Never Knowing

Never Knowing

At thirty-three Sara Gallagher is finally happy. Her antique furniture restoration business is taking off and she’s engaged to a wonderful man. But there’s one big question that still haunts her — who are her birth parents? Sara is finally ready to find out. Sara’s birth mother rejects her—again. Then she discovers her biological father is an infamous killer who’s been hun...

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Title:Never Knowing
Author:Chevy Stevens
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Never Knowing Reviews

  • Lisa

    Chevy stevens is fast becoming one of my favourite authors in this genre she brings substance & a solid plot that gets you right into the book.

    All her life Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents being an adopted child with two sisters Lauren & Melanie who were born naturally to her parents, Sara did not have a normal ideal home life.

    She has always wondered about her real mother now she is engaged to Evan & has a 6 year old daughter All

    Chevy stevens is fast becoming one of my favourite authors in this genre she brings substance & a solid plot that gets you right into the book.

    All her life Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents being an adopted child with two sisters Lauren & Melanie who were born naturally to her parents, Sara did not have a normal ideal home life.

    She has always wondered about her real mother now she is engaged to Evan & has a 6 year old daughter Ally she wants to find out who she really is.

    Sara decides to pursue looking for her real parents she researches & finds her real mother Julia who works as a professor at the university but also finds that she is the only survivor of THE CAMPSITE KILLER!!! the further she goes she unravels details of her fathers background which she finds distressing.

    So now Sara is determined not to believe that her father john could be a killer but the deeper she goes the more John draws her into his games she decides to meet him to stop the carnage.

    one by one people are being killed or hurt even Ally disappears which heightens the terror that Sara is feeling. I felt angst for Sara & thought she was a real heroine throughout this novel.

  • Kristi

    Chevy Stevens doesn't mess around. Like a racehorse out of the gate, her books take off like mad wildfire, simmering and sizzling along the way. And, faithfully, NEVER KNOWING never lets up until its knock-over, finish-line ending. Intense, yet simple, uncomplicated, perfectly enthralling.

    Like her previous best-selling psychotic thriller, STILL MISSING, her new story, NEVER KNOWING, is a book of therapy sessions, this time gracing us with the voice of passionate, and a tad neurotic,

    Chevy Stevens doesn't mess around. Like a racehorse out of the gate, her books take off like mad wildfire, simmering and sizzling along the way. And, faithfully, NEVER KNOWING never lets up until its knock-over, finish-line ending. Intense, yet simple, uncomplicated, perfectly enthralling.

    Like her previous best-selling psychotic thriller, STILL MISSING, her new story, NEVER KNOWING, is a book of therapy sessions, this time gracing us with the voice of passionate, and a tad neurotic, 33-year-old likeable Sara, adopted as a baby, yearning for an explanation of her childhood and the choices made by her biological parents, and presently a doting young mom of six-year-old Ally.

    The harrowing answers revealed and spine-tingling events do not disappoint in this crazy, nonstop psychological game of cat and mouse. I was joined at the hip, again, for days with this advanced readers' copy until its conclusion.

    Thank you, Kate, at Macmillan, for this great mystery escape therapy session of my own.

  • Robert

    While this novel was good—some may even call it great—I couldn’t help but feel like this was a repeat performance of

    . Had I not just read Ms. Stevens’s debut novel a couple months prior, I might have developed an entirely different opinion on the matter. The first time out the unique structure captured my attention and had me flipping pages faster than a sugar addict working his way through a dozen doughnuts, but this time the polish had worn off, and while I still devoured NEVER KNOWING,

    While this novel was good—some may even call it great—I couldn’t help but feel like this was a repeat performance of

    . Had I not just read Ms. Stevens’s debut novel a couple months prior, I might have developed an entirely different opinion on the matter. The first time out the unique structure captured my attention and had me flipping pages faster than a sugar addict working his way through a dozen doughnuts, but this time the polish had worn off, and while I still devoured NEVER KNOWING, I flipped the pages with less enthusiasm.

