Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Double Review: Never Tear Us Apart / Never Let You Go by Monica Murphy

Monica Murphy dropped two novels in 2016 with her new adult series Never Tear Us Apart.  The first book is titled the same of the series, and is followed by Never Let You Go.  It is a dark, gripping tale of two young adults struggling to find themselves -- and love -- in the wake of a devastating tragedy.

Never Tear Us Apart - Book 1
Perfect for readers of Colleen Hoover, Jay Crownover, and K. A. Tucker, the first novel in this darkly sexy contemporary series from bestselling author Monica Murphy kicks off an emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love.

A long time ago, when I was fifteen and a completely different person, I saved a girl’s life. I spent only a handful of hours with her, but somehow, we connected—and I’ve never been the same. No one understands what we went through. No one knows what it’s like to be us. We survived, yet I don’t feel like I’m really living—until now. Eight years later, I find her. I want to make her mine. I need to make her mine.  But she’ll hate me forever when she finds out who I really am.
@Goodreads - @Amazon

Never Let You Go - Book 2
The second novel in this darkly sexy contemporary series from bestselling author Monica Murphy wraps up an emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love.

The truth hurts, they say—and my pain cuts deep. While I was falling for Ethan, he was deceiving me the entire time. He held a huge secret, protected by his lies. When I discovered what he was hiding, the truth shook my world, threatening to ruin us forever. Ruin me. But I soon realized that what we share can’t be destroyed.

The connection between us is too strong. It always has been. I can’t deny him any longer. And I can’t deny my truth: I’m in love with Ethan.

I don’t want to let him go.

While we’re trying our best to make this relationship work, other forces are fighting against us. My family, who wants to keep me safe. The media obsessed with my tragic past. The public that feeds off of it. Even Ethan’s father—the man who nearly destroyed me all those years ago. He’s doing his best to finish the job.

Despite my love for Ethan, the doubts creep in, clouding my mind. Is he worth the pain? Will our love survive, or will we have no choice but to end it—end us—once and for all?
@Goodreads - @Amazon

This is the story of a twelve year old girl that was kidnapped from a local amusement park by a man that brutally raped and tortured her for three days, and the fifteen year old boy that saved her... the kidnapper's very own son.  Told in the dual perspective of Katie and Will (now Ethan), both past and present, Never Tear Us Apart is a strong beginning to the series.

Eight years after the highly publicized kidnapping, torture, and rape of Katie, Ethan finds the girl he saved.  The girl he rescued from his monster of a father who also abused him throughout his life both and physically and emotionally.  The man that was a confirmed killer of two other teenage girls he also abducted and raped.

Katie is a shell of a person; utterly destroyed, and believable as a victim of something no living creature should ever have to endure. Scared, but desperate to get her life back, she finds herself at the amusement park where she was abducted eight years prior, where she meets Ethan. She then forms a bond with him that she has never had with another man, understandably.

But she does not know that he is the boy that saved her.

Overall, four stars.  Fast-paced, believable, dark enough to interest my even my incredibly black soul, and most importantly, the two characters had their own unique voices.  The end was a bit... clean and tidy (too much for my taste), but overall, a very decent read.

Never Let You Go picks up where Never Tear Us Apart left off.  Still told in the dual perspective of both Katie and Ethan/Will, and still with flashbacks to the incident 8 years ago.  Except this time, the flashbacks add nothing; the story was already told.  In fact, there's issues with the flashbacks; in the first novel, Katie stopped talking to Will after the incident because her mother insisted on it, but in the second novel, Will was the one to cut ties with Katie.  So I guess the flashbacks did provide something -- plot holes.

The second novel, although readable, simply dragged.  The ending was bad, Will annoyed me so much I started thinking he was a slight creeper (not great to think when reading a romance novel).  In my opinion, this entire novel could have been summed up in a few chapters and added to the end of Never Let You Go, which should have been a standalone.  Two stars.

(Combined rating of both books in the Never Tear Us Apart series)


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