Saturday, September 18, 2021

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian


Author: Vera Kurian
ISBN: 9780778311553
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
Publisher: Park Row Books

“I’ve never met someone like me, but when I do, eventually, I think it will be like two wolves meeting in the night, sniffing and recognizing a fellow hunter.”
Meet Chloe Sevre. Freshman honor student. Average-seeming, legging-wearing, hot girl next door…and diagnosed psychopath with an IQ of 135. Her hobbies include yogalates, frat parties, and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her.
Now Chloe and six other students at John Adams College are part of an unusual clinical study that includes smartwatches to track their moods and movements, in exchange for free tuition. The study, led by a renowned psychiatrist, has inadvertently brought together some of the most dangerous minds who feel no guilt or fear. When one of the participants is found murdered, it becomes obvious they’re all in danger. Chloe goes from hunter to prey, and joins forces with two other psychopaths in the program to discover why they’re being targeted – if they could only trust each other.
Wildly entertaining with compelling characters and a vividly conjured campus setting, NEVER SAW ME COMING will keep you up all night, pinned to the page, wondering why you’re rooting for a would-be killer.

My thoughts:

Never Saw Me Coming is a psychological thriller about a group of psychopaths who consent to be part of a study at a university in exchange for free tuition and room and board.  Someone has murdered one of the group and Chloe must team up with 2 others in the group to figure out who is responsible.

I won't say I absolutely loved this one, but I was entertained.  Having a cast of characters who are psychopaths was interesting. The story is told through several points of view. Chloe being my favorite.  Chloe really has no F's to give.  She has a mission for revenge and will do whatever it takes to accomplish it.  I'm not well versed in the psychology of psychopaths so I can't really comment on the accuracy of the characters.  I did figure out the killer, but I that didn't take away from my entertainment.  I would recommend this one.

Check out this excerpt:

