Cover Image: Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever

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Never Have I Ever
The gripping psychological thriller about a game gone wrong
by Lucy V. Hay

 Hodder & Stoughton 
Hodder Paperbacks
 Mystery & Thrillers 
Pub Date 12 Dec 2019 

I am reviewing a copy of Never Have I Ever through Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley:

In Never Have I Ever four teenagers discover a new game, a game that they add their our own rules, they go from sharing secrets to sharing firsts.  But things soon go spiraling out control.    

Soon a woman gets a note stuck through her door, the note terrifies her.  The note reads: /Never have I ever been punished for what I have done./

She thought the game was over, but now it seems like it’s her turn to play.  No matter how far it goes you must follow the rules, and the game is never over, not really.

If you are looking for a great suspenseful read, one that draws you in, and doesn’t let you go, I highly recommend Never Have I Ever.

Five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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Never have I ever... read a book by Lucy v Hay. This may be my first experience with this author but it won't be my last.

The story flashed back and forth between present and the narrator's childhood. It centres around a game of 
Never Have I Ever, which the narrator and her friends used to play during their teen years, however, they had added their own twist to the game, which escalated until it got out of hand.

I found the story to be enjoyable, and it keep me interested throughout. However, I didn't find the characters particularly likeable, which is a shame, as I find that i am more empathetic to likeable characters.

The ending contained an unseen plot twist, and the last few chapters had me on edge, hoping for the best outcome.

Definitely worth a read, and I would look for more books by this author.
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I forced myself to finish this one and it took forever. I just couldn’t get into it. The Dyers were a bit much and got confusing, I lost interest in what happened that summer and Samantha’s marriage bothered me. I was actually surprised with a part of the ending and how bad it was, did Samantha not learn anything?
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"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."

This book was all over the place. This was a book I got about 40% through and had to give up. My mind continually wandered and I had to reread. If a book can't hold my attention, I feel okay calling it quits.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of the book for an honest review.
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Told entirely from Sam's point of view this a psychological suspense novel that focuses on the darkness that hides within a person ready to strike given the right set of circumstances. Sam should be happy with life, but she isn't. Her husband has let her down with his business failures. Sam's worn out from fertility treatments, both financially and physically, even though it gave her Caleb, her much-cherished son. Now she's the victim of a stalker too.  A successful crime writer, she dismisses the letters at first, until they drag her back to her teenage and the darkness she left behind.

 Sam is an unreliable protagonist. She is hard to empathise never seeing the best in anyone. As the stalker threats increase, so do the flashbacks to her last summer in Ilfracombe, and what happened. Is she losing her mind? Is someone manipulating her? It's hard to tell despite the clues along the way.

This story gives a new interpretation of the teenage dare and danger theme. There are surprising plot twists with a dark and twisty ending that is chillingly believable.

I received a copy of this book from Hodder and Stoughton via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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This was a haunting tale. Never have I ever is a game plaued by many but no one expected it to take such a dark turn. A book filled with twists and turns. A tale of psychological terror. This book was fantastic.
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The premise for this book was stellar but I really felt at the end this book was extremely repetitive. As a reader I quickly became impatient and bored with the protagonist and her storyline. 
Three stars.
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This novel is about a writer named Samantha, who has recently returned to her hometown with her husband, Mo and her toddler son, Caleb. As the blurb states, one day while sifting through the mail she finds a letter stating, “Never have I ever been punished for what I have done.” Thus begins Sam’s mission/obsession with finding out who sent the letter and why. 

When Sam was a teenager, her three best friends were Maddy, Ruby, and Aimee. One day they are normal teenagers and then one day they start playing Never Have I Ever, constantly upping the ante and the risk level of the dares and challenges. Aimee immediately stands out as the alpha of the group and some of her behaviors were eerily similar to some of the bitchy girls I was friends with growing up. None of the others were saints by any means, but Aimee appeared to be the evilest throughout most of the novel and Sam’s flashbacks/memories. Regardless, Aimee and her mother Lyndy moved away when Aimee was a teenager and she hasn’t connected with any of the girls again. 

