Never Going Back - Book Review
Never Going Back is the first installment in a four-part series by Nia Rich. It's about a woman in a domestic violence relationship that was struggling to get out for good. This first installment ranked 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com, which is now surprising to me.
"When Briana got with Bryan she thought that he was going to be the one that she would spend the rest of her life with. She met him and fell in love quickly without hesitation. Their life together was perfect and a wedding was in their future. Extremely happy and deep in love with Bryan, Briana put her main focus on her life with him. Until secrets about Bryan’s other life was brought out into the open by an unexpected source. Blindsided by betrayal Briana finds out that Bryan isn’t who she thought he was. When Briana confronts Bryan about his lies and deceit, his reaction was not what she expected. Bryan’s dark side surfaced and he became someone that she didn’t know. She is faced with trying to figure out how to leave, but Bryan is not willing to let her go."
Never Going Back started out strong. The author showed Bryan’s controlling and violent side right out the gate. Briana had taken off to get away from Bryan after he’d attacked her. Chapter two then cuts back to what happened earlier in the night to cause her to run. The potential this book had was definitely there.
After chapter two, I had to stop for a minute because I was seriously considering not finishing this book. The grammatical errors were unbelievable. The eBook formatting was horrible. I did not like how most chapters were missing the first letter and the titles were not centered. I am not sure if that was on purpose, but it was messy. Being that I know some people who’ve been dealing with their own personal struggles with domestic violence, the point of this book really spoke to me. So, I continued.
I felt sad for Briana because she was anxious around this man. He constantly accused her of cheating or being dishonest, clearly because of his own past mistakes and apparently current bad choices he was making in their relationship. Anything she did or didn’t do, he had something negative to say. Bryan is a womanizer. He’s a man with two sides to him which was interesting to see. Even worse in the situation, were two young girls – Bryan’s daughters from a previous relationship. I think a good aspect in this story could have been about what the girls were feeling about everything. Seeing their perspective would've been interesting because domestic violence doesn't just affect the victim, but the people around them.
Chapter seven of Never Going Back is when the story went backwards. The story continued to switch from present to past, which would have been okay if done more strategically. Sometimes, I didn’t know where I was. The point of views as well as the tenses changed with just about every paragraph in this book. The author was trying to show the good side of Bryan before everything went bad, but I feel like it went on too long. Most of this book talked about how things used to be and not enough about what she was going to do get out of this abusive relationship.
91 pages is not a lot to work with when writing a story like this. A stronger plot complication and more length would have made this a more enjoyable read as well as proper editing. I am strongly considering continuing the series because I am hoping that the writing gets better and that the plot starts to come together. It almost felt like I was reading a first draft and not a completed story.
I wish that I could have been able to give a better review of this. I am hoping to do so with the rest of the series because I would like to know where this story goes.
With better execution, Never Going Back could have been a more interesting read. I have to give this book two out of five stars and most likely would not recommend it without finishing the entire series first.
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