Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2 stars-- Never Tear Us Apart (Never Tear Us Apart #1) by Monica Murphy

Never Tear Us Apart had me curious. It showed up on my doorstep with the promise of a dark and twisty read. It totally had my number and I enjoy Murphy--she can deliver such vastly different experiences with her series--so it definitely peaked my interest. And for the most part I enjoyed this twisted tale of two people damaged so thoroughly during their childhoods coming back together years later as adults. And things went well...until they didn't. There are going to be some semi-spoilers so *waves hands about* be warned and all that.

The Yay:

  • A dark twisty storyline. I really loved the set up for this one even though it was hard to read at times. When she was a child Katie was kidnapped and raped. And then rescued by the son of her rapist who freed her and got her to safety. I mean. This is some difficult shit! And it created a bond between they each desperately needed to get through the ordeal. The adults in their lives thought differently and they were torn apart from each other. Now 8 years later she's telling her tale and he finds her. There's just so much room for a truly emotionally gripping encounter.
  • Great Characters. Both Katherine/Katie and Ethan/Will were interesting. They're damaged but have incredible strength. Katie is a survivor and I loved that about her. "I'm not a victim. I'm a survivor. Big Difference." I knew then I was going to be rooting for her and that I would love her character. And I did. She might not be totally recovered but she was working towards getting there. And Ethan is a good guy. He's caring, gentle and just what she needs in her life. 
  • A unique format. I liked the way the story was told as well. It was different but worked. It switches between two storylines with four total points of view--Katherine and Ethan as adults meeting and getting to know one another. And then them as children (Katie and Will) as they lived through the original kidnapping/rape and the way it changed both of their lives. It's not flashback but really two different stories. It could have easily been overwhelming or clunky but for the most part it seamlessly transitioned from one to the next. 

The Okay:

  • One aspect I struggled a bit with was that Ethan (who used to be named Will) never tells her who he really is and that he was the boy from her past. I just didn't totally buy in to him not being able to tell her. It wasn't a deal breaker for me but I would have liked him to come clean on that front.

The Nay:

  • This is a cliffhanger. It's not even one where there's a bit of resolution so you feel like it's a complete and satisfying read. They're broken up at the end with no hints of them potentially fixing things. Not even the secondary storyline of a reporter snooping around about the past has any resolution. This is a nearly 400 page book that costs $16. To me this wasn't acceptable. On Goodreads it does mention being a 'two part tale' in the promo but on the actual book there's nothing to indicate this wouldn't be a complete book. The book had been a fairly strong 4 star until that point. It could have easily been one book. While I enjoyed this one content-wise it was pretty dang light and could have been edited down. The blurb really spells it all out.
  • A weak trigger point.  I felt like the way he was "found out" was a bit too...easy or convenient of a plot point. If you're hiding something from someone--in the hero's case his identity-- don't encourage the person you're hiding it from pick up your phone when it randomly rings and you can't get to it. I mean. Really?  

Overall. I liked the bulk of Never Tear Us Apart but the final delivery dampened the experience. I'm sure it'll work for many people but for me I just cannot get behind this cliffhanger trend and needing two full length books at $16 each to get ONE complete story and romance. I really expected more from Murphy than that.

Crazy how eight years can disappear in an instant. One look at Katie Watts, and I’m a fifteen-year-old again—the one who risked everything to save a terrified girl from her twisted kidnapper. She’s grown-up now—beautiful, quiet, composed—and telling her story to the world. A story that involves me in more ways than you can imagine. She used to call me her guardian angel. Sure, I risked my life, but she was worth dying for.

I need to make contact with her. Just to ensure that she’s safe.

Somehow we reconnect. We become friends . . . but I want more. I want to make her mine. And she wants me too. Does she know who I am? Has she figured me out? Not yet. But she will. In the meantime, I need to make sure that whatever hold that animal had on her is gone.

So, yeah, I’m stealing these moments with her. Savoring them. Knowing, dreading, that she’ll soon find out who I really am. And everything will fall apart. All because of that twisted, perverted monster sitting on death row. Her kidnapper. A convicted serial killer.

My father.


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