Dark and Twisted is The Never List {A Book Review}

August 13, 2014 Book Review, reviews 8

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Dark and Twisted is The Never List {A Book Review}The Never List by Koethi Zan
Published by Pamela Dorman Imprint on Apri 19th, 2013
Genres: Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 303
Source: complimentary review copy


The Never List is the only book I brought with me to the beach thinking it might take me a few to complete.  No such luck.  The first time I picked up The Never List I did not put it down til I was completely through – and that includes during the walk across the road from the beach!  Thank goodness for traffic lights and car horns 😉


While it is one of those novels that reads very quickly The Never List does have a few meh and huh moments {technical review terms I know!}  A pair of high school best friends are in a car accident that changes both of their lives.  Afterward, to gain a semblance of control over their lives they create a list of things to never ever do – like never go to the library in the dark alone, never park too far away from a destination, never get in a car with a stranger. . .never never never.  Isn’t there some law of probability that if you focus on the negative then the negative is what happens?!?

A psychological thriller that has a purely evil and sadistic kidnapper toying with Sarah and the two other girls he held years after their rescue.  Although the kidnapper is in jail he sends strange letters to the girls through the FBI.  His manipulation never-ending sends them on a macabre journey both down memory lane and in Oregon where the girls were held.  Sarah is desperate to find her best friend’s body and prevent the kidnapper from being paroled.  Dragging fellow survivor Tracy with her, Sarah tries to decipher the clues left in the letters.  Christine, the third survivor simply wants to move on and have no part of any investigating.

Before Sarah embarks on her own investigation we learn she has stayed in her NYC apartment for over five years – never opening the windows, never leaving her white pristine sanctuary and only allowing a select few into her apartment – an FBI agent, her shrink and Bob the doorman.  Out of desperation to keep the kidnapper in prison and to find her best friend’s body, Sarah has to leave her sanctuary in order to follow the clues left for the three girls in their letters.  The action in the book is what kept me turning the pages even though I had to suspend disbelief quite a bit – I still had to know what was going to happen next.

The Never List is dark, disturbing and has characters that are not fully developed, but it is one of those that will have you flipping pages simply to see what happens.  Torture is alluded to and described in small doses, just enough to have you cringing and vowing to never ever ever get in a car with a stranger.  Even though I cannot glowingly recommend The Never List I will say I’m looking forward to what debut author Koethi Zan publishes next.  She certainly kept my attention for those few hours it took to finish The Never List!

I’m a huge music fan so now that authors are including their spotify lists I’m over the moon with joy.  I have to admit The Never List spotify playlist is sufficiently creepy with a bit of techno.  But cool. yes, very cool.

Do you have a “never list?” What would you add?


8 Responses to “Dark and Twisted is The Never List {A Book Review}”

  1. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea

    Stacy, I have this one (unread) but reviews I read are mixed. Too bad the characters were not more developed.

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