Winner of the 2018 Southern California Book Festival for Best General Fiction Novel of the Year.
What if you woke up from your worst nightmare, only to find the world watching it? On repeat. With relish.
What if those viewers found you? Cornered you until you performed the nightmare live?
Would you run? Fight?
Or charge admittance?
This is Sawyer's reality. She's a survivor—gritty and determined—but the struggle to put it all behind her is something that's with her every second of every day. Her abuser is in jail now, but he'll never truly let her go. When she tries to shelter in something good, the darkness inevitably follows. The effects of the abuse flow through her life like ripples of pain in this raw, at times darkly comedic, coming-of-age saga that explores what it means to survive the unthinkable—and find the courage to rise up and keep fighting.
Sure to satisfy fans of SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and 13 REASONS WHY, Never Touched is a New Adult contemporary drama by breakout author Laney Wylde. Richly written with complex characters and a compelling storyline, it's perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover's HOPELESS, Rebecca Donovan's REASON TO BREATHE, and Jessica Sorensen's THE COINCIDENCE OF CALLIE KAYDEN.
Please Note: Story contains graphic sexual content, including mentions of abuse. Strong language throughout.
Laney Wylde is enamored with all things southern California––the traffic, smog, surprise earthquakes, and nonindigenous palm trees. Consequently, it’s the landscape her strong and sometimes lovable female leads paint their stories on. Her New Adult novels Never Touched and the After Twelve series are bright with provocative themes, steamy romance, and inappropriately timed humor. When Laney isn’t writing, she’s singing Taylor Swift with her little boy or asking her husband not to tell her about his work as a surgical resident while she’s eating. She daydreams about using her math degree to get into law school, then realizes that would be too much work and that she should just play pretend court on paper instead. While she loves a good book, nothing beats 30 Rock with a bag of popcorn and M&Ms.
First of all, it’s really hard to review this book without spoilers. But the page-turning torturous reveal(s) of the depths of darkness in Sawyer’s past (and present) is part of what makes the writing in this book so masterful and the reading of it a spine-tingling pleasure. Sawyer is one of the most beautifully, authentically composed characters I’ve read in a long time. Sawyer leaps off the page to take you on a piece of her journey, and you can’t help but love her and root for her dark and gritty self.
Do not mistake this book for a formulaic boy-saves-girl romance novel or a YA dystopian repeat. It is about the true grit of a survivor- the darkness that follows abuse and the courage it takes to rise up. This book sells you no lies about an easy path to redemption and healing. Sawyer’s story will rip your heart out and sew the pieces back up again. Amazingly, you will not regret the beautifully dark and oftentimes painful experience. Because, Sawyer? She sticks with you.
This is probably going to be one of the easiest and hardest book reviews I have ever done. I know that's confusing and all but there are reasons why. So I'll get to those reasons lol. This will be the easiest book review because I freaking LOVED the book. It was perfectly written, great character development, it flowed, it kept my attention securely and touched all my emotions. It will be the hardest book review because I have a tendency of wanting to really overshare on the plot lines of books that I love and get into a deep discussion. I can't do that with Never Touched because you HAVE to read this book and let it touch you. It will touch you, there is no doubting that. This is Laney Wylde's first book, that shocked the bejeezus out of me. It wowed me!! I very rarely compare authors to other authors. Mainly because they deserve to be known for their own works. I NEVER compare to other authors to my Queens, Colleen Hoover and Jamie McGuire, because they are my must reads, don't care about the storyline I know I will love it. Lol. Well run my dears and pre-order Never Touched by Laney Wylde because she is a darker side of CoHo. She has already made it where I will be banging down her door for her next book. (Ok, so I've already put in my request for a sequel to this book, but a certain character). Sawyer is a straight up bad ass, even though she don't realize it. She has been living a life of hell. A life she had no way out of until she found Jake. Jake was everything that a girl could dream of. Sexy, protective, loving and most of all understanding of everything Sawyer. Well almost everything. When Sawyer's past rushes into her present her whole life changes. She makes decisions that she thinks she are all she has. Most people would have let those decisions dictate their life, not Sawyer. Sawyer rises above all of it and while doing some kinda shady things she has gotten herself into college and on the road to an amazing future. And once again her past comes rushing at her. In walks Cash (OMG!!! I LOVE CASH). He doesn't see her past, even when he knows all about it. He stands steady at her side as her past tries to ruin her. He is everything she needs and deserves… but will he be what she chooses? Can Sawyer survive this last attack??? And that my lovely people is all I can tell you because if I keep going I will tell you everything and then you won't need to read Never Touched. TRUST!! YOU NEED TO READ NEVER TOUCHED!!! Laney Wylde is on her way to becoming a one click name for you, like she is now for me.