One‌ ‌
 ‌ ‌
Day‌ ‌60‌ ‌
 ‌ ‌
As‌ ‌soon‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌door‌ ‌to‌ ‌my‌ ‌new‌ ‌dorm‌ ‌room‌ ‌closed,‌ ‌I‌ ‌went‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌window,‌ ‌scanning‌ ‌
across‌ ‌the‌ ‌quad‌ ‌for‌ ‌him.‌ ‌It‌ ‌wasn’t‌ ‌like‌ ‌there‌ ‌was‌ ‌any‌ ‌possibility‌ ‌he‌ ‌would‌ ‌just‌ ‌happen‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌out‌ ‌
there‌ ‌among‌ ‌the‌ ‌families‌ ‌lugging‌ ‌moving‌ ‌boxes‌ ‌or‌ ‌the‌ ‌handful‌ ‌of‌ ‌students‌ ‌sprawled‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌grass.‌ ‌
But‌ ‌there!‌ ‌A‌ ‌head‌ ‌of‌ ‌dirty-blond‌ ‌waves.‌ ‌Will.‌ ‌My‌ ‌mouth‌ ‌opened.‌ ‌Then‌ ‌the‌ ‌person‌ ‌turned‌ ‌
and‌ ‌I‌ ‌saw‌ ‌it‌ ‌was‌ ‌only‌ ‌a‌ ‌girl‌ ‌with‌ ‌an‌ ‌unfortunate‌ ‌haircut.‌ ‌Seriously,‌ ‌you’d‌ ‌think‌ ‌she’d‌ ‌put‌ ‌in‌ ‌more‌ ‌
of‌ ‌an‌ ‌effort‌ ‌for‌ ‌move-in‌ ‌day.‌ ‌
I‌ ‌turned‌ ‌and‌ ‌faced‌ ‌my‌ ‌empty‌ ‌dorm‌ ‌room‌ ‌with‌ ‌its‌ ‌sad‌ ‌linoleum‌ ‌floors,‌ ‌mentally‌ ‌going‌ ‌
through‌ ‌my‌ ‌to-do‌ ‌list.‌ ‌1.‌ ‌Get‌ ‌rid‌ ‌of‌ ‌Mom.‌ ‌Check.‌ ‌She‌ ‌had‌ ‌already‌ ‌left‌ ‌and‌ ‌was‌ ‌probably‌ ‌
speeding‌ ‌up‌ ‌the‌ ‌I-95,‌ ‌popping‌ ‌open‌ ‌a‌ ‌bottle‌ ‌of‌ ‌champagne‌ ‌now‌ ‌that‌ ‌she‌ ‌was‌ ‌finally‌ ‌rid‌ ‌of‌ ‌me.‌ ‌2.‌ ‌
Claim‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌advantageous‌ ‌space‌ ‌be-fore‌ ‌my‌ ‌roommate,‌ ‌Yessica,‌ ‌arrived.‌ ‌3.‌ ‌Make‌ ‌six‌ ‌to‌ ‌
eight‌ ‌friends‌ ‌before‌ ‌4.‌ ‌My‌ ‌mandatory‌ ‌check-in‌ ‌appointment‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌psychology‌ ‌department.‌ ‌5.‌ ‌
Find‌ ‌Will.‌ ‌
We‌ ‌had‌ ‌a‌ ‌double‌ ‌with‌ ‌two‌ ‌bedrooms,‌ ‌one‌ ‌clearly‌ ‌larger‌ ‌than‌ ‌the‌ ‌other.‌ ‌While‌ ‌my‌ ‌normal‌ ‌
instinct‌ ‌was‌ ‌to‌ ‌claim‌ ‌the‌ ‌larger‌ ‌one,‌ ‌I‌ ‌immediately‌ ‌saw‌ ‌the‌ ‌problem‌ ‌with‌ ‌that.‌ ‌The‌ ‌larger‌ ‌
bed-room‌ ‌had‌ ‌windows‌ ‌that‌ ‌overlooked‌ ‌the‌ ‌quad.‌ ‌What‌ ‌if‌ ‌I‌ ‌wanted‌ ‌to‌ ‌crawl‌ ‌in‌ ‌or‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌
window‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌middle‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌night?‌ ‌People‌ ‌will‌ ‌record‌ ‌anything‌ ‌even‌ ‌remotely‌ ‌interesting‌ ‌on‌ ‌their‌ ‌
phones‌ ‌these‌ ‌days,‌ ‌and‌ ‌I‌ ‌could‌ ‌be‌ ‌easily‌ ‌seen‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌other‌ ‌dorms‌ ‌and‌ ‌academic‌ ‌halls‌ ‌that‌ ‌
lined‌ ‌the‌ ‌quad—too‌ ‌much‌ ‌of‌ ‌an‌ ‌audience‌ ‌for‌ ‌my‌ ‌liking.‌ ‌
I‌ ‌took‌ ‌the‌ ‌smaller‌ ‌room.‌ ‌My‌ ‌generosity‌ ‌would‌ ‌score‌ ‌me‌ ‌points‌ ‌with‌ ‌my‌ ‌new‌ ‌roomie,‌ ‌but‌ ‌
more‌ ‌importantly,‌ ‌the‌ ‌room‌ ‌had‌ ‌a‌ ‌view‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌brick‌ ‌wall‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌building‌ ‌next‌ ‌to‌ ‌us‌ ‌and‌ ‌there‌ ‌was‌ ‌
a‌ ‌metal‌ ‌fire‌ ‌escape‌ ‌attached‌ ‌directly‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌window.‌ ‌Easy‌ ‌access‌ ‌in‌ ‌and‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌room‌ ‌without‌ ‌