Issues presented at the start of the novel include Sam’s disconnect with her husband, continued struggles to relate to her free-spirited mother, discontent with the idea of unpacking their new house, and her upcoming deadline for the next book in her detective series – which she hasn’t made much progress on. Several failed attempts at starting a new business, coupled with Aimee’s infertility issues have saddled the couple with debt they are trying to get out from under and although Mo has finally established a successful company, it results in him traveling most of the time. Sometimes they seem to like each other during the novel but a lot of the time they are just snipping at and nagging each other.

Then the notes start showing up and Sam is convinced that it is Aimee screwing with her after all of these years. Sam starts trying to track down Ruby and Maddy to find out Aimee’s whereabouts. She stalks Aimee’s family’s store trying to find her. She runs into her old boyfriend from school, Michael, who is now a cop, and tries to enlist his help in finding Aimee. 

All of that part was boring. Unfortunately, her search for Aimee makes up about 75% of the novel. 

Coupled with her boring search for Aimee is endless examples of Sam conveniently forgetting about events from her adolescence and/or spinning them in a completely different light which is evident in the chilly reception she gets from Michael, Ruby, and Maddy. Obviously, Sam remembers herself quite differently than everyone else and continues this disillusioned sense of self by not sharing any of this with Mo and keeping all of her investigative work to herself. Some things he does find out about because police get involved, but otherwise she diligently works to preserve the image she thinks he has of her. And this also gets exhausting.

So, what are my overall thoughts? I did not love this book, nor did I dislike it. If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, you may very well enjoy this one. Especially if you like novels where sins from the past can come back to haunt us. However, if you prefer something fast-paced with a lot of twists and turns, this one probably isn’t for you. There are really only two surprises and they both occur in the last 10% of the novel. Nevertheless, I will read Lucy Hay again if given the opportunity because I enjoyed her overall style and tone. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book. Overall, this book was much too slow for me, which made it hard to read and finish.
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Lucy V. Hay's début is an engrossing and entertaining, gripping drama-style thriller of deceit, lies, fecklessness, and hidden truths.

Based on the game of Never Have I Ever, the book's focuses on a macabre set of circumstances that occurred amongst a group of friends years ago when they were all young and thoughtless. Samantha (Sam), a successful author, is also one of the girls who played the twisted game on that fateful day over two decades ago. She decides to return to her childhood town of Ilfracombe, Devon, along with her husband and baby boy. Sam's life is going well until she gets a note through her door that chills her to the bone: "Never Have I Ever Been Punished For What I Have Done."

Told through the eyes of Sam over almost twenty years, Lucy V. Hay delivers this unrestrained and exuberant story of drama in this toxic concoction of long-held secrets, peer pressure, vindictiveness and deception. Never Have I Ever is a compelling and cracking story that I revelled in all the way through and that had me reading well into the night. Everything was competently wrapped up in the fabulous and satisfying finale. I would love to read more from Lucy V. Hay and I am delighted to recommend this début novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Hodder and Stoughton via NetGalley at my request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Thank you NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC of this book. 
Where do I begin, I found the book terribly slow and the story a little unbelievable.  For me the writing didn't flow and I kept putting the book down and then picking up again, I really couldn't get into it. 
The couldn't relate to the characters and felt I had to finish the book so I could give an honest review.  Sadly I am not one of these persons who can just put a book down if I don't like it. 
I did get to the end of the book eventually, and felt that although the ending was okay it was in a way predictable but not as I had thought.  
Unfortunately this isn't a book I would recommend to anyone and felt the book would have been better if half of it hadn't been there.
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I had some high hopes for this book after reading the synopsis. The theme seemed to be something that would keep your attention from start to finish.  Unfortunately, the book fell a little short for me. It was not a bad read, but was not something I couldn’t put down.  

The story line was fine and the author did a good job of giving you insight in to the main character. One issue for me was that the main character was not like able.  I didn’t care to root for her and honestly did not get concerned when things did not go her way. She was very much an unhinged brat. This for me made the book difficult. 

It was slow starting, but I will day it picked up towards the end. Had the first 75% been as good as the last 25% my review would have been very different. At the end of the day it was a good plot, but it is possibly overdone at this point. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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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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