I was given a free ARC of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I know all the other reviewers gave this 5 stars all over the place, but this must not be my kind of novel because I could not "feel" this character the way the other reviewers did. Plenty of action and gritty plot details, and decent writing, but I'd give this a 3.75 stars.
It is wild how I had never heard of Laney and now I suddenly I own 2 of her books (If She Were Blind is the other read and it will not be the last, I am amazed by her style, she ROCKS!!!) If you are a person who had a trigger warning to sexual abuse, be warned. But please know that it does contain healing and shows victims are strong and do overcome that past. Such a heartbreaking and raw story, I am new to Laney's writing and such a new fan. If you are looking for a great read before this year is over ... please check this one out! must read.
Holy f*****ck, was this a great book. Not because the story was wonderful (it was an awful story) Not because I absolutely loved the main character (we could not be friends in real life) Not because I loved the guys (Cash was my favorite, hands down. Screw Jake!) But because this book told a story that needed telling. This book raises awareness about an important issue. This book helps foster understanding as to why victims of past abuse do the things they do when they don't (or do) have a support system in place.
This book is f*cked up and it will rip your heart out. If it doesn't, there's something wrong with you. I was literally chanting "No no no no no no," to the main character as I was reading certain scenes. I was checking the PAGE NUMBER by page 60 to see how much more trauma I was going to have to read this girl going through. I kept hoping it'd get better. She'd get better. And I had to continue my chanting instead. All I can say is, thank god for the good and understanding men that came into her life. They literally saved her.
But if you think there's a happy ending, you'll be disappointed. What there is is hope. A potential silver lining that you don't really get to see. When this book ends, it's not a happily ever after. This book is true to life. Sawyer is going to struggle FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE. And that's heartbreaking, no matter what other good comes with it. She will struggle.
I NEEDED to know she made it through to the other side. And I don't know if she did...she was still trying (I feel) when you have to leave her at the end of the book. She had support in place, but she wasn't on 'the other side'. This book made me realize that there isn't really an 'other side'. There is only the hope that she can work through it and become functional.
This book is a terribly hard read. It will make you want to cry. Once I really got going (I read the first 25ish pages and had to stop for a bit before I slammed through it due to the need to know) I read it in one sitting because I was SO concerned about Sawyer. This books has triggers everywhere. This book is a mature read with very mature and serious content. I warn you. You have been warned. Prepare yourself.
Triggers: Rape, abuse, death, suicide, etc Mature content: Child abuse, rape, sex, alcohol abuse, exotic dancing, etc Recommended audience: Adults. Mature Adults that can handle heavy. Mature teens who may need to know they are not alone.
This book had me hooked from the start and I (almost) finished it in one day (I finished about 85%, until it really, really was bedtime, but it was so hard to put away!).
4.5 stars from me for this fantastic, genre-defying read. It is described as a "New Adult contemporary drama", which I guess fits, but I also find it so much more than that. I love a strong heroine that overcomes incredible obstacles despite all odds being stacked against her, such as in The Hunger Games, Divergent or The Atlantis Grail, but Laney Wylde has stepped this up a level, by bringing the story into the real world with (unfortunately) all too real challenges. Like a real person, the heroine is not perfect, not all her actions are maybe the best choice she could have made, and exactly that is why one really feels for her and roots for her. And somehow Laney made it possible to write a book about a taboo subject such as child pornography so that people actually want to read it, and get to understand the impact it can have on victims, and how strong so many of the people around us are.
The characters are well described, the story line flows well and keeps you hooked, with unexpected turns of events, and even the ending most of us would not have guessed.
There are only two reasons I can not give it the full 5 stars. Firstly, we get to know the heroine from her point of view, but it would have helped to show us more reasons as to why the other two main characters are drawn to her. Especially with Cash, the book gives us no reason why he would like her or want to help her. Secondly, the ending is a bit god and church heavy, which is not that much to my taste, but each to their own.
