Let You Leave (0.5) + Keep Me Still by Caisey Quinn

About the book

Published: August 2013

Genre: contemporary romance

Age Category: New Adult (prequel novella can be seen as young adult)

Format: E-book

Prequel novella: Let You Leave; sequel novella: Hold Us Close

This review includes my thoughts on both Keep Me Still and it’s prequel novella Let You Leave.

Before starting this review, I would just like to say I highly recommend reading the prequel novella. It really gives a good backstory for the characters and makes reading the novel a whole lot better.

Scarred by loss, Layla leaves her hometown of Hope Springs, Georgia, hoping to put her painful past behind her and start over in college in California. When she runs into Landen at freshman orientation, she has to make a choice. Reinforce those steel walls she’s built up around herself or give the only boy who can keep her still a second chance.

Landen’s more than ready to tear down those walls, but this time when the come crashing down, they may bury her.

This special edition of Keep Me Still includes the novella, Let You Leave:
Layla Flaherty had the perfect life, or close to it. Until a stranger gunned her parents down right in front of her, leaving her with seizure inducing PTSD. After years of trying to pass as normal and failing miserably, she resigns herself to being invisible. But new to town Landen O’Brien sees her, and he likes what he sees. Much to Layla’s surprise, he doesn’t freak out when she has a seizure in front of him. He does the exact opposite, calming her until the tremors subside. But Landen has secrets of his own. Secrets that will either bind them together or tear them apart.

Book ReviewObviously, I read the prequel novella before reading Keep Me Still. Let You Leave was my third Caisey Quinn book.

If you would like to see more about my thoughts on Caisey Quinn’s books, you can click here to go to my Top Author Tuesday.

Unfortunately, I did not like it as much as I did Girl with Guitar.

I really liked the characters in this book. I think they were the thing that kept me reading. The plot otherwise was quite predictable and cliché.

In Let You Leave, Layla was returning to school after not having been there for a few years. Landen was new to town. He recently moved with his army colonel father and pushover mother.

I really loved Landen. (I’ve heard of some people not liking him and I couldn’t understand that.) When he first noticed Layla, his immediately reaction was to assume that one of the football players or other popular guys would be going out with her. He was mesmerised by her and didn’t think he had a hope in hell. It was so cute.

Of course, it was completed reversed. Layla had something really embarrassing happen to her the last time she was attending the high school and everyone stayed away from her, giving her the nickname of “freak”.

All Layla wanted to do was finish up high school and Landen just had to mess up her plans. Because of that incident that last time she was at the high school, Layla didn’t have any friends and definitely never a boyfriend. She was highly inexperienced.

Landen pushed his way into her life, trying to get to know her. Layla was always very negative. She thought Landen was only treating her like a charity case.

Landen’s a bleeding heart looking for charity cases to rescue.

When, in reality, he didn’t even think himself good enough for her.

“You’re an idiot,” she tells me with a laugh.

“Yeah, but I’m you’re idiot.”

“Are you?”

“Layla, seriously? What, do you think I skip school to buy milkshakes for just anybody?”

I just loved the relationship between Layla and Landen. It was so emotional. Like, literally emotional. Nothing physical played a part in their relationship. They barely held hands.

This book is told in both Layla and Landen’s perspective so we get a look into both of their minds. Landen’s intentions were always so pure, so full of love. It was kind of annoying sometimes when Layla didn’t realise that.

In chapter fourteen something happens and Landen is so caring, oh my god. I want him. If you didn’t believe he loved her before this and everything after definitely proved it.

And I want to burn down this motherfucking gym down Carrie style.

Landen had a pretty messed up home life. His father, the colonal, was abusive, both physically and mentally. And, because of that, Landon had grown up with his father’s words engraved in his mind- “you will never be good enough.”

I felt so upset for Landen whenever he was down because he always fuelled that sadness with something along the lines of “like father, like son.” He really didn’t want to turn out like his father and when he found he was doing something remotely similar, he bet himself up about it. He spent so long trying so hard to not but his father’s son yet whenever he was down, he always reverted back to those thoughts.

His mother, on the other hand, did nothing to help Landen in these situations. I understand that the colonel could turn on her at any moment but his anger was always directed towards Landen. I’m not saying that she should have physically tried to stop him but I really felt like she could have done more- called the police, a helpline, anything…

Let You Leave is almost as long as Keep Me Still in chapter length. I consider Let You Leave a full length novel.

I really recommend reading Let You Leave first. You really get a look into Landen’s home life and parents (who are absent from Keep Me Still), his original feelings about different things, such as Layla, and also, understand the plot a lot better. I think, jumping into Keep Me Still without Let You Leave, the relationship between Layla and Landen may seem very insta-lovey. But, you can clearly see progression in Let You Leave.

With only reading Keep Me Still, you don’t get to see the full blown effects of her illness, or Landen helping her overcome it.

Keep Me Still:

In terms of physicality, it’s 0-100 in this book. It most definitely is new adult. The book takes place in college now.

Things have changed a lot for the two characters since the last time they saw each other. Layla is dealing with things a lot better than she was before and Landen isn’t really up to date on that.

But when I wrapped my arms around her and her seizing stopped, I felt like King of the damn world. Because I was stupid enough to think maybe someone needed me.

My note for this here was “cries”

There’s a bit of repetitiveness when reading Keep Me Still but I really think you’ll enjoy it a lot better if you read the novella. I actually think I enjoyed the novella more than I did Keep Me Still.

There’s this funny part where Landen sees Layla at a party talking to another guy. This is in his perspective so we are told this:

So I huff and puff and barely resist the urge to piss a circle around her every time another guy checks her out.

Sometimes, he could seem a little too possessive but he only wanted to protect her, and for good reasons. Otherwise, I found him quite funny.

In Keep Me Still, they all think Landen is psycho. I think it’s hilarious.

To sum up, I think the characters were the main thing that pulled me through these two books. It was a very character driven storyline. You will get the best experience reading both.

I really think you should check out Caisey Quinn’s writing if you haven’t already. It’s so good!

Let You Leave: 3.75 stars

Keep Me Still: 3.5 stars

“In t-minus thirty minutes we’re going to be introduced to the whole freshman class and goalie here has cookies-n-cream shake splattered down the front of his shirt. Smooth man.”

About the AuthorCaisey QuinnRomance Writer fueled by coffee, music, and love. Bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series.

I love hearing from readers and other writers, and those freaky hybrids like myself! You can email me at caiseyquinn @ gmail (dot) com or follow me on Twitter @CaiseyQuinn.




{summary, author info + image taken from Goodreads}

Have you read this book? Thoughts?




One thought on “Let You Leave (0.5) + Keep Me Still by Caisey Quinn

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