Megan O'Neill's Reviews > Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepard
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Mar 20, 2012

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bookshelves: ya-fiction
Read from March 20, 2012 to April 07, 2013

The second book in Sara Shepard's The Lying Game series is admittedly gripping, but the series doesn't quite live up to the Pretty Little Liars series, Shepard's other collection of tales involving a group of teenaged girls. While the characters are more fleshed out in Never Have I Ever, and slightly more likable than they were in The Lying Game, there are still moments when it feels like these characters are trying to be the anti-Liars, with nothing but drastic mischief on their mind, and very few semblances of true friendship among them. The most real moments in the book are one that occurs between Emma and Madeline, as Madeline confesses a deep, dark secret about her home life, and the moment between Emma and Ethan as they admit what both already knew.

When genuine emotion and real connections are in play, Shepard is at her best. But so much of this series so far seems to be based in pure, dark disregard and carelessness that it's hard to really get attached to any of the characters for extended periods of time. The twist at the end is one that I'll pick up the next book so that it can be explained further - and because I have a bit of a compulsion to finish series once I've read more than just the first one - but I don't think it's going to come close to how I feel about the Pretty Little Liars series. Overall, not bad, but there's something missing. Unfortunately, much like Sutton's inability to remember her life, I'm not sure I can say what that something is.
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