REVIEW: NEVER LET YOU GO By Chevy Stevens

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Published March 14, 2017 by St Martin’s Press

Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? 

 

**I’ve got a super busy family week ahead this week so I apologize in advance if I miss sharing reviews and/or commenting on posts, I’ll catch up at the end of the week! **

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This review has been somewhat tough for me to write. You see, I’ve read most of Chevy Steven’s books (except Those Girls) and have massive love for Still Missing which I regularly recommend to those looking for a thrilling mystery. That Night is another favorite. So you could say I was pretty excited when I got my hands on this one. I went into this with a vague idea of the fact that it’s about an abusive marriage in which the wife manages to escape and then the husband gets out of prison and things start to go downhill for her.

If this sounds like a familiar storyline it’s because it is of course. Domestic thrillers have been taking over the psychological thriller genre for quite some time and in terms of movies, there’s the hugely popular Sleeping with the Enemy. I was convinced Chevy would bring something new to the table, something that might make me hold my breath and feel tense throughout. Unfortunately, for me, that just didn’t happen. I’ve thought for the last 4 days about why this book didn’t grab me and I can’t come up with one specific reason. I think, maybe, it’s a combination of factors, including a lack of character connection on my part and a dislike of the narrative structure.

The story starts off from Lindsey’s perspective in 2005 and we are immediately submersed in the dance of destruction and manipulation that is her and Andrew’s marriage. To make matters worse, their young daughter Sophie is witness to it. I wondered if I would’ve felt differently had she chosen to start the story in the past when they first met which is where it eventually jumps to. So while I’m on the subject, if you’re a fan of frequently alternating perspectives and multiple jumping timelines then you’ll probably really like this narrative structure. I’m not and I think that’s another reason I wasn’t engaged with the story. The novel goes back and forth between Lindsey’s perspective and her teenage daughter Sophie’s, as well as shifting time perspectives from the past when they met to the past during their marriage to present day. There is LOTS of jumping around which, for me, led to a lack of feeling connected and engaged with the plot and characters. Also, I’m not sure I completely bought into Sophie’s motivations of totally disregarding everything her mother said about her violent dad. This and the rest of the teenage angst storyline fell flat for me.

So, here’s the interesting part about my reading experience with this book….I read it in about 4 hours…that’s how incredibly “readable” it is. Chevy Steven’s writing just flows, there’s something about the way she writes that makes you stay glued to the pages and turning them as quickly as possible.  In terms of the mystery, there isn’t a lot of possibilities as to the who so you very well may figure that out (as I did) but the why and how played out in an interesting fashion. I was very impressed with how the author pulled together all the loose threads into a tight conclusion! Overall though, I just felt underwhelmed with this one but it very well may be a case of wrong book wrong time for me as the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon are excellent. Give this a try if you like fast paced psychological thrillers with alternating timelines and perspectives.

3/5 Stars

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley for my copy, I’m happy to provide an honest review 

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27 thoughts on “REVIEW: NEVER LET YOU GO By Chevy Stevens

  1. What a shame that although this book was readable it didn’t fully convince you. I do think that storylines that jump backwards and forwards in time can be effective, the authors who use this device have to take exceptional care not to lose the reader along the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wasn’t actually expecting this score (or hoping for a higher one). I only read one Chevy Stevens novel (Still Missing) and really liked that one so already kind of wanted to read this one too. Mmm I think I still want to read it though and see how I feel about the time jumping and teenage angst. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Inge! I also loved Still Missing and That Night by her. Maybe it’s also because I had just read A Suitable Lie which I really liked and felt connected with but this one I didn’t. See what you think, I’ll look forward to your review!!

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    1. You’re welcome. I had a feeling I might not be crazy about it even though I really like her writing. I just think I’m not enjoying alternating timelines and domestic thrillers at this time. Thanks for stopping by and commenting:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice review, Renee! I haven’t read anything by this author, but have wanted to read this one since so many people have recommended it to me. I’ll also look into your favorites by this author that you mentioned. Although I’m not a huge fan of jumping and alternating time lines, I CAN BE, if it’s done properly (and not confusing)… so I still may give this one a try, just to see how I like it! Thanks for the review 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a shame this book didn’t wow you the way you would have hoped. I have read lots of good reviews of this one but not all books are for everyone (it’s happened to me) and maybe you expected more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Emma and I really did expect more since I’ve loved a couple of her other books. Most people seem to be loving this one so as I said I think it’s a case of wrong book wrong time for me:)

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  5. Sorry to hear that this book didn’t meet your expectations. I like the narrative style that you described but I do understand that it can be a hit or miss. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a shame this book did not convince you that much! I admit I’m a fan of split narrations that go back and forth in the present and past with multiple POVs but too much jumping around the chronology is not so fun, it definitely makes it harder to connect with everything that’s happening and the people involved!
    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great review! It was interesting reading your thoughts after so many raving reviews… It kind of puts things in perspective. A shame this book wasn’t for you, but sometimes it’s just not the right time to be reading a certain story.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with you regarding the narrative style. It seems this alternating perspectives is the norm these days. I have noticed it a lot in current fiction. It is difficult to feel connected to the characters and many times to follow the story. I hope this narrative style goes away soon. I have not read this book yet and most likely will not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure it’s going to go away because )surprisingly) I’ve found a lot of people love that narrative style and I think it tends to go along with the current fad of domestic psychological thrillers. But I’m with you, I hope authors start to go back toward that linear timeline…I’m finding the crime/police procedurals tend to follow that which is why I’m gravitating toward those reads. Thanks for stopping by and commenting:)

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