Review: Unloved by Katy Regnery

7:00 PM

Unloved by Katy Regnery | Rating: ★★★★★

As a note, a review copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. Thank you!

Raise your hand if you're a massive Katy Regnery fan! *LIFTS BOTH HANDS* Well, if you didn't join me in that show of lameness (sorry you had to witness that, Katy) you will be after you pick up Unloved. We are talking fan for life. Ride or die. Dopey grinning. Regnery is *that* kind of author, the sort of person who's work just gets under your skin in the more brilliant of ways. Unloved was a different kind of romance novel for me--unique, chilling, thought provoking and blatantly beautiful when it comes to how it was crafted.

Indeed, there's something so satisfying about the novel. From its prose to the relationship to the backstories and every little note in between. Unloved is the sort of book that will have you crying, laughing, smiling, swooning and flinching throughout its 325. I've never read anything like it and as far as that goes, I don't think I ever will. Unloved is the sort of novel that will enthrall you from the start and its grip will not loosen on you even past the final pages.

I've been sitting here for hours trying to completely come to terms with the fact that I finished it--we're talking a serious book hangover has arrived. Writing my review is quite difficult because the reality is I want to just key-smash my way through it, fawn over it and maybe write about a dozen pages worth of the hearts-in-eyes emoji. Katy Regnery deserves better than that, though.  She deserves a world of praise and coherent reviews.

My first thought (after, "wow") when it comes to Unloved is how breathtaking it truly is. If it were a body of water, I'd want to submerge myself in it because of how much raw emotion you witness in the course of the story. Really and truly, it's unforgettable. Poignant. Heartbreaking. Complex. Most of all, it is love and the aftermath of two very tragic pasts. It's the pairing of two souls who have been lonely and with whom life has carelessly tossed around. Which is what makes watching them come together (ahem) all the more beautiful.

Let's talk characters:

Cassidy is the son of a serial killer. This much you know before the novel begins. His path has been bumpy and full of distrust and overall mistreatment. There's this toxic idea that people have when it comes to treating families of the bad guys. Cassidy's father was one of the very worst. He and his mother were treated in manners that are inexcusable and frankly, both deserved better. I think one of the most heartbreaking things about his upbringing is the fact that he was forced to live in a sort of prison for crimes his father committed, as did his mother. The idea that you never *truly*  know someone lingers in the background--both for how his mother felt about his father and then, in the future, how Cassidy grew to feel/fear about himself.

Cassidy is utterly sympathetic. He is the type of character you want to cuddle a bit because in a lot of ways, his growth was stunted. Cassidy is an adult but only by age--we get to witness him grow and fall in love. We see not the son of a killer but a selfless being who's biggest fear is becoming the man his father was. We see a man who wants to love and be loved for who he is.

And then there's Brynn. Brynn is a different kind of sympathetic when comparing her to Cassidy. Oh, that sounds silly how I put it--of course she is. They are different characters. Both are pained. Both are undeniably strong. Both are characters you seek to comfort and to root for. Both have a selfless heart. In short, both are the characters that dreams are made of.

Brynn's sort of loss is heavy and different. She, too, has lost a loved one--her beloved fiance, Jem, was killed during a mass-shooting at a concert two years prior to the start of Unloved. When you lose someone so suddenly, things around you just become bleaker--in a way, you never get to say goodbye to them. Not really. Regnery tackles this with brutal honest and doesn't shy on the good, the bad or the raw. She doesn't cheapen tragedy--she approaches it with grace. Brynn is a testament to this. Brynn's story is the soul.

Which is what makes her journey the most moving of the two--she lifts herself up and finally finds the courage to say goodbye; headed straight towards the one place in the world where she knows Jem's soul had drifted. Instead, her plans take a turn--not everything is as it seems and fate has other plans for her when it comes to letting go of the past and embracing her future.What follows breaks your heart only to piece it back together with time.

Brynn's struggles are all too real when you consider the world we live in (and the events of this week in Vegas) and this makes her narration so appealing. There's something painful and special about the exploration of grief in both characters but Brynn's stands out for reasons I won't say. I don't want to spoil the book.

I will say, when these two souls meet there is a shift in their entire being. Not only is their chemistry strong, there's this connection there emotionally that feels organic and like they'd been circling each other far longer than they had. Most importantly, together, they learn to love and grow. I will look back at the start and think, wow, look how far they've come.

There's this element to their relationship that is hopeful and nourishing instead of hopeless and seedy.

Other things to note:

Violence. I shouldn't have to say this but the thing is, the violence isn't where you think it is. In the summary, you can't help but to wonder if the relationship is a source of darkness. You may ask your-self what happens next. The world is the source of darkness. The world isn't kind to these two. The way they come together isn't something appropriate for the faint of heart--the event that ties them together isn't easy to stomach.

What follows is where the magic begins.

Plot twists! Or shall I say plot twist? Katy Regnery really got me on that one.

She straight up knocked me on my ass and I can't say that I mind much. I was a little breathless and thoroughly shook by the romance of the novel but the biggest source of explosion is the finale. All the resolution--that conclusion! When the truths are revealed, your jaw will join mine on the floor. I am not joking. That last quarter of the book? Brilliant. Completely, mindblowingly brilliant and I already feel like I need to reread a bit of it.

Please, read it so I can discuss with someone.

Ultimately, Unloved is one of my favourite releases of the year and is deeply moving. Perfect for this time of year, too. Autumn is for Unloved. I can easily see this being the book that many of us curl up to on the chilliest of nights. Prepare yourself for a world of emotions and spread the word about it. You will definitely want to talk to someone about this book. It's that good. It's definitely a book you will want to devour in one sitting.

Unloved officially launches on October 8th, 2017, so be sure to purchase it ASAP!

You can't miss this one.

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