me away, but as I said I did love the finish.
I voluntary reviewed a copy of Never Have I Ever.
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I received and ARC of Never Have I Ever by Lucy V Hay from Hodder and Stoughton and NetGalley in exchange for and honest review. Thank you! 

This book deserves 5 stars, hands down! A fast paced, psychological thriller which I could not put down. I highly recommend this author and this book!!!!
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Never Have I Ever was a predictable thriller. Interesting storyline competing against meh characters. It was a quick read but I felt disappointed in the end.
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2.5 stars

This was just okay for me. Nothing really original or memorable. Some parts really dragged, and then ending was a bit predictable.
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A woman's past comes back to haunt her after twenty years ! A mesmerizing and brilliantly written thriller with complicated characters ! A great read ! 
Thanks to Netgalley and Hodder & Stroughton , Hodder Paperbacks 
#Netgalley #Hodder&Stoughton #HodderPaperbacks
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Ah, this book pulled and pushed me outta the prose continually. I felt like a castaway, trying to swim the waves. The suspense to waxed and waned in different pages.

A childhood game played between 4 teenage girls had disastrous results which was hinted at throughout the book by Sam, a writer who had shifted back home with her husband and baby boy. Notes started appearing and her mind kept going to the past which her mind had blanked out.

My first book by author Lucy V. Hay, I was so attracted to the story initially. The suspense had the right amount of malice in it. But soon the main character lost her steam with illogical accusations. I was not shown a gradual progress or links to the past. Hence she came across as hysterical most times. Boy, she needed therapy.

But the story and writing in most parts were delicious, the pace was slow for a thriller yet the last few pages with the big reveal had me gasping at the wickedness of a mind.

Overall a fun read...
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I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I liked this book, but I didn't love it. I felt it started off really well but lost me towards the end. It felt incredibly repetitive and I didn't really enjoy any of the characters. I think the author had a good idea, but didn't execute it as well as they tried to. 

Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for this ARC.
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The pretense of the book is around the old teen game ‘Never Have I Ever”. The girls bring it to another level thinking up the most awful things that they can dare each other to do and the consequences for refusing are far worse!
Samantha has a great life with her husband and new baby and she is an author of a popular mystery series which allows her to be home with her son. Samantha has decided that the busy life of London is not good for a child and has moved back to Ilfracombe, her childhood town to enjoy the country life. Samantha receives a note “Never Have I Ever been punished for what I did”
Samantha believes she knows who is behind the note and looks up some old friends to find out where her friend Aimee is. She realizes that her old friends want nothing to do with her and have their own thoughts about the past. Samantha is the only one who wants to rehash the past to find out why it is affecting her future. She is full of anxiety and doesn’t know if she is imagining things or if they are really occurring and it all leads back to the night before she moved away 23 years ago.
I found the book slow at times and it took longer to read that I hoped. I think that it was built up too much and there were some storylines that didn’t go anywhere. Though the end was a surprise, I thought that it could have been done differently!
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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I think we have all played the game, Never Have I Ever. Yet, the version that most of us played was probably on the "mild" side. In this book, Sam and her friends played a more "riskier" version that was a cross between Never Have I Ever and Dare. Things started out innocently but quickly escalated to things like breaking into the school, pranks on people, etc. 

Sam is fine. If the things that were not happening to her, she would have been just another person. Not really that intriguing.  She did not seem to be in a good marriage and her book was developing slowly. 

I had a feeling that I figured out who the culprit was early on but I was wrong. Not that I am sad about it as when it comes to these types of books, I like when I am wrong. It means that the author was able to do a good job of the plot twists. Yet, what I struggled with was how subtle the things that were happening to Sam were. Plus, Sam did not really freak out which she should have discovering she had a stalker out to get her. 

The pacing of this story is slow and steady. Overall, this was a pretty good book.
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Sam returns to the hometown she left as a teenager. She's now a successful author looking for a fresh start after a fee tough years with her husband and baby son. But then the anonymous letters start, bringing up the mistakes she was so desperate to leave behind.

This story is set in Ilfracombe, Devon. I did  ot like Sam. She came across as a  ully. We don't get a lot of information on her husband. Sam nd her friends had played the game never have I ever when they were teenagers. The dares just got nastier. Then Sam moves away with her family, thinking everything would now be fine. The plotline had so  much potential  ut the pace seemed slow and dragged on in some parts. This story shows how your past will never leave you. One day  it will eventually catch up with you. 

I would like to thank NetGalley, Hodder & Stoughton and the author Lucy V. Hay for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Sam has everything she wants in life and is dong well until she gets a note that brings her teenage years and things better left buried, rushing back. "Never have I ever been punished for what I have done." Things in the past with her group of friends left them out of control and hiding secrets. Now those have come home to roost. The game isn't over, in fact it is just getting started.
The book has some slow moving parts where I almost gave up but I pushed on thru and in the end it was pretty satisfying. It had me scared and a bit freaked out and the ending was worth the read. Grab this if you are looking for a good, solid psychological thriller.
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