Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever Been Punished For What I Have Done . . .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...

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Title:Never Have I Ever
Author:Lucy V. Hay
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Never Have I Ever Reviews

  • Caroline Kelly

    Twenty years ago, four teenagers discover a new game and add their own rules. The game spirals out of control.

    Now a woman gets a note through her door which chills her blood,

    'Never have I ever been punished for what I have done.'

    The premise of this story reminds me of ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’. But it is an intriguing premise. After all, haven’t we all done things in the past that we wish would stay in the past?

    At the outset of the book, I liked Sam. As the book continues though, I begin

    Twenty years ago, four teenagers discover a new game and add their own rules. The game spirals out of control.

    Now a woman gets a note through her door which chills her blood,

    'Never have I ever been punished for what I have done.'

    The premise of this story reminds me of ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’. But it is an intriguing premise. After all, haven’t we all done things in the past that we wish would stay in the past?

    At the outset of the book, I liked Sam. As the book continues though, I begin to question whether Sam is mentally unwell. Could she be doing these things to herself? What did she do in the past that was so terrible that someone would taunt her about it 20 years later?

    Sam’s husband Mo initially seemed like a pushover. As the book continues and we reach the conclusion, the author has done a great job of turning the table and making you see we have an unreliable narrator in Sam.

    When Sam meets her ex-boyfriend, Mike, I expected that the book would at some point result in Sam and Mike reuniting, particularly given Sam’s desire to keep meeting Mike a secret from her husband. But Mike is the opposite, being very open and honest with his wife. I can’t quite determine whether that was because he was so frightened of losing Kat or whether he genuinely was such an honest person.

    Kat certainly doesn’t seem entirely honest - one face for Mike, another for Sam. But is that unexpected? When we come towards the conclusion of the book and Sam is doing everything she can to save her child, isn’t Kat really just doing the same thing for her marriage when she confronts Sam? That is arguable, but I am still not entirely convinced by the character of Kat.

    The actual Never Have I Ever which has resulted in this whole tale was not entirely a surprise. I had worked out that this might be what the author was leading up to but there were still aspects of the ending I was surprised by. And I have to admit, I am still unsure of whether what Sam did was what resulted in the death - or whether someone else had played a part.

    By the end of the book, we’ve discovered that Sam isn’t mentally unwell, just an unreliable narrator and someone who has twisted the past - intentionally or unintentionally - to suit herself. I didn’t like her as much by the end!

    Overall, well worth a read.

    Thanks to NetGalley who provided me a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

  • peggy

    Another tale of a game gone wrong but OMG WHAT A BOOK!!!!!!

    Hooked from the first page and read in one sitting. A massive secret and so many lies. This read had me tapping my kindle like a demented wood pecker, at times literally shouting at the characters. This book has everything I want and more. So highly recommended.

    I would like to thank the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.

  • Mark

    20 years ago

    4 girls played ‘Never have I Ever’

    It started as fun

    A laugh, a joke

    It ended in death

    Present day and Sam, one of the 4, returns to Ilfracombe, hoping the past is the past and no ghosts linger

    Of course, its not and of course they do

    She soon starts to receive cryptic ‘Never have I/you ever’ notes and her life starts to become another game, but this time a game of survival

    I loved the setting in Devon, fab descriptions of Ilfracombe and the surrounding areas, especially pleasing was the

    20 years ago

    4 girls played ‘Never have I Ever’

    It started as fun

    A laugh, a joke

    It ended in death

    Present day and Sam, one of the 4, returns to Ilfracombe, hoping the past is the past and no ghosts linger

    Of course, its not and of course they do

    She soon starts to receive cryptic ‘Never have I/you ever’ notes and her life starts to become another game, but this time a game of survival

    I loved the setting in Devon, fab descriptions of Ilfracombe and the surrounding areas, especially pleasing was the part about ‘little Switzerland’, the reference to the 90’s throughout were great and any book that mentions ‘Teddy Ruxspin’ gets a plus point!

    Interesting that Sam was an author and the references to her fans and people who read and also stalkers of authors were at times maybe a bit too throwaway in their brashness towards readers and what kind of people we are!!

