Following a car accident that injured them both, best friends Sarah and Jennifer begin obsessively writing what they call The Never List; page after page of rules they agree to follow in order to stay safe. Though the guidelines seem irrational, they protect the pair until they leave for college and begin to let their guard down. After breaking one of their own strict rules while leaving a college party, the girls find themselves held captive in a cellar, where they will be tortured for years until Sarah devises an escape plan. Several years later, when their captor begins sending cryptic messages from jail, Sarah must abandon the protective life she has created for herself and begin digging into her past to make sure she is truly safe.
Summarizing the plot of a book like The Never List is difficult because, when condensed, it will always sound ridiculously over the top or unbelievable. While some pieces of the story seem slightly exaggerated or unnecessary, the central theme of Koethi Zan’s novel is frighteningly real, as evidenced by recent news. The Never List repeatedly twists and turns in surprising ways as Sarah attempts to piece together the new information regarding her captivity, leaving few trustworthy characters and constant burning questions.
I was reminded of my pre-teen, obsessive Fear Street reading days as I tore through The Never List, and I say that as a compliment. My absolutely-can’t-stop reading experiences have been few and far between since those books, but they are always the most fun. With The Never List, Koethi Zan will invite you into a dark, disturbing world you somehow won’t want to leave.
Blog: River City Reading