Before I Let Go

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you Net Galley for the free,ARC. Corey's friend Kari dies in an accident in Lost creek. When Corey decides to fly home to say goodbye, she decides there is more to the story.
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Set in mystical Alaska this story is about love and loss and hope. Corey has moved from Lost where she grew up. She goes back when her best friend Kyra dies. Kyra was bipolar and a very good artist. The people of Lost do not want their memories and their feelings towards Kyra changed by Corey. They no longer view Corey as one of them and they have their own memories and theories about Kyra. Kyra was special to them and they do want her story to be told beyond Lost. There is a lot in this story about small town mentality and the need for people to have the hope of a better life. This book is definitely worth reading.
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As I started to read this book, Idered if it would be a version of a Twilight Zone episode. The story is about a teenager who returns for five days to the small town in Alaska where she grew up to learn what happened to her best friend. She feels guilt from not returning earlier to perhaps be able to save her friend, who suffered from a bipolar syndrome.  As the story unfolds, the atmosphere of the town changes, and she fears for her life as she seeks to learn what happened to her friend.  Overall, the story is suspenseful; however, the same issues seem to aired and the internal dialogue is repetitive.   It was well-written, but it started to feel "too long" until finally some action occurred that put the main character in danger.
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Mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it but it took me a while to really get into it which is why it has been sitting on my TBR shelf for so long.
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I loved the first half of the book. This was a haunting tale of a girl trying to figure out how and why her best friend died. The pain and grief of Corey was palpable in the pages. And then suddenly the book turned confusing and disjointed. It kind of turned out to be nothing? I was really confused by the resolution of the story. I also didn't like the phone call scenes. They really took away from the flow of the book and didn't really add much.
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Ooof this book hit me right in the heart. I love books about friendship, especially between two girls, and Before I Let You Go had an amazing relationship between the two main characters. Corey and Kyra grew up together in a town called Lost in Alaska and the author really made me feel like I was right there in the freezing cold and wild landscape with them. I loved how their relationship was explored and defined with flashbacks that included letters and phone calls and postcards; it made it feel really modern. This is a book I would definitely recommend to some of my YA patrons who feel lonely or like they are outsiders.
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After loving "This is where it ends" so much, I couldn't even finish this one. The format of the story is jumping back and forth, and although sometimes I like it, I didn't enjoy it in this particular story.

I really didn't care for any of the characters. This book just wasn't for me.
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While the story focuses on some interesting topics - mental health, sexuality, suicide - it's not got instant appeal.
Corey has been at boarding school for a few months, and she's desperate to get back to Lost Creek (her remote Alaskan village of 247 residents). Unfortunately, just before her scheduled return she gets the news that her best friend is dead.
Corey returns home, but she is treated as an outsider. Nothing is as she left it, and though she has questions about what happened to her friend, nobody seems willing to give her answers. Corey is determined to find out what happened, but she isn't aware of what price she may have to pay.
The depiction of the Alaskan village was atmospheric, but we got very little about the other characters which made it hard to understand their motivation. The timeframe jumped all over the place, and this gave everything a disjointed feel that I found off-putting.
Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this prior to publication.
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I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review…

I was not impressed with this book. I was trudging throught the whole last half just to get it over with. By the last few chapters, I didn’t even care about how it ended. To me, the characters weren’t developed very well and the plot was very boring. In general, I hate books when most of the “action” has happened already, and the main character just has to figure out what already happened, which was pretty much the case with this book. The author also made it seem much more dramatic than it seemed to me, and I didn’t like that there was a small element of fantasy/”magic” throughout the book that was otherwise realistic fiction.
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The story follows Cory as she tries to come to terms with the death of her best friend. Along the way, she realizes that Kyra's death might not have been an accident.

I was really hoping that I would like this one, but sadly it was just a cluster of whining and terrible people. There was no murder mystery. Cory blamed everyone for her friends death and the entire town blamed Cory for leaving their small community. There was no action until the final 10% of the book when some strange chase scene happens out of no where. I really tried to like this one. I really did, but sadly I had to give it a two star rating.
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"The differences between us were never more obvious than when we looked at the night sky. I saw supernovas and explosions, while she saw the stories behind these phenomena. I sought understanding, while she gave the stars meaning."

Before I Let Go is the story of two best friends, Corey and Kyra, who grew up in a strange small town. We see the story in many different stages of their lives as Corey moves away from her old life, and Kyra stays behind.

I thinks this book is one that people will either love or hate. I read it in just a few hours and I honestly adored every page. I could not put this down and cried all my way through it. Usually, I prefer my readings to be fluffy and lighthearted these days, but when the dark and sad is written as well as in Before I Let Go, that's my favorite kind of read. It's fast and easy to read, engaging and addictive. You have to keep reading to understand what the hell is going on no matter what.

I have to say that this is a story you have to read as mystery without looking for the logic behind it. If you spend too much time thinking about it, there are little flaws that make this not so perfect. But for what the author tried to do, I really enjoyed. And if you really think about it:  How much did Kyra foresee and how much was just the small-minded people making it happen because they wanted it to be real? Food for thoughts. 

I love Kyra and relate so much with her and now I have to go kill every person who hurt her. It was honestly so nice to see a character who is so much like me, even though we have different MIs. Kyra's bipolar disorder is well detailed here in this book and something that I had never seen described like this in fiction. The way she talks about her mental illness hit very close to home.

"Have you ever not slept for days on end? All I hear are a million stories, but I can't sit still long enough to write them down. All I see are images that demand to be committeed to paper, because otherwise they'll claw their way out through my skin."