    The first half of the story, while certainly good, needed an adrenaline injection. Sure, the character and story development proved entertaining, but this is supposed to be a thriller. And when it comes to page-turners, I want to dangle on the edge of a cliff by my fingernails while a dog is nipping at the tips and a psycho serial killer points a revolver at my shaking corpse. The suspense and adrenaline came, but by then I had already pondered the existence of the universe more than once.

    Sara Gallagher, though, proved to be an intriguing character, and one I understood a bit too well. Taking the world’s problems on her shoulders, she blames herself for anything remiss, prefers knowledge to a lack of awareness, and shoulders more problems than are hers to bear. Yeah, she may swallow the occasional white pill, but she has migraines, sister, along with a wedding to plan and a somewhat absentee fiancé who likes to play in the woods.

    Even her relationships reminded me of my own. She had her first love Derek where she was head over heels and enamored and lost herself and ended up in what was ultimately an unhealthy relationship before she found Evan, her true love. This scenario resembled a bit too uncannily what I had faced before. At the time I had no real comparison for relationships and love and clinging to someone so tightly and losing myself so completely that I almost became two different people: one when I was with her and one when I wasn’t. Once I was in, though, I ended up so far inside the threshold there was no easy way to get out, without one of us clinging to that cliff, so I did what made sense at the time: I expunged myself from the situation.

    Not being able to fix that relationship or somehow make it work, despite analyzing it from every angle, bothered me a whole hell of a lot more than what my ex thought of me. In fact, I still feel like I failed the universe somehow. But I’ve come to terms with my problems without the aid of prescription medication just as I’ve come to terms with my misgivings of this novel.

  • Norma * Traveling Sister

    This was another excellent psychological thriller by CHEVY STEVENS that was extremely hard to put down and also grabbed my attention from the very first session (chapter).

    THE COVER didn't come into play on this one as this book was chosen to be read solely on who the author was although I do find the cover somewhat appealing.

    NEVER KNOWING is a fitting TITLE for this novel. Is it better to know or not to know the truth?

    NEVER KNOWING has us following along Sara Gallagher's search f

    This was another excellent psychological thriller by CHEVY STEVENS that was extremely hard to put down and also grabbed my attention from the very first session (chapter).

    THE COVER didn't come into play on this one as this book was chosen to be read solely on who the author was although I do find the cover somewhat appealing.

    NEVER KNOWING is a fitting TITLE for this novel. Is it better to know or not to know the truth?

    NEVER KNOWING has us following along Sara Gallagher's search for her birth parents through sessions with her therapist. I found that I didn't really enjoy this method as much as I did with STILL MISSING as it didn't feel quite as compelling to me.

    I liked Sara's CHARACTER and her voice throughout this novel. I felt sympathy for her as she unravels the details and the truth about her birth parents and thought that she handled herself very well throughout most of her ordeal. She was impulsive, obsessive, brave, and passionate. I really like CHEVY STEVEN'S writing style and how she delivers the storyline as she keeps you entertained and interested to the very end. I found it to have a solid plot which was easy to follow along with the storyline and all the secondary characters involved.

    I did have a slight suspicion on how one of the characters was going to be involved but I felt that the reveal was still shocking and satisfying. The ENDING was intense, satisfying and very pleasing for another enjoyable read by this author.

    To sum it all up it was a suspenseful, fast-paced, quick & easy read with a satisfying ending. Would recommend!!

  • Trish

    2.5 stars/Fiction; Suspense

    First-read win from GR! Thank you!

    I know that I am going to be in the minority here, but I did not care for this book.

    What can I say? It never takes me longer than a few days to finish a book and after reading

    in one day, I was sooo anxious for Chevy Stevens' new book. But this one? It took me over a week to read and that is only because I forced myself to finish out of gratitude for the first-read win.

