Tiny Pants's Reviews > Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepard
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Jun 17, 12

bookshelves: borrowed-library, fiction, series, young-adult
Read in June, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Okay, I've already hidden the review, but just in case this isn't clear: THIS IS GOING TO BE LIKE ALL SPOILERS, so if you don't want to know what happens, SKIP IT! But if you've already read the book and want to read some speculation about where this series is going, by all means, read on.

So I'm a little worried about The Lying Game. The first one clearly didn't draw me in too much, as I waited so long to read this one that I was able to just take it out from the library. And then this one -- well, let's put it this way. When Alloy starts letting things like "Tori [sic] Burch" slip through, you know things are getting bad.

And in this one, for me, they were, though I still found it engaging and read it in like, three gulps. I'm worried though that this just isn't as tightly plotted or interesting as Pretty Little Liars. From pretty much page one I was convinced Sutton's killer was definitely not the Twitter Twins -- anyone who was able to murder someone and get away with it is not going to then leave a completely obvious trail for someone to follow as they plot their second murder. (Okay, maybe those weirdo serial killers who get into like, playing a game with the police and want to be caught, but I don't think that was what was going on). Instead, it seems like Alloy's getting lazy, and so rather than the subtle clues and hints that make you second- and third- and fourth-guess yourself as you read PLL, we basically get slapped in the face with this red herring page after page.

At the same time though, we're being handed another suspect on a silver platter -- and if I'm right about this, I'm going to be pissed, not because I care about their relationship, but because it seems so freakin' obvious. As of now, I think Sutton's killer has to be Ethan. He's always there like, right after things happen. He's the only one who knows who Emma really is (and thus, who knows that the real Sutton is dead). He's the only person who Emma trusts. And by the end of the book she's finally kissed him, so, there you have it. Ignore all the imagined laughter, feelings of someone's breath on the back of Emma's neck, etc. -- that stuff is just paranoia. (I mean, same with PLL, notice how carefully how everything smells is described? Being hyper-vigilant like that heightens all of your senses). In my opinion, the killer is totally Ethan (though I fully admit I have no idea what's going on with this Thayer plot).

The other thing I think will be among the next big reveals? I think Emma is Mr. Mercer's biological daughter. I feel like we've gotten foreshadowing of that with his tenderness toward her in the garage, and the whole thing about how he and Sutton restored a car together. My guess is that he, under whatever circumstances, knocked up Becky (Emma's bio mom) with twins, and that somehow it came to be that they each kept one. This would be okay except that it's basically the exact same plot from Pretty Little Liars about how Ali and Spencer are secretly really twins. So let's hope I'm wrong. But there is family drama that keeps being hinted at, so I'm thinking that's what is is: Sutton wasn't really adopted. (This then makes Laurel the baby the Mercers had to try to like, fix their marriage, if anyone's keeping count. Also I can't remember from the first book -- is Laurel somehow the same age as Sutton? If not, how the hell is it that they are in all the same classes?)

Anyway. It was a good diversion, and definitely a sign that I haven't lost my taste for YA just yet (even if I have left a PLL sitting unread on my shelf since last Christmas).

*A little later, but I just remembered this: I think the definitive "It's Ethan" thing for me really came clearest with the whole private Twitter accounts things. Um, if these girls are so into Twitter that they are nicknamed the Twitter Twins, they would have secret accounts that were locked/private (and thus weren't visible to other users), not just that had no followers (I mean really, what unlocked Twitter account doesn't accumulate spammers and bots like moss on a log?). But even more than that -- Ethan was the one who told Emma the story about the nicknames. And every time Emma starts to doubt it was them, Ethan pushes it harder. The thing that really really did it for me though was him showing up in the nurse's office, and then Emma seeing the bits of glass in the hall. Hell-ooo it was totally from his shoes! Because he keeps showing up every time something important happens!

Oh man, I am way overthinking this.
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