Cover Image: Never Saw Me Coming

Never Saw Me Coming

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A unique story line with a study group of psychopaths as the victims. The characters must decide what is real and what is just a symptom of their lack of emotions. Definitely worth a read.

Was this review helpful?

I am sorry for the inconvenience but I don’t have the time to read this anymore and have lost interest in the concept. I believe that it would benefit your book more if I did not skim your book and write a rushed review. Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience.

Was this review helpful?

Decent thriller set on a college campus, where there exists a program to study psychopaths. Students are being murdered, while other murders are being planned, and no one (not even the reader) is certain who to trust. I liked the characters a lot, but they seemed overly mature and calculated for teenagers. I also felt like I missed some of the motivation of the revealed killer. But as a GW University alum, I loved the setting!!!

Was this review helpful?

Perfectly average mystery/thriller that reminded me heavily of 90s-era YA paperbacks. Bold move using actual greek organizations in the narrative! I know this is a novel and I should suspend disbelief, but how did this study (individuals with psychopathy get college tuition covered in exchange for participation) get IRB approval?

Was this review helpful?

If you are looking for an absolutely wild and compulsive psychological thriller (particularly one about psychopathy)—Vera Kurian’s Never Saw Me Coming is your next read! I didn’t go into this with any expectations, and I found it dark, fun, and a bit bonkers.

Chloe Sevre is not your average athleisure-wearing, honors student, college freshman. While Chloe may rock a pair of yoga pants with the best of them, find herself hooking up with a hot guy at a frat party, and chatting with the girls in the dorm, she’s also plotting to kill Will Bachman. Will was someone Chloe knew from childhood, and she’s made it her mission to get him back for something he did years ago.

When Chloe enrolls at John Adams University in Washington D.C., she’s one of seven students admitted with a full ride to participate in a study on psychopathy. Chloe and the other six students have all been diagnosed with psychopathy disorder. They don’t know who one another are, but in exchange for their tuition they have agreed to attend weekly sessions with the professor overseeing the study and wear a wristwatch that tracks their emotional states periodically.

Chloe has spent her life learning to mimic the emotions and behaviors of others around her. Now, she will put those skills to the test as she circles around Will, preparing to murder him. She may not feel fear or guilt, but she certainly feels vengeance. However, when one of the other students participating in the study is murdered in the psychology building, it becomes clear that one of the psychopaths is out to get the other ones. Chloe must shift her focus to identify the killer before she becomes the next victim.

While the book is primarily narrated by Chloe, there are also some chapters narrated by two other students enrolled in the psychopathy study—Charles and Andre. Charles is the stereotypical young, attractive psychopath (f you can consider a psychopath stereotypical). Andre, on the other hand, is not a psychopath. He faked his way into the study in exchange for the free tuition. Andre offers the reader the conscience and empathy we are lacking in the other perspectives, which added balance to the story. Chloe and Charles are the sort of characters who you shouldn’t like but you find yourself liking despite yourself. I guess that is the power of a psychopath, right? Manipulation!

The story has a lot of twists and turns along the way. The psychopathy study itself was fascinating! The cat and mouse game between Chloe and Will hooked me, and that story evolves and wraps up sooner than expected as the main focus of the book shifts to the person stalking the study participants. Chloe is a really great character—she’s smart and strategic. She doesn’t lack feelings, nor does she set out to harm others (without a strong case for it). She’s the prototype for someone born with psychopathy who with therapy could potentially go on to live a relatively normal life.

I had a lot of fun reading this one! The story was addictive and this is easily a read-in-one-day book. I would be interested in reading more about these characters or even a follow up to some things revealed in the ending. A tantalizing and compulsive psychological thriller for fans of the darker side of humanity!

Was this review helpful?

Reading an advanced reader copy of "Never Saw Me Coming" by Vera Kurian was a captivating experience that immersed me in a world where the line between right and wrong is tantalizingly blurry. Kurian's debut novel is a chilling exploration of psychopathy, revenge, and the intricate web of human relationships.

In this gripping narrative, we enter the world of Dr. Matilda Deacon, a brilliant psychology student who embarks on a groundbreaking study at an elite university. Her research delves into the minds of psychopaths, specifically focusing on a group of exceptionally gifted psychopathic students who exhibit extraordinary intelligence and cunning. The story unfolds as a psychological game of cat and mouse, where hidden agendas and dark secrets fuel the plot.

