2.01.2015

NEVER KNOWING by Chevy Stevens

NEVER KNOWING
by Chevy Stevens

published by St. Martin's Griffin

* * * * *

The second novel by Chevy Stevens, author of bestseller Still Missing.

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 hunting women every summer for almost forty years. Sara tries to come to terms with her horrifying parentage — and her fears that she’s inherited more than his looks — with her therapist, Nadine, who we first met in "Still Missing." But soon Sara realizes the only thing worse than finding out your father is a killer is him finding out about you. 
Some questions are better left unanswered. 
Never Knowing is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman’s quest to understand where she comes from. That is, if she can survive…

* * * * *
4 owls

okay, chevy. i think i know where you're going here.


you're working your way up toward "amazing," aren't you?

i boarded the chevy stevens train with her much-lauded debut, still missing. unfortunately, i wasn't as completely enthralled by it as some of my friends had been. still, i saw lots of potential in ms. stevens and impulsively bought her other three published titles.

at the moment, i am not regretting that decision.

never knowing, stevens's second publication, tells the story of sara, a woman who is desperately curious about her birth parents. (i know, i know, adopted daughter wants to know who really birthed her, trolololol so much originality, etc.) sara becomes desperate enough to hire a private investigator to find out more about her mother. sara clumsily uses the excuse that she wants her medical records (although, hilariously, she seems to have forgotten about this little request by the end of the novel). eventually, she finds out that her father is a serial rapist/killer, and that she is the byproduct of a traumatic rape.

what. (i almost spoiler-tagged this detail, but then decided not to, since it's in the cover copy.)

sara now has to deal with having a killer's blood in her body, patching things up with her mother, and, oh, i don't know, escaping the serial killer that is now interested in her because he knows who she is.

although stevens's characters may not be the brightest, they sure make for good reading. i was basically glued to this book from the time i started to the time i turned its final page (except for eating, because, you know, food). if there is one things stevens is great at, it's creating a whip-fast plot that hooks you gradually until it's three hours later and your forehead is sweaty and your hair is a mess and you're left wondering how a bucket of words did this to you.

i did have a problem, though. i had a pretty big problem with never knowing, just like i had a problem with stevens's last book. that problem is the writing. oh boy, does stevens need to take a basic class on the art of creative writing, because she's making it feel like a science. amanda hocking also has this effect on me, where i feel like if i were to read the book again, i would not find a single simile, metaphor, or creatively-placed adjective.

i also didn't particularly like sara gallagher. i feel like the narrator in still missing had more character. but the weird thing is, i like that i didn't like sara. i feel like the characters we don't like are the most human ones. how can we relate to perfection? how can we learn anything from characters who don't make any mistakes for the sake of being likable? hell, sara made a bunch of stupid mistakes (like, a bunch), but i know that if i were trying to stop a serial killer i wouldn't be a mastermind, either. sara's story was an interesting one, and even though i didn't feel particularly inclined to like her, i still wanted to read on and see what would happen to her.

this book is still getting four owls because i rate based on enjoyment, and i really enjoyed this book. i just wish stevens would trust her readers more.


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