Book Review: The Never List (Koethi Zan)

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As soon as I read the synopsis of The Never List by Koethi Zan, I knew I needed to bring this one to the top of my TBR pile. Lucky for me, my library had a copy!

Sarah and Jennifer, childhood friends, have a list they compiled to keep them safe. The Never List is made up of safety suggestions, “never walk home alone” and “never leave a drink alone” but one night, when they accept a cab ride against their best instincts, they find themselves held captive with two other girls in a dungeon like cellar. Years later, Sarah is still struggling to live a normal life and deal with survivors guilt but when her abductor is up for parole, Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail.   Working with her other survivors, Sarah must enter into a world of secret cults and torture to unravel a case more horrifying than the one she has lived.

As twisted as this one sounded, it seemed to be right up my alley!  I love an abduction story and I am always intrigued by a twisted psychopath.

Initially, I was extremely impressed with the pacing.   This book captured my attention instantly and I was glued to the pages. Zan clearly is an incredible story teller and I found myself sucked into Sarah’s PTSD and her trauma; it really gave me a similar vibe as Final Girls by Riley Sager, which I had found to be incredibly entertaining.

Unfortunately, this one did continue to impress me. I wanted to keep loving this one but the ending fell completely flat for me. I felt like there were a few instances that just became too convenient and unrealistic. I don’t mind when things line up a bit for a nice tidy resolution but things started feeling quite far fetched.

Overall, I felt like it was worth the read but wasn’t blown away.

I absolutely enjoyed the author’s writing enough that I will read more of her work.  I have Zan’s sophomore novel, The Follower, on my TBR list as well.  I’ll keep you posted to how I feel!

Has anyone else read either of these books?  Was I the only one who felt a little underwhelmed?

10 thoughts on “Book Review: The Never List (Koethi Zan)

  1. I really liked The Follower because of the cult angle. The Never List was highly recommended but sad to hear that it didn’t quite impress you. I will check it out someday though because abduction stories intrigue me too. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review. I enjoyed the opening of The Never List but then it completely lost me – as you said, too many coincidences. I also just felt like the characterisation fell a bit flat.

    Liked by 1 person

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