Vera Kurian's writing is sharp and immersive, pulling the reader into a world where morality is questioned at every turn. The narrative is enriched by the alternating perspectives of the psychopathic characters, each with their own distinctive voices, providing a multifaceted exploration of the psyche. Kurian's portrayal of the characters and her deep understanding of psychopathy adds authenticity to the story.

The characters are deeply complex, and as we delve into their psychopathic minds, we are compelled to confront the morality and ethics that underpin their actions. Dr. Matilda Deacon, herself a mysterious figure, presents a compelling protagonist whose motives and intentions are skillfully shrouded in ambiguity.

"Never Saw Me Coming" is a story of manipulation, intelligence, and the dark allure of revenge. The sense of foreboding and suspense is palpable, and the narrative continually keeps readers guessing about the characters' true motivations. The atmosphere of psychological tension is a testament to Kurian's storytelling prowess.

While the narrative is generally enthralling, there were moments when the story's pacing slowed, and some readers may find the numerous perspectives somewhat disorienting. Additionally, the novel's conclusion, though thought-provoking, left certain aspects unresolved, which may leave readers with a sense of ambiguity.

In conclusion, "Never Saw Me Coming" is a mind-bending debut that delves into the complexities of psychopathy and human morality. Vera Kurian's exploration of these intricate themes through well-drawn characters and a suspenseful narrative makes this novel a must-read for fans of psychological thrillers. If you seek a story that challenges your perceptions and keeps you on edge, "Never Saw Me Coming" is a book you won't want to miss.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me access to an advanced reader copy of this thought-provoking novel.

Was this review helpful?

I struggled with this book a little. I had a hard time keeping up with the different character point of views for the first half of the book. There at times seemed like there was of POV's too which also confused me. I did love the story line overall though, it was something different and something I haven't read before. Id be interested to read other books for Vera Kurian.

Was this review helpful?

A psychological thriller with psychopath narrators. Slow burn book and the thought of serial killers lurking on campus captured my attention. Thank you netgalley for providing me with this review copy for a fair and honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This one sounds so good, unfortunately it didn’t live up to my expectations. The different POVs threw me off and kept taking me out of the story.

Was this review helpful?

Clever, quick, and thrilling — Never Saw Me Coming is a joyride from page one. In the nation's capital, seven students attend a university as part of a clinical study on psychopaths — because they themselves, are psychopaths. When one of the students in the study is found murdered... that's when the fun begins. Was it one of the students in the study? Or are all of the students in the study now in danger? Who can you trust? With a fierce approach and dark humor, this book reels you in and doesn't let go.

Was this review helpful?

I love this book so much and I am so depressed because I don't think there's going to be a sequel to it and I really really wanted there to be one! So I'm putting my hope out into the universe and crossing my fingers!

Seriously, I have waited to review this one because I keep hoping that there's going to be more and I'm starting to fear there won't be.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to the publisher for allowing me advance access to this title. I really enjoyed reading this story and look forward to reading more from this author. As a reader, I am really motivated by character driven stories and I found myself quickly becoming immersed in these characters’ lives. Full review to come.

Was this review helpful?

This was a wild ride - it kept me on my toes and I did not see the ending coming. I actually listened to the audiobook instead of reading a hardcopy, but I thought the audiobook was really well done.

Was this review helpful?

THIS BOOK! What a whirlwind... and such a crazy, twisted story!
The premise and idea of this book makes me wonder more about the author than the story itself - genius or psychopath? I'm punny, I know ;)

I had the honor of hosting Vera in a zoom chat to give us some insight into the book's creation and I'm still in awe that such a beautiful soul such as Vera wrote this story. It was messed up - in the best way possible.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my complimentary eARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Please excuse my tardiness in posting my review. My TBR list is continuously growing and I keep finding so many amazing books being requested + added to my pile! I have so much gratitude for this copy that has been shared with me.

Was this review helpful?

A completely unique thriller unlike anything I have read before. This debut novel from Kurian really impressed me and I am looking forward to reading more from her in the future.

Was this review helpful?

Short Version:
This book really said “psychopaths, but make it fun.” The idea of undergraduate psychopaths plotting revenge and trying to catch a killer is one with massive potential–and here, that potential was reached. Never Saw Me Coming is dark, twisty, sometimes funny, often chaotic, and highly entertaining.

Long Version:
Look, I think psychopaths are fascinating. At one point, they were an obsessive focus of mine for a few months. I majored in Cognitive Studies in undergrad and loved topics in abnormal psychology (though, I must confess, I did not love my Abnormal Psychology professor–perhaps that is a story for another day). But I think this is the first time I’ve read a work of fiction with a psychopathic narrator (and multiple psychopathic characters)? It was great–psychopathy is a commonly stigmatized condition, and this story addressed it with a solid degree of nuance, which helped with both characterization and plot advancement.