    None of the

    2.5 stars/Fiction; Suspense

    First-read win from GR! Thank you!

    I know that I am going to be in the minority here, but I did not care for this book.

    What can I say? It never takes me longer than a few days to finish a book and after reading

    in one day, I was sooo anxious for Chevy Stevens' new book. But this one? It took me over a week to read and that is only because I forced myself to finish out of gratitude for the first-read win.

    None of the characters are likeable and the plot unbelievable. The storyline would give the impression that it is a page-turner, but it really isn't. I wanted to like it, I really did. The main character, Sara, is so annoying that I had to put the book down several times out of frustration. Please somebody, if I ever sound that way, punch me in the throat.

    The only redeeming character was Sara's fiance, Evan. Why he even bothered himself to have a relationship with a person like Sara is beyond me. Quite a few times during the book, he would say something rational to her and she would totally blow him off. But the male cop, Billy, whom she claimed was 'just a friend' would say the same thing and she would swoon. Give me a break.

    About a third of the way in to reading the book, I fanned through the last few pages hoping not to see Evan's name. I tried to telepathically let him know to get out while he still could. At a little over half way, I could care less about the story and its sure-to-be dramatic ending. I wasn't disappointed, it was certainly 'unreal'.

    I was actually relieved when the book ended and I could move on. Sorry Ms. Stevens, this one was a miss.

  • Erin

    Contemporary A Thon: Read a book with plants on the cover

    Never Knowing is my second Chevy Stevens novels. Last year I read Still Missing which I liked a lot so when I saw Never Knowing at Half Priced Books in the clearance section I was YES!

    Never Knowing is about Sara Gallagher who has always known she was adopted. Despite having a loving (if troubled) family has always felt the desire to know her birth parents.

    I guess no one ever told those old sayings "Be careful what

    Contemporary A Thon: Read a book with plants on the cover

    Never Knowing is my second Chevy Stevens novels. Last year I read Still Missing which I liked a lot so when I saw Never Knowing at Half Priced Books in the clearance section I was YES!

    Never Knowing is about Sara Gallagher who has always known she was adopted. Despite having a loving (if troubled) family has always felt the desire to know her birth parents.

    I guess no one ever told those old sayings "Be careful what you wish for" and " If you go looking for something, you just might find it".

    Sara tracks down her birth mother who wants nothing to do with her. Hurt Sara sets out to find out why her birth mother seems to hate her.

    And boy does her birth mother have a good ass reason for hatred. Sara's birth father is a serial killer who raped and nearly killed her birth mother.

    Sara unable to leave well enough alone then sets out to learn more about her serial killing daddy.

    BAD IDEA!

    From there Never Knowing just spirals out of control in the most entertaining way. While Never Knowing wasn't as great as Still Missing it was still a pretty good read. I might have given it 3.5 stars if I hadn't found Sara so irrational and annoying. At times I was hoping Sara would be brutally murdered just so I wouldn't have to deal with her anymore. But eventually Sara comes to realize her own faults and I stopped rooting for her death.

    A fast paced and entertaining read.

  • Dita

    I tried, I really tried. I made it 2/3 of the way because Still Missing was so good. But this one? The problem is that I so aggressively and adamantly dislike most of the characters. Sara is impulsive and whiny, even her daughter is...dare I say it? Bratty and indulged.

    I am sure there is a twist...I just don't care what it is.