    The characters were in the main relatable although Sam ( as quite a few leading characters seem to ) had ‘ a rush of adrenaline’ sometimes twice in a page, overuse of a description loses its shock value sometimes and did for me in this case

    The story itself is fast paced and exciting and the writing ( for me ) was clear and easy and the finale was well done and pretty scary

    All in all a good read, enjoyable and passed all the red flags that make a good psychological edgy thriller

    8/10

    4 Stars

  • Lou

    Never Have I Ever is a really solid mix of captivating, sinister storyline, it reminded me a lot of books such as The Chalk Man although not quite as accomplished, and non-taxing, easy to follow and race through narrative; a great combination for the masses to devour for sure. It centres around a game of yep, you guessed it, Never Have I Ever that resulted in a twisted set of circumstances occurring amongst a group of friends many years ago when they were all young and feckless. Then Samantha,

    Never Have I Ever is a really solid mix of captivating, sinister storyline, it reminded me a lot of books such as The Chalk Man although not quite as accomplished, and non-taxing, easy to follow and race through narrative; a great combination for the masses to devour for sure. It centres around a game of yep, you guessed it, Never Have I Ever that resulted in a twisted set of circumstances occurring amongst a group of friends many years ago when they were all young and feckless. Then Samantha, one of the girls who had played the twisted game on that fateful day over two decades ago decides to return to her childhood town of Ilfracombe, Devon, in which she spent her formative years along, with her husband and baby boy. But she receives a chilling note through her door stating: Never Have I Ever Been Punished For What I Have Done, and she knows instantaneously that her past has come back to haunt her.

    One of my main issues was that, at times, it was quite slow-moving but that didn't bother me enough to stop me continuing an interesting, drama-laced story that I had already gotten my teeth into. It's well written and one of the easiest psychological thrillers to read with literally anyone being able to keep up and follow along without any problems whatsoever. However, if you require a likeable protagonist to cheer for in your crime fiction then this may not be for you as Sam is at the very least abrasive and difficult to relate to throughout the entirety of the book; I feel this was intentional on the authors part, though. The beautiful Devon location was the perfect backdrop and contrast against the disturbing incidents and the descriptions made the setting into a character in its own right. Recommended to those who enjoy women's fiction/chick-lit tinged drama. Many thanks to Hodder Paperbacks for an ARC.

  • Jessica

    All my reviews can be found at:

    ~~~~

    This review will appear on my site on December 3, 2019.

    ~~~~

    The book description and gorgeous cover is what pulled me to this book. And then the protagonist Samantha (Sam) was a teenager in the 1990s like I was (though Sam is just a couple of years older than me.) 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

    All my reviews can be found at:

    ~~~~

    This review will appear on my site on December 3, 2019.

    ~~~~

    The book description and gorgeous cover is what pulled me to this book. And then the protagonist Samantha (Sam) was a teenager in the 1990s like I was (though Sam is just a couple of years older than me.) 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.

    I really did enjoy reading about the town of Ilfracombe. With Hay’s vivid descriptions I felt like I was in that town with Sam. I will be reading more from L.V. Hay in the future.

    Many thanks to the publisher Hodder & Stoughton for granting me an arc copy.

  • Bex (Beckie Bookworm)

    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

    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 without 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.

    Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm

  • Louise Wilson

    Sam returns to the hometown she left when she was a teenager. Shes it a successful author looking for a fresh start after a few tough years with her husband and baby son. But then the anonymous letters start, bringing up the mistakes she was desperate to leave behind.

    The story is set in Ilfracombe, Devon. I did not like Sam. She came across as a bully. We don't get a ,ot of information on her husband. Sam and her friends had played the game never have I ever when they were teenagers. The dares

    Sam returns to the hometown she left when she was a teenager. Shes it a successful author looking for a fresh start after a few tough years with her husband and baby son. But then the anonymous letters start, bringing up the mistakes she was desperate to leave behind.

    The story is set in Ilfracombe, Devon. I did not like Sam. She came across as a bully. We don't get a ,ot of information on her husband. Sam and 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 will now be fine. The plotline had so much potential but the pace seemed slow and dragged on I parts. This story shows how your past can 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.

  • Shalini

    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

    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...

  • Energy

    I had to DNF this.

    The tenses are all over the place, something typical of a first, self-published book, and I'm baffled this has slipped by an editor's desk. The main character Sam is repeatedly all over the place. Multiple times each chapter we had to read of her decision to not tell her husband the truth of what was going on, and while I was mildly curious about what was going on, it was clear we were never going to get there. She's pretty awful to her husband without a reason.

    The inner

    I had to DNF this.

    The tenses are all over the place, something typical of a first, self-published book, and I'm baffled this has slipped by an editor's desk. The main character Sam is repeatedly all over the place. Multiple times each chapter we had to read of her decision to not tell her husband the truth of what was going on, and while I was mildly curious about what was going on, it was clear we were never going to get there. She's pretty awful to her husband without a reason.

    The inner dialog was unexciting, repetitive, and went in circles that weren't engaging. There is an inordinate amount of time spent telling the day to day of this women's life, it's incredibly repetitive and is more of a space filler than actually moving the story along. Perhaps if it was properly edited it would be worth revisiting.

  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    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

    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 Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

    This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and my webpage

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