detection—perfect.‌ ‌I‌ ‌dumped‌ ‌some‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌boxes‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌room‌ ‌and‌ ‌made‌ ‌the‌ ‌bed,‌ ‌placing‌ ‌my‌ ‌
stuffed‌ ‌plushie‌ ‌whale‌ ‌on‌ ‌top‌ ‌to‌ ‌clearly‌ ‌stake‌ ‌my‌ ‌claim.‌ ‌The‌ ‌voices‌ ‌inside‌ ‌the‌ ‌dorm‌ ‌were‌ ‌calling‌ ‌
me‌ ‌and‌ ‌I‌ ‌had‌ ‌to‌ ‌establish‌ ‌myself‌ ‌quickly.‌ ‌
I‌ ‌gave‌ ‌myself‌ ‌a‌ ‌brief‌ ‌once-over‌ ‌before‌ ‌leaving‌ ‌the‌ ‌room,‌ ‌reap-plying‌ ‌my‌ ‌lip‌ ‌gloss‌ ‌and‌ ‌
fixing‌ ‌my‌ ‌hair.‌ ‌The‌ ‌hair‌ ‌had‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌just‌ ‌right—a‌ ‌loose,‌ ‌effortless‌ ‌side‌ ‌French‌ ‌braid‌ ‌that‌ ‌actually‌ ‌
wasn’t‌ ‌effortless.‌ ‌You‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌the‌ ‌kind‌ ‌of‌ ‌girl‌ ‌who‌ ‌“doesn’t‌ ‌put‌ ‌any‌ ‌effort‌ ‌in”‌ ‌but‌ ‌naturally‌ ‌rolls‌ ‌
out‌ ‌of‌ ‌bed‌ ‌looking‌ ‌like‌ ‌a‌ ‌horny‌ ‌but‌ ‌somehow‌ ‌demure‌ ‌starlet.‌ ‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌meet‌ ‌some‌ ‌standard‌ ‌of‌ ‌
objective‌ ‌attractiveness,‌ ‌people‌ ‌think‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌better‌ ‌than‌ ‌you‌ ‌actually‌ ‌are—smarter,‌ ‌more‌ ‌
interesting,‌ ‌worthier‌ ‌of‌ ‌existing.‌ ‌Combined‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌right‌ ‌personality,‌ ‌this‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌powerful.‌ ‌
Brewser‌ ‌had‌ ‌one‌ ‌long‌ ‌hallway‌ ‌with‌ ‌rooms‌ ‌shooting‌ ‌off‌ ‌on‌ ‌either‌ ‌side.‌ ‌I‌ ‌peeked‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌
room‌ ‌next‌ ‌door‌ ‌where‌ ‌two‌ ‌brunettes‌ ‌were‌ ‌wrestling‌ ‌a‌ ‌duvet‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌plastic‌ ‌package.‌ ‌“Hi!”‌ ‌I‌ ‌
chirped.‌ ‌“I’m‌ ‌Chloe!”‌ ‌I‌ ‌could‌ ‌be‌ ‌whatever‌ ‌they‌ ‌wanted‌ ‌me‌ ‌to‌ ‌be.‌ ‌A‌ ‌fun‌ ‌girl,‌ ‌a‌ ‌potential‌ ‌best‌ ‌
friend,‌ ‌someone‌ ‌to‌ ‌tell‌ ‌secrets‌ ‌to‌ ‌over‌ ‌midnight‌ ‌snacks.‌ ‌This‌ ‌type‌ ‌of‌ ‌socializing‌ ‌was‌ ‌just‌ ‌me‌ ‌
playing‌ ‌little‌ ‌roles‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌few‌ ‌moments,‌ ‌but‌ ‌when‌ ‌I‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌go‌ ‌all‌ ‌in,‌ ‌I‌ ‌can.‌ ‌I‌ ‌can‌ ‌make‌ ‌myself‌ ‌
younger‌ ‌when‌ ‌I‌ ‌want‌ ‌to,‌ ‌opting‌ ‌or‌ ‌looser‌ ‌clothes‌ ‌that‌ ‌hide‌ ‌my‌ ‌body‌ ‌and‌ ‌making‌ ‌my‌ ‌eyes‌ ‌shiny‌ ‌
with‌ ‌dumbness—a‌ ‌whole‌ ‌costume‌ ‌of‌ ‌innocence.‌ ‌I‌ ‌can‌ ‌look‌ ‌older‌ ‌with‌ ‌makeup‌ ‌and‌ ‌carefully‌ ‌
selected‌ ‌clothes,‌ ‌showing‌ ‌skin‌ ‌when‌ ‌necessary.‌ ‌It’s‌ ‌easy‌ ‌because‌ ‌people‌ ‌tend‌ ‌to‌ ‌see‌ ‌what‌ ‌they‌ ‌
want‌ ‌to.‌ ‌
I‌ ‌went‌ ‌door‌ ‌to‌ ‌door.‌ ‌Room‌ ‌202.‌ ‌“Omigod‌ ‌I‌ ‌love‌ ‌your‌ ‌hair,”‌ ‌I‌ ‌said‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌bubbly‌ ‌blonde‌ ‌I‌ ‌
suspect‌ ‌will‌ ‌end‌ ‌up‌ ‌popular.‌ ‌
Room‌ ‌206.‌ ‌“You’re‌ ‌not‌ ‌brothers,‌ ‌are‌ ‌you?”‌ ‌I‌ ‌said‌ ‌shyly‌ ‌to‌ ‌two‌ ‌boys‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌crew‌ ‌team‌ ‌