  • Sara

    This book gave me a migraine equal to the ones the two main characters suffer from. I was not particularly taken with the "Lifetime" movie plot of Stevens' previous novel "Still Missing" and honestly picked this up without realizing it was the same author. Her characters are heavy handed and extremely black and white and once again Stevens feels the need for a truly unnecessary twist ending that has no real bearing on the rest of the story. A novel that actually concentrated on the relationship

    This book gave me a migraine equal to the ones the two main characters suffer from. I was not particularly taken with the "Lifetime" movie plot of Stevens' previous novel "Still Missing" and honestly picked this up without realizing it was the same author. Her characters are heavy handed and extremely black and white and once again Stevens feels the need for a truly unnecessary twist ending that has no real bearing on the rest of the story. A novel that actually concentrated on the relationship between the protagonist and her father would have been interesting, instead what should be the key of the entire novel gets pushed to the periphery in favor of a stereotypical controlling boyfriend, a daughter with obvious mental problems that are completely ignored by everyone, a neglectful and abusive adoptive family and a sociopathic younger sister. I cared less about this woman's serial murdering father and more about why all these other horrible people never got THEIR comeupance. Stevens has obvious talent as a wordsmith but her characters and plot are SEVERELY lacking. I'd stay away from this unless you don't mind paper thin story telling and completely unbelievable characters.

  • M

    This is the first time in a while that I wish I could give negative stars. Because I had enjoyed the previous book? Because of the staggeringly high rating? Because it is just so God awful?

    Yes.

    Stevens has, with this lousy waste of paper, capitalized on The Laziest Ways to Write a Novel. They are:

    1. Use a contrived, unrealistic, and wholly ridiculous tactic, such as Sessions with (an Oddly Silent) Therapist.

    I think she did this last time, and it annoyed me then too, but I

    This is the first time in a while that I wish I could give negative stars. Because I had enjoyed the previous book? Because of the staggeringly high rating? Because it is just so God awful?

    Yes.

    Stevens has, with this lousy waste of paper, capitalized on The Laziest Ways to Write a Novel. They are:

    1. Use a contrived, unrealistic, and wholly ridiculous tactic, such as Sessions with (an Oddly Silent) Therapist.

    I think she did this last time, and it annoyed me then too, but I was forgiving of it, I think, because the writing was good and the story interesting and now and then the frame was plausible. Here??? No, no and NO. Basically, the "sessions" allow Stevens to spew narrative with no thought to polish, character development, or subtlety. She plunks down a chapter's worth of the day's run down, complete with several eye rolls per page musings and sarcasm, with zero plausibility as far as remembering detail or the session taking on weight - so, we essentially have - Hi Nadine, another crazy day in the life of a psychopath's daughter, here is precise dialogue from three days and lots of plot, and then I'll make sure to drop your name again at the end.

    2. Presentation of Wholly Undeveloped and Yet Still, Somehow, Really Unlikable (and Not in a Good Way) Characters

    Main chick Sara - Super Mom, adores her daughter Ally, her fiance Evan is just fan-flipping-tastic, then she has these brothers in law who are Bad, and then this sister Melanie who is completely nasty - I am pretty sure Sara has zero friends and that makes total sense - so the cast of characters are largely one dimensional, boring, or over the top fabulous and serve as mere puppets to move along the plot which is, in essence: the super supportive and super everything Evan warns Sara about researching into her adopted parents, but she does anyway, and discovers that her dad is this serial killer. Now, this could actually be interesting, except the writing stinks, and so all of the intense issues such as emotional DNA and baggage of being the product of a rape is either spelled out or completely neglected so that we can have:

    3. Sorry Excuse for a Book, ie, a Thinly Plotted and Really Tired Cat and Mouse Game with the Requisite "Didn't See THAT Coming now DID You" Twist that Actually, Yes, I Did, You Ninny

    Right, so, because the ONLY thing about this book is plot, and even that is contrived and painful, you'd think at least there'd be something there, but no. I can appreciate a murder mystery so long as there is also substance and interesting take aways. Here there was only, whoops! potentially scary moment just barely evaded. Wait here's another one! And all the while I have the fabulously dull Sara narrating, who not only reinforces #2 of my list by making sure we know that the people she loves are perfect (I cite, for example, "Even has never pissed anyone off in his life" [this reader begs to differ]) but then, when Tension is introduced so as to, ha, deepen the book, we see that actually, yes Evan can be quite annoying. Though for me this was always the case.

