*Spoilers if you haven’t read the first book in this series, THE LYING GAME
Still knee-deep in Sutton’s life, Emma continues her quest to discover who murdered her sister, and who is currently after her. Everyone is still a suspect, including Sutton’s so-called best friends and sister, Laurel. In this second book in The Lying Game series, Emma continues to pretend to be her twin sister that she never knew, navigating the murky waters of her fast-paced, popular life. While Emma continues to dig into Sutton’s past to find out who killed her sister, she is also well-aware that the same person who killed Sutton just may be back for her if she isn’t careful.
After reading and loving THE LYING GAME by Sara Shepard, I was anxiously awaiting my copy of NEVER HAVE I EVER. I put it on reserve at the library and the second I got notification that it came in, I jetted to the library to pick up the book. I even put aside the book I was reading at the time to begin reading NEVER HAVE I EVER….Unfortunately, a few pages in, something just wasn’t clicking. I put it aside for a few days and finished the book I had been previously reading. A week or so later, I picked up the book again, and finished it a few days later. However, it was very slow-going, and I didn’t really start flipping pages anxiously until the very end.
For some reason, I didn’t feel as connected to the characters in NEVER HAVE I EVER as I did in THE LYING GAME. It wasn’t that anyone did anything wrong, or rubbed me the wrong way, the emotional connection just wasn’t there. I didn’t feel as badly for Emma/Sutton and the story just didn’t pull me in the same way as it had in the past.
Even though I didn’t feel super connected to the characters, I still love that Shepard is telling this story through the eyes of dead Sutton. It’s so interesting to watch Emma through Sutton’s eyes, and it’s also fun to see Sutton remember certain memories as Emma goes through her daily life. The flashbacks of Sutton’s memories were some of my favorite parts of the book…especially the train scene. That scene sets the tone for much of this book and really helped me as a reader understand why Sutton’s friends may have been after her.
While I loved getting to know Sutton’s friends, the whole Emma/Ethan storyline got boring rather quickly. I was completely frustrated with Emma for being so dense (Sutton was annoyed too!) and the scenes between the two got a bit old, as the storyline didn’t move forward.
One thing I really liked about this book, however, was getting to know Emma/Sutton’s friends better. In the last book, Emma discovered that one of Sutton’s friends was probably her murderer, so one thing I really appreciated about this book was diving into those relationships and eliminating potential suspects. These girls are absolutely crazy though! The whole idea of playing the lying game is seriously dangerous and scary, and it’s so surprising that these teenagers from Arizona would put themselves in such risk for some entertainment. The Twitter Twins especially shined in this book…it was fun to get to know them, and to see just how far they would go to become a part of the lying game. What they do is so completely scary…I definitely had goosebumps as I was reading.
As I was reading, I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a third book (there is) so I felt like we were getting closer and closer to discovering who the killer is, but alas, we get VERY close, but still no cigar. I was definitely on the edge of my seat during the last few scary chapters.
Even though NEVER HAVE I EVER fell a little flat for me, I am still so looking forward to TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE, the third book in this series, coming out in February! I’m hoping that this book will bring back some more of the bone-chilling mystery that I love!