(nice‌ ‌bodies‌ ‌but‌ ‌baby‌ ‌faces—not‌ ‌my‌ ‌taste).‌ ‌They‌ ‌grinned‌ ‌at‌ ‌me,‌ ‌looked‌ ‌at‌ ‌my‌ ‌boobs,‌ ‌and‌ ‌each‌ ‌
vied‌ ‌to‌ ‌say‌ ‌something‌ ‌clever.‌ ‌Neither‌ ‌was‌ ‌clever.‌ ‌
Room‌ ‌212‌ ‌was‌ ‌a‌ ‌pair‌ ‌of‌ ‌awkward‌ ‌girls.‌ ‌I‌ ‌was‌ ‌friendly‌ ‌to‌ ‌them‌ ‌but‌ ‌didn’t‌ ‌linger‌ ‌long‌ ‌
because‌ ‌I‌ ‌knew‌ ‌they‌ ‌would‌ ‌never‌ ‌be‌ ‌key‌ ‌players.‌ ‌
While‌ ‌I‌ ‌met‌ ‌a‌ ‌few‌ ‌more‌ ‌people,‌ ‌I‌ ‌was‌ ‌simultaneously‌ ‌assessing‌ ‌who‌ ‌seemed‌ ‌like‌ ‌they‌ ‌
were‌ ‌going‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌part‌ ‌of‌ ‌Greek‌ ‌life.‌ ‌Will‌ ‌was‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌frat—SAE—and‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌first‌ ‌orders‌ ‌of‌ ‌
business‌ ‌was‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌in‌ ‌with‌ ‌that‌ ‌frat.‌ ‌The‌ ‌crew‌ ‌boys‌ ‌were‌ ‌already‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌hallway‌ ‌loudly‌ ‌talking‌ ‌
about‌ ‌going‌ ‌out‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌club‌ ‌that‌ ‌night.‌ ‌That‌ ‌was‌ ‌good—an‌ ‌outing,‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌crew‌ ‌boys‌ ‌seemed‌ ‌like‌ ‌
they‌ ‌would‌ ‌be‌ ‌the‌ ‌type‌ ‌to‌ ‌pledge‌ ‌a‌ ‌frat.‌ ‌“I‌ ‌love‌ ‌dancing,”‌ ‌I‌ ‌said‌ ‌to‌ ‌what’s-his-name,‌ ‌the‌ ‌taller‌ ‌of‌ ‌
the‌ ‌two,‌ ‌fingering‌ ‌the‌ ‌end‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌braid.‌ ‌“It’s‌ ‌the‌ ‌best‌ ‌way‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌to‌ ‌know‌ ‌people.”‌ ‌He‌ ‌smiled‌ ‌down‌ ‌
at‌ ‌me,‌ ‌his‌ ‌eyes‌ ‌crinkling.‌ ‌If‌ ‌high‌ ‌school‌ ‌taught‌ ‌me‌ ‌any-thing,‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌that‌ ‌social‌ ‌life‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌game‌ ‌that‌ ‌
revolves‌ ‌around‌ ‌navigating‌ ‌hierarchies.‌ ‌Be‌ ‌someone‌ ‌guys‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌fuck‌ ‌or‌ ‌you‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌invisible‌ ‌to‌ ‌
them.‌ ‌Be‌ ‌someone‌ ‌the‌ ‌girls‌ ‌want‌ ‌firmly‌ ‌tucked‌ ‌into‌ ‌their‌ ‌inner‌ ‌circles,‌ ‌whether‌ ‌as‌ ‌friend‌ ‌or‌ ‌
enemy,‌ ‌or‌ ‌die‌ ‌the‌ ‌death‌ ‌of‌ ‌being‌ ‌totally‌ ‌irrelevant.‌ ‌

Author Bio: 
Photo by
 Fredo Vasquez Photography
Vera Kurian is a psychologist and writer and a longtime resident of Washington DC. She has a doctorate in social psychology, specializing in intergroup relations, political ideology, and quantitative methods. She has studied fiction at Breadloaf, Sewanee, VONA, and attended juried workshops at LitCamp, Colgate, Juniper, and the Marlboro Summer Writing Intensive. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was a semifinalist for the Mark Twain Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Contest.
Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @vera_kurian
Instagram: @verakurianauthor

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