Chevy Stevens’ Never Let You Go

A twisty suspense novel that explores the dark side of love and obsession.

Chevy Stevens’ Never Let You Go follows Lindsey Nash who, eleven years ago took her young daughter and escaped from her abusive husband Andrew’s grasp.  That same night, Andrew is arrested on unrelated charges and sentenced to ten years in prison.  Now, Lindsey has made a new life for herself; she owns her own business and takes care of her teenage daughter, Sophie.  When Andrew is released from prison, odd things start to happen and, despite Andrew’s claim that he’s reformed, Lindsey is convinced that he is behind everything, slowly plotting his revenge.  But, is Andrew the one behind the threats, or has someone else been waiting in the wings to make their move?  Told through Lindsey and Sophie’s perspectives in the present and past, Stevens weaves a chilling tale that makes you question every relationship you have and have ever had.

As someone who is an avid reader – and particularly of this genre – I’ve read a lot of stories that revolve around the main character running away to protect herself, or falling for the wrong person, or befriending the wrong person.  This one has it all, but somehow Stevens has a way of making it seem fresh and new.  Every character is flawed which makes all of them relatable – the mother who would do anything to protect her child; the husband with abandonment issues who became violent; the teenager who overshares and under-shares, desperate to hold on to relationships with both parents.

For someone who was in an abusive relationship and claims to have a hard time trusting anyone, Lindsey naïvely lets her guard down more often than not.  In the span of the novel, not only does she date two different men (Greg and Marcus), but she also talks freely about her past, sometimes divulging more details than she should.  She’s in constant contradiction to herself, one minute in a state of fight-or-flight and the other completely content.

We don’t know a lot about Andrew or what he went through in the past that causes him to act abusively, though he does admit to Sophie that his violence stemmed from severe abandonment issues.  I went back and forth on my feelings about Andrew, sometimes I believed that he really had changed and felt sorry for him, and other times I was convinced that he hadn’t.

And Sophie just seems like the typical teenager that you love to hate.  The one who is trying to become her own person and learning how to trust her gut, even if that means not always listening to the authority figure in her life.

At times dark and moody, Never Let You Go is a MUST read for suspense novel lovers.

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Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens. St Martins Press 2017.
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The Life & Death of It All

It’s been a while since I’ve heard anyone utter that expression, but due to recent events in my life, this popped into my head this morning. I am reminded of a scene from the finale of Dawson’s Creek (yes, I was a fan back in the day), where, to paraphrase, Dawson says that the opposite of life isn’t death, that life has no opposite.

It has been a long time since that show aired, but that line has stuck with me through the years, mainly because of how true it is. Birth is the opposite of death because birth is the beginning of something and death the end, but life…life is existing. Can there be a true opposite to that? I don’t think that there is, and I think that that is a thought that is overlooked more often than not. Many people go through life without a care in the world, ignorant of the very real fact that they are on a once-in-a-lifetime journey, because when life ends, that’s it. There are no second chances or do-overs. It’s just over. Then there are others who strive to make a name for themselves, to leave a legacy, but they have it all wrong too. These people are so wrapped up in leaving something behind that they, too, are ignorant in the rarity that is life, and therefore miss out on the little things, which, as we know, really are what make up one’s life. Not that there is anything wrong with living either of those ways, it’s just that often times a person’s life isn’t really appreciated until circumstances threaten its very existence. And it shouldn’t be that way.

We tend to obsess over the little things that really have no significance, something of which I am definitely guilty of. But, I often find that while I am obsessing, something big or traumatic happens to someone that I care about which always forces me to take a step back and reexamine my life, and brings me to the realization that all of my obsessing is just wasting time that should be spent doing/thinking about other things. That, if I put as much effort into my life and my relationships as I do obsessing, I would be leading a much fuller life and, hopefully, not missing out on the things that truly matter.

Right now, in the midst of a life or death situation of someone that I truly care about, I sit back and think about everything that I thought was important, people who I once thought would be with me forever but have faded away, and I realize that, while some of these people I do miss, the only thing that matters is right now: this minute. And that everything else just isn’t as important as I once thought. That the only thing to do is to live in the present, because everything else just isn’t living….

Life has no opposite; life is existing.