I definitely want to go check the author's other stories now.
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I enjoyed this book-- I also passed a long a hard copy to my 16 year old cousin, who is an avid reader; she enjoyed the book as well and is looking forward to reading more from her.
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I was recently sent an email link to an ARC of Marieke Nijkamp's Before I Let Go. I was excited to get this email because I absolutely loved her first book, This is Where It Ends. My expectations were high and Before I Let Go certainly lived up to them in the end!

The story follows Corey as she returns home to the tiny town of Lost, Alaska for the funeral of her best friend Kyra. Corey is told Kyra committed suicide, and that seems to be entirely possible give her history of mental illness. However, Corey struggles to believe this as Kyra promised to wait for Corey's return.

Let me just say that the people in this town act downright creepy and sinister at times. It seems once Corey moves away she becomes "an outsider" and, because of this, they tell her she can't understand the gifts Kyra held for herself, but also the town. Told in a mix of present day and flashbacks, Before I Let Go is chilling. Just what did happen to Kyra in her final days? Was her death preventable? Is there anything Corey could have done to stop it? Just who is to blame?

The best thing about Nijkamp's writing is her ability to convey the strongest of emotions, spanning the spectrum. I definitely am a fan of hers and look forward to reading anything she puts out in the future!
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No.  No.  No. No.  What even was this plot?!  So many things are wrong with this book:
1) Kyra's parents
2) every adult (minus Aaron) in Lost
3) EVERY FUNCTIONING HUMAN IN LOST
4) Kyra's way of speaking only in riddles
5) romanticism of mental health disorders (due in part to #4)
6) ONCE AGAIN-- ALL THE ADULTS AND PEOPLE IN LOST

This was just so unbelievable and ridiculous.  I gave it 2 stars because the writing was at least good.  Other than that, this makes zero sense.
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Corey and Kyra were inseparable until Corey moves away leaving Kyra without her support. Corey was set to visit her but Kyra is found murdered under the ice of their Alaskan town two days before her visit.

Upon returning, she finds drawings and notes to her and she remembers Kyra's mania mood swings and family threats which she told her made her not feel safe. The girl's were a sort of couple as well as best friends.

As Corey gets closer to uncovering the truth, she finds herself in danger as she's for one point of the book, in a burning building trying desperately to escape as Sam and Roshan aren't around to help her, but then she see's someone and finally she may be figuring out just why that person is in there with her...

Suspenseful and a puzzling mystery to keep you guessing, this is a book which is a slow burn at unravelling in a good way as no clues are obvious but pieces come together eventually by the tense ending making it worth a read!

Many thanks to the publishers for allowing me to review this book for them!
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Before I let go is unlike anything I have ever read. It was honest, frustrating, terrifying and mysterious. It has left me with so many unanswered questions, which feels like an answer in itself. Beautiful structure and prose, this novel is a must read for anyone looking for somewhere they can get Lost in.
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**Thanks to NetGalley for providing a complimentary copy of BEFORE I LET GO by Marieke Nijkamp in exchange for my honesty review**

After being in boarding school for seven months, Corey returns to Lost Creek, Alaska following her best friend Kyra's suicide. Kyra, a bipolar artist, never fit into the town of barely over two hundred residents. After her diagnosis, almost nobody spoke to her. Always an odd town, Lost now seems like a cross between a Stepford, minus the perfect people, and a cult, minus the charismatic leader. In Corey's absence, Kyra became almost an oracle. Townsfolk and her family speak of Kyra's happiness as a beloved member of the community. Corey wonders, if her friend was so joyful, why commit suicide. Kyra's mother and others explain that Kyra's bright light couldn't last forever.

If I had to describe BEFORE I LET GO in one word, it would be Creepy with a capital C. And that's a good thing. Nijkamp writes gorgeous, lyrical prose with unique, complex characters and a setting gorgeously atmospheric. On paper, I should have loved this novel. Unfortunately, my reading experience was neither fun nor exciting. I loved the story, but I couldn't connect with the manner in which it was told. Nijkamp sues of snail mail letters, phone calls, script did enhance my enjoyment, but reading BEFORE I LET GO still felt like a chore instead of a pleasure. I believe this will be a 5 star read for most people.
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Lost Creek, Alaska is really as "lost" as the name suggests.  
Corey gets a phone call from her mother at boarding school that no one wants to get; her best friend Kyra is dead. Corey hasn't responded to any of the letters from Kyra and the guilt overwhelms her as she travels back to Alaska to attend Kyra's memorial. 
Since the location is so remote Corey has to take  a small plane to get there, and as she exits the plane the pilot warns her that not everything is as it seems at Lost Creek. Corey thinks nothing of it at the time since she is from Lost originally so she knows how things are there. Or does she......
The more information she finds out about Kyra's life since she left, the more she realizes she doesn't know these people anymore and she does not belong here. I would definitely recommend this book.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to review this ARC of Before I Let Go.

Corey and Kyra are best of friends.  A pair of misfits in a small, frozen Alaskan town.  While Corey goes off to college in a big town, Kyra stays behind and struggles to find her place in Lost.  Kyra struggles with bi-polar and finds solace and healing in her painting.

But unexpectedly Corey gets word that Kyra has died, suicide.  Devastated, Corey hurriedly returns to find her hometown completely changed.  The tone is different, the people are different, and they are not happy to see her.

I liked the creepy fog of mystery in the story.  I really enjoyed reading about Corey and Kyra's friendship.  But to be honest, I needed a lot more for the story itself to make sense.  I liked where it was headed, but I was left very unsatisfied.
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