Also, I may be biased because I had already read one of Laney's later books, If She Were Blind, which had left me speechless and I therefore had really high expectations of this one. And high expectations are always hard to meet! ;)
Thank you to Expresso Book Tours who provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed on behalf of 3 Degrees of Fiction Book Blog
Every so often a book comes around that just moves you, to the point of being left speechless. I love when an author takes such a raw issue that most people in general shy away from and shines a giant spotlight to say that this actually does happen to people and we need more awareness of the fact. Never Touched by Laney Wylde is brutal and gut wrenching to read and at the same time so beautiful and inspiring that I can't imagine not having read this book in the first place.
Like the blurb says, this story is about abuse and the horrific tolls it takes on the victim and their life. Sawyer learned early on there are real evils in the world and also the devasting shock of never being believed by those who are meant to protect you. Even after her abuser was sent to prison there was no relief because someone new was there to continue the torture. Until one random morning a new guy decided to interfere and finally put an end to what Sawyer was having to go through. Jake turned out to be a real guardian angel and the one thing that could help her become more than a victim and actually learn to being happy without fear or regret.
Never Touched spans over a couple years that could only be described as a roller coaster that keeps tossing and turning and going upside down without the finishline in sight. Some parts were more shocking than others but honestly I couldn't put this book down even if someone paid me. I applaud Laney Wylde for making me feel all the emotions that these characters were feeling. It's truly the real deal especially when tears start to form. I don't think there are enough words to express how this book is so I will just say that it really is completely worth the read.
*Warning of child sexual abuse being talked about* Where to start with this? At first, I just wasn't liking Sawyer at all, and I thought Jake was the reason she was talking to a therapist. So when he was introduced I was kind of thrown for a loop.
I applaud Jake for stepping up and helping out Sawyer with Travis, but at first, it just didn't sit well with me. I kept thinking he wanted something, at least until Sawyer found out he had already seen the video and was still sticking by her.
Once I actually realized what had happened to Sawyer, I had a moment of not wanting to continue reading; but I honestly had to know how she handled it. The things this poor girl went through in 11 years just gutted me. I cried for her so much and just wanted to take these grown men and seriously hurt them. No child, and yes at 18 or 19 she is still a child to me; should ever have to go through the things that Sawyer did.
Cash was honestly my favorite character. He was such a gentleman, he stuck by Sawyer even though she acted the way she did. He honestly helped her more than anyone else.
I'm still in tears over this book, happy tears now. Because even though this is something a person never gets over, Sawyer is trying and knows that it will take time and help from more than just a bottle. And she has that support in two great guys.
What heartbreaking and raw story. It's a story about emotional scars that are deeper than physical ones. It's a story about a girl turned woman who was a victim of sexual assault at a young age and who should have been protected and helped but instead wasn't believed and was made to be ashamed. But this is also the story of healing. Of how it takes that special person or persons to see the beauty and the heart to help. My heart still breaks for Sawyer. What happened to her was terrible. But I am so thankful she met Jake and Cash. They are two men who were opposites but had one thing in common, their love for Sawyer. And in the end they were the two men who she needed the most. She made mistakes. I can't even imagine what it was like dealing with all she did. But she is so strong. To endure all she did and come out still in one piece is amazing to me. This is a beautiful story. But you will be cry. You will be angry and demand justice. But your heart will be warmed by the showing of true love and true compassion. Warning, this book does contain the theme of sexual abuse. But it also contains healing and showing that victims are strong and can overcome.
*Trigger events and flashbacks occur int his book*** Be careful if you have experienced a traumatic abusive childhood.
How does one overcome a childhood riddled with pain and abuse. Especially sexual abuse,the sort that is captured on film and shared with the world when you have no recourse for action and the person who is doing it is married to your mother.
Sawyer had such a childhood and as a teenager, her past is continually thrown in her face and her actions are those of a survivor. We see her as she narrates her relationship with Jake, the boy who regardless of rumors in school gives the benefit of the doubt and earns her trust. Her relationship with Cash the boy who is truly kind and tries so hard to bring her from a place of pain.
Without giving too much away, this book is to be read, because it's very hard to know how people can react from trauma, no one is the same and some people coping mechanisms are different.
