ARC Review: Never Let You Go by Katy Regnery

12 Jun 2015

Book Title: Never Let You Go
Author: Katy Regnery
Series: A Modern Fairytale #2
Release Date: June 12th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
In this modern retelling of “Hansel and Gretel,” 13-year-old foster children, Holden and Griselda, escape from their abductor after three years of brutal captivity and try to cross the Shenandoah River on foot. Tragically, one of them makes it to safety but the other is left behind.

Ten years later, Griselda’s boyfriend drags her to a fight club grudge match where her world is turned upside down when she watches Holden step into the ring.

Though the connection between them is fierce, bitter regret, simmering rage and a cache of physical and emotional scars lie between them, just as dangerous as the whitewater of the Shenandoah.

Never Let You Go is a story of fear and hope, defeat and survival, and two people - once profoundly broken – who discover that love is the only thing that can make them whole again.

This is a standalone novel inspired by Hansel & Gretel. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to profanity, scenes of physical abuse and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18. (Note: children are not sexually abused in this book.)

For June and July 2015, 25% of all gross royalties will be donated to the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.


  "Even when we were apart, we were still together. Even when I thought you were gone, you still lived inside my heart." 

 This is one of those reads that left me feeling a little conflicted on how I should rate it. On one hand, I really did like the story as a whole but on another, there were just some plot devices that I could've done without. This is my first from this author but with a blurb so tempting and the idea of a modern fairytale twist as such, I couldn't pass up the chance to read this.


  Never Let You Go is a modern fairytale twist of Hansel & Gretel, the story of two kids; a boy and a girl who got lured and tricked into captivity. In this version, we have Holden & Griselda who were foster kids that got abducted for 3 years and in an attempt to escape, one of them got left behind. Almost 10 years later with either one thinking that the other is dead, fate reunites these two in the same town that they were abducted. As they find their way back to each other again, this is a story where we find if their love will be strong enough to mend their broken souls and battle against the cruel circumstances that they were left with since the tragic incident.


 Honestly I've been sitting on this read for a few days to figure out how exactly I felt about this book. I really liked the first half of the read, it was a huge relief when they reunited quite early on in the read and there is no doubt in your mind that they both belonged to each other. Throughout the read, there were flashbacks that actually let you witness what these two kids went through during their captivity and those scenes definitely tugged at my heartstrings. Especially those moments where you heart breaks over the innocence of these kids as they find comfort in each other during those dark times.
“Don’t look back, no matter what. Stone to Stone. I jump, you jump.”
The book really focused on these two coming to terms with finally seeing each other again after all those years and in a way, making up for the lost time since they were apart. I appreciated the author took the time to rebuild slowly their connection instead of jumping at each immediately and allowed us to see how the characters have grown since the tragic incident with the alternating flashbacks. 

With all these emotional scenes that would have warranted a solid read for me, I was left rather disappointed when I ventured into the second half of the book instead. When the first plot bomb was dropped, I started to feel wary about the direction this read would take as it fell under one of my pet peeves. Personally, I really could have done without this plot device and thought it was just uncalled for just to stir up unnecessary drama. 

 I'm spoiler tagging this in case: 


So Holden's ex-girlfriend, Gemma suddenly got pregnant with his child when things were finally working out for both MCs. Gemma obviously makes him choose between her/the baby or Gris. Which then leaves Gris to go back all alone and back to her super douchebag of an abusive boyfriend who nearly killed her by beating her up. With all the baby drama and Gris near-death incident, Holden suddenly decides to get enlisted in the Marines because he wanted to be a better man for himself. It was then later revealed also that Gemma purposely poked holes in the condoms to get herself pregnant (seriously I can't even). And to wrap up the entire baby drama, Holden signs parental rights to his best friend, Clinton who apparently loves Gemma for a long while (ah geez). Honestly, part of me was wishing that the baby's father was ACTUALLY Clinton instead. 


 With all that above, mostly I was left rather annoyed by how everything was conjured up and not soon after, tied up neatly so quickly in the same amount of time. I felt like it didn't give much purpose to an already amazing story from the start and could have appreciated the read better without that entire chain of events. Perhaps I would have been more accepting of Holden's decision had it not been tied in with the events of the plot bomb.

Overall I still think it was an emotionally charged read for the better part of the story and my mediocre rating is mostly attributed to my personal preference. The story also felt quite draggy at some points and in my opinion, could have been shortened at some parts. If you're a fan of a modern fairytale twist concept and in a mood for something a little heavy, I think you would want to give it a shot :)


  Never Let You Go is a NA standalone romance read and based on a modern fairytale concept. 

  ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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