By: Sara Shepard
My perfect life was a lie.
Now I’d do anything to uncover the truth.
Not long ago, I had everything a girl could wish for: amazing friends, an adorable boyfriend, a loving family. But none of them know that I’m gone—that I’m dead. To solve my murder, my long-lost twin sister, Emma, has taken my place. She sleeps in my room, wears my clothes, and calls my parents Mom and Dad.
And my killer is watching her every move.
I remember little from my life, just flashes and flickers, so all I can do is follow along as Emma tries to solve the mystery of my disappearance. But the deeper she digs, the more suspects she uncovers. It turns out my friends and I played a lot of games—games that ruined people’s lives. Anyone could want revenge . . . anyone could want me—and now Emma—dead.
summary from book
My Rating: 4/5
The mystery continues for Emma in the second novel of The Lying Game series as she tries to piece together her dead twin sister's life, hoping to find out who is responsible for her murder. Much like the first novel, the mystery and suspense is prominent and a permanent fixture throughout the novel's entirety. As the reader, you really don't know who you can trust which is exactly the same predicament that befalls Emma. The nice thing about this novel-and usually a series in general- is that the characters are more fleshed out. First novels in a series are always a kind of foundation, a gradual unfolding of information by the author while the ones to follow usually delve deeper into things, into the lives of the characters helping to paint a fuller picture. I enjoyed getting to know more about the characters, especially Sutton's friends and sister Laurel. And of course, I enjoyed being pulled farther into the mystery that is Sutton, her life, and the dramas contained within it.
Never Have I Ever picks up right where The Lying Game left off. The mystery pushes forward as other suspects are shoved to the forefront. In this novel Emma comes upon new information and motives as to why others would possibly have wanted to harm Sutton. Yet the mystery is slow in a sense or better yet, methodically paced. I'm assuming that much like the Pretty Little Liars series that came before this one also written by Shepard that this series will in the end be comprised of a large handful of novels as well. That being said, it makes sense as to why the mystery is unfolding in a slower way. It's obvious that the author has quite a lot she would like to touch upon before revealing the culprit or culprits behind Sutton's death and disappearance. All in all, I'm really eager to see where this series is taken and enjoy the pacing. Not a lot is thrust upon the reader at one time, Shepard choosing to hone in on one or two things allowing for more detailed insight.
Along with broader character development and a moving forward of plot, Never Have I Ever also contains more romance than the first novel. It is definitely a sub-plot and much like the general plot, very drawn out and well paced. I'm also interested to see where that goes and think that the entire relationship she has with this person-one in which she can be her true self-is a nice and welcome change and deviation from the novel's main premise. As fun and entertaining as it is to see Emma pretending to be Sutton, it is also just as satisfying for me, to see Emma being Emma, and learning more about who she is which ultimately is someone very different from Sutton.
The third and fourth installments of The Lying Game series are both set to come out next year. Two Truth and a Lie (February 7th, 2012) and Hide and Seek (July 31st, 2012). With the way that Never Have I Ever ended let me just say that I am very eager to read on. I think the next novel is going to be quite interesting and will once again divulge more information on Sutton, her life, and the intricate relationship she shared with those close to and around her.
Overall: If you enjoyed The Lying Game you probably don't need my convincing in telling you to read on and pick this book up as well. I think this series as a whole is heavily entertaining not to mention a lot of fun to read. I like mystery and suspense and secrecy and if you do as well then I'd highly recommend you give this series a try!