Omg you will want this book to touch. I freaking loved this book so much. I was drawn in almost from the very beginning. This book touched everyone of my emotions, not many books can do that ( or at least not for me). I am gonna try my very best to review this book with any spoiler, its gonna be really hard. Cause you will want to read this book, I want everyone to experience everything I did. I still cannot believe that this is Laney Wylde's first book, WOW that is all I can say. She has moved way up there on my top authors. This is definitely on my top reads of 2018. Sawyer is a straight up bad ass, she has been living a life of hell. Jake was everything that a girl could dream of. Sexy, protective, loving and most of all understanding. Oh GOD CASH! I was so in love with Cash as soon as he walked in to Sawyers life. What happens when Sawyer's past comes rushing back? Will she be able to rise above everything? Will Sawyer be able to survive the last attack? Do you want to know the answers to these questions? Well then go get this book, you will not be sorry I promise you. This is a must read!
You ever read a book that left you sitting there with your mind blown? The feeling of knowing a book hangover is inevitable and you can’t do anything about it. That is me. That is where I am. I don’t even know where to begin…..this story is jammed packed with raw emotion and deep feels. There were many tears shed. My heart hurt for the MC and all she endured. While the story deals with a subject that is both sensitive and triggering, it is also about healing and finding your voice. Taking back your power. This is a strong story with strong characters. I’ll never be the same after reading this book and I mean that in the best way possible. I give this 5 stars.
The first half of this book was hard for me to get through, not because it wasn't good, but because it was TOO good. Laney Wylde knows her stuff, and she poured her passion into this book! Without spoiling anything, the vivid imagery and strong character development will suck you into a story that will both surprise you and open your eyes. If you're looking for a boring read that teaches you nothing about the world, this is not the book for you. For everyone else, READ IT! And get some comfort food ready.
Beautiful book, wonderful characters, and hopeful and powerful messages and themes. I loved the characters, and their very authentic flaws, experiences and challenges. The characters will definitely stay with me further than the last page. (Please note I am also someone who never ever writes reviews, so for me to think this is worth a review is also quite important!)
I received an advanced/review copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content and honesty of my review.
This was an incredibly difficult book to read. What Sawyer goes through is horrible and heartbreaking, but her story is so compelling that you can't help but want to know what's going to happen next. I hate to say I enjoyed reading it because Sawyer is truly put through hell, but it was an incredibly beautifully written book about learning to survive, grow, and find light in the darkest times of your life. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys angst-ridden stories that make you think <3
This book has been on my radar since February 2018, when I saw a sign up for its cover reveal. I’m not a fan of cover reveals because I’d rather see the book cover first before endorsing a story, no matter how good its blurb is. Nonetheless, I kept tabs on Never Touched sign-ups for the rest of the year.
And thank goodness I did because this is my 2018’s nightcap, the last great book I have read for this year. I knew it from the beginning, this story has potential. I was right, it delivered.
This is the story of a woman’s resilience. It reminds me of the other remarkable books I have read this year, Addiction and Saving Beck. All three are unromanticized narration on life’s worst of the worst challenges.
Do yourself a favor, read these books. Read Never Touched.
WOW what a book. It has been a long time since a book has struck me to my core. Never Been Touched is the debut book from Laney Wylde and what a powerful introduction to her writing talents.
For me on a personal note this book really hit home and brought about some very painful memories for me as the subject line is something that resonates with me on a souls deep level. The author really captures the emotions of how sexual abuse and exploitation affects victims for years to come. The way the main character Sawer is portrayed is phenomenal, I extend my gratitude with Ms Wylde for being brace enough to explore this subject matter and truly make a masterpiece of a story from it.
Never Been Touched is full of raw emotion as seen through the eyes of lead character Sawer and sees her decline into a life she is so desperately trying to escape. She feels trapped and all alone in life but thanks to the love and support from Jake and Cash she gets a glimmer of her future. This is a must read story and is truly one you will not forget in a hurry. This story will stay with me for a long time to come. Definitely one of the most amazing and powerful books I have read in a long time with relatable and believable characters helped along by the strong story line. I loved the ending.
I cannot wait to read more from Laney Wylde in the future. I highly recommend this book it is mind blowing