The book is told largely in first-person through Chloe’s eyes, but it also spends chapters in third-person with a couple other characters (Charlie, a golden boy who genuinely wants to learn how to be normal, and Andre, who is only pretending to be a psychopath), presenting a wide view of the different ways in which psychopathic traits can manifest in people. They can be glib and charming or flat and indifferent, some want to fit in, some like to see people suffer–but all of them lack certain feelings like empathy and genuine fear. Viewing the story through their calculating eyes made for a tense read, and a jarring one when their thought processes diverged from what most of us would consider “normal.” None of them were likable per se, but I couldn’t help rooting for them anyway–Chloe, as she plotted her revenge, and all of them as they tried to catch the killer. As a result of their various manifestations of psychopathy, their relationship dynamics are also fascinating, with multiple players all trying to play each other, all used to being the one in control.

Beyond the characters, the story itself was also generally executed well. The hierarchies and structures of the collegiate setting (honors classes, fraternities, social status among peers, and so on) imposed some structural constraints on character behavior, so it was not just a story about unhinged characters set loose in the world, which was highly effective. I also thought I had the killer figured out early on, but had to revise my guess several times as the end approached; the twists added a sufficient amount of complexity but never prevented the book from being an easy-to-follow, binge-readable story.

However, I did have some quibbles with the plot as a whole. The ending “fizzled” a bit more than I had expected given how intensely the rest of the book unfolded, and in fact, it opened up a moral/psychological gray area that was ripe for exploration but instead went untouched. Similarly, there were some side plots I would have liked to see a bit more of, particularly Charles’s internal struggles with learning to behave “normally.” One other small complaint that made me irrationally annoyed was that a few times, the very social media-savvy characters referenced technology features that definitely don’t exist, like the ability to pre-schedule Instagram posts.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t note how interesting the framing/commentary on social science in general was. The descriptions of psychopathy matched quite closely with everything I’ve read about psychopaths. There were questions raised about nature versus nurture, and several points seemed to suggest the blurry line between behavior that is diagnosed as a an actual psychiatric condition and behavioral patterns that are just ethically questionable. And Andre’s storyline raised issues about how the medical system treats Black individuals, often pathologizing things that are actually just isolated incidents in precise circumstances.

At the end of the day, this book is meant to be a psychological thriller that leans heavily into abnormal psychology and uses a little-understood condition to both twist the plot and comment on the psychology field as a whole. And in that regard, it certainly succeeds. It may not be perfect, but it is a heck of a lot of fun.

Was this review helpful?

"Never Saw Me Coming" by Vera Kurian is an incredibly well-crafted and unique psychological thriller that left me thoroughly impressed. The story centers around a group of college students who are all diagnosed as psychopaths and are being studied as part of a research program. However, when a series of murders occurs on campus, the group is forced to band together to try and catch the killer.

What I loved about this book is how it subverts the typical tropes of the thriller genre. The characters are not your typical protagonists and the plot takes unexpected turns that kept me engaged and guessing throughout the entire book. Kurian's writing is sharp and insightful, with a deep understanding of the psychology of psychopaths.

The characters are all well-developed and each one has their own unique voice and perspective. Despite their lack of empathy, I found myself rooting for them and invested in their personal journeys.

Overall, "Never Saw Me Coming" is an impressive debut novel that showcases Kurian's talent as a writer. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a thought-provoking and original thriller that challenges the norms of the genre.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This book took me on a ride. It was very addictive, cleverly written, and fun to read. It gets more interesting with each chapter that you don’t want to stop reading it.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley and the arbor for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This is what I’m talking about! 😍
Step in the shoes of a true psychopath with this novel! This one had my three faves: unreliable narrators, twists and psychological thrills!
The main character, Chloe, a diagnosed psychopath has murder on her mind in between her college studies.
A definite read for fans of thrillers and of course fans of Dexter 😉

Was this review helpful?

5 stars, basically no notes, everything I love in a thriller, and I want Vera Kurian to be my new best friend lolllll.

This just hit. LOVE the premise, the characters, the tension... if you love sociopathic characters, unreliable narrators, and have been hankering for college-set adult thrillers, pick this up. An ideal example of how you can have college-aged protagonists but sit FIRMLY in the adult thriller space vs. YA.

Was this review helpful?