    But I digress.

    The point is this - excellent premise, inexcusably bad execution. Weak characters, seriously eye rolling prose (I cite when Serial Murderer Dad makes a comment about wanting to protect daughter Sara, who is hiding from him - now that's ironic, right? Don't worry, she then says, in case we didn't catch that, how ironic that was. But wait! What if we STILL don't get it? Fret not gentle reader! The next line is, being that I was trying to hide from him, and he wanted to protect me! Ah! Whew! THAT cleared up THAT mystery) and zero charm and zero anything of worth. Gaaaaaaah!

  • Ann

    After a few incidents of the word "rape," I read ahead--and no. Just no.

    ...and after a three-day break from women-and-murder books, I'm ready to try again.

    ...and now I am two chapters in and I'm pretty sure the protagonist is the villain of the story. I mean, she's completely self-centered and emotionally manipulative--has more than a few megalomaniac tendencies--indulges in behavior that makes her a stalker and bully. Surely the reader isn't meant to sympathize with her?

    After a few incidents of the word "rape," I read ahead--and no. Just no.

    ...and after a three-day break from women-and-murder books, I'm ready to try again.

    ...and now I am two chapters in and I'm pretty sure the protagonist is the villain of the story. I mean, she's completely self-centered and emotionally manipulative--has more than a few megalomaniac tendencies--indulges in behavior that makes her a stalker and bully. Surely the reader isn't meant to sympathize with her??

    Also Stevens' writing skills are a bit less than robust.

    ...and now I am four chapters in and I hate all the characters and I hate the storyline and I am not going to read any more because everything about this stupid book makes me want to throw up. I would give it -7 stars if that were an option.

    ...and now it's two weeks later and I think I have to try reading this stupid thing AGAIN because for some ridiculous reason I can't stop THINKING ABOUT IT. It's like my brain won't rest until it has consumed every last horrible page. UGH

    I am under no illusions that it is not bad and that I will not dislike it once I've finished with it. I feel as if the author is trying to force me to sympathize with a character who doesn't deserve it, and that sensation isn't one that dissipates easily. But apparently I must soldier on.

    ...and that's two more chapters down. Am now starting chapter 7. It's like being stuck in an especially gross episode of "Law & Order: SVU."

    ...Now I'm to chapter 8. This fucking book. I can't figure out why anyone would even WANT to write a story like this. It's just SO gross; it makes my brain feel like it's coated in toxic sludge. Also one of the very few characters I don't yet abhor is turning out to be an asshole. Shocking, I know.

    ...Through chapter 11 of this fucking book, which is about halfway, which ISN'T FAR ENOUGH OMG. Still really gross.

    I don't always think of the author writing the novels I read, but with this one I'm thinking the heck about Ms. Stevens. I want to ask her:

    did you decide to write a book featuring such irredeemably awful human beings?

    did you want to write a story about such a brutal, vicious crime?

    are so many of the women portrayed as stereotypical bitches?

    are the Bad Guys so

    bad?

    did you make it so impossible to sympathize with the protagonist?

    Also,

    does the story sort-of-but-not-really take place within the framework of a series of conversations the horrible protagonist has with her probably-horrible therapist? Because it seems to be completely useless, not to mention distracting. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??

    ...Through chapter 15, and literally the only thing that has happened in the past four chapters is that both the protagonist's whining and Stevens' writing quality have reached peak levels of awfulness. I HATE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. >:(

    ...Through chapter 20. This bullshit book can't end soon enough.

    ...THANK GOD I AM FINALLY DONE WITH THIS STUPID FUCKING BOOK. I wish I had a hard copy of it just so I could watch it go up in flames. (I had to satisfy myself with firmly deleting it from my Kindle app.)

    Also I very much dislike Chevy Stevens right now and if I ever meet her I am going to tell her to go straight to hell and flip her off probably.

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