Saturday, June 6, 2015

REVIEW: Never Let You Go: A Modern Fairytale (A Modern Fairytale) by Katy Regnery

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 onlything 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.

4.5 “Stone to stone. I jump, you jump.” Stars

As a child I loved fairy tales. Actually, I still do. Make believe and escaping into a world of good and evil, a boy and a girl, hoping that ultimately, the light will drown the darkness. That’s why I thoroughly adore this series. Katy Regnery has this way of keeping the essence of that fairy tale while credibly bringing it into our world today with the realities and harshness of the darkness and evil that exist.

"-the marriage of the past and present, the walk on a country road,

fairy tales told on a crowded cot, her eyes in the sunshine,

her parted lips, 

stubborn heart, gentle soul."

This was a beautifully moving and emotional tale that truly had my stomach filled with butterflies, my fists clenched in dread or anger, the flutter of delight and passion in my heart and tears rolling down my cheeks!

This modern day version of Hansel and Gretel is about two foster children, Griselda Schroeder and Holden Croft who are abducted and held captive for three years.

Their story is told both in the past and present with the dual POV of Gris and Holden. As children, Gris and Holden..."She's the bright sun and he's the quiet end of the day." but through captivity, enduring cruelty, abuse and starvation, they're only able to hang onto a shred of themselves because of the other. Then one fateful day, they attempt to escape.

But only one of them manages to get a way, both Gris and Holden died that day by the river...

“Don’t look back, no matter what. Stone to Stone. I jump, you jump.”

“Hot tears blurred her vision as she stared out at the water – the same water that had separated them, ripped them apart, split them into something partial, something incomplete, something that would never be whole and would always be broken.”

Ten years later their paths cross. Now as adults, Gris is living a life a penance for leaving the one and only person who ever loved her behind.

And Holden is gone and reincarnated, filled with “…god-awful fury that turned hatred into fuel.” and only able to release his rage, grief and loss with his fists.

“Strange contradiction of Griselda’s life was that the darkest times were also some of the best and the brightest because Holden had inhabited those dark moments with her. Like a match light in the blackness, like hope in the midst of deep, desperate despair, he had been her only joy, and her prevailing source of comfort, strength, and spirit.”

For both of them, their time apart was lifeless, meaningless and heartbreaking.

“There is some pain in your life that, when you experience it, you’re shocked to the core that it doesn’t kill you. It feels like it should kill you, like you heart should stop beating and your lungs should stop breathing and your eyes should stop seeing. Everything should just…stop. With pain that profound and regret that unfathomable, it should be impossible for your body to stay alive.”

When Gris and Holden reunite. It's bittersweet because obstacles still stand in their way. Both are scared that they've been so damaged that they have no clue how to love, encourage it and keep it. These two are beautifully complex and superbly developed characters in that you experience their growth and transformation as the grapple with their fierce love for each other...

their combustible chemistry and connection when they're in the same space...

and who they are together but most importantly, who they are as individuals. I just adored these characters and their love, tenderness and unbreakable bond despite all adversity.

Ms. Regnery magnificently captures a wide range of vivid emotions. The awe, wonder and hope of it all as well as the visceral fear, sadness and frustration at the wrongness of it all. My only comment is that perhaps some parts could have been shortened but nevertheless, it didn't take away from my enjoyment!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a timeless, fierce and formidable love that survives all!

                                                Release Date: Dec 15th, 2015

Also listed but no Cover, Synopsis or Release Date:
"Don't Speak" (The Little Mermaid)

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