Before I Let Go

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

This story does have a trigger warning for suicide.

I really loved getting into this story. We follow the main character as she attempts to uncover her best friend’s suicide, but the small, secluded town of Lost begins to push her away, labeled as an ‘Outsider.’

The setting was my favorite part about this story. Even though there is a lot going on in the background, I really enjoyed how the creepy town meshed with the mysterious suicide. I also enjoyed the mental health inclusion which I think does a descent job in explaining how bipolar can be seen from the outside.

My only issue was the ending. I feel like justice should have been deemed on a particular character that surprised even me. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. At first, I thought there was going to be more paranormal, creepy moments in this book, but it wasn’t that way at all. I would recommend this book if you like mental health reads and a good mystery in an Alaskan town.
Was this review helpful?
I am not really sure how I feel about this book. I didn't really enjoy it, a lot of the time, I had no idea what was going on. i continued reading in the hope this would change but it didn't. i just wasn't really into this book.
Was this review helpful?
*Thank you Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for sending me a copy to read and review*

This book was hard for me to wrap my feelings around. It wasn't inherently bad, but it didn't blow me away either. It was a story in which I enjoyed the time that I allowed myself to pick up the book and read, but once I set the book down, the characters and the plot were far from my mind. I never felt eager to pick it up again. 

The huge pro for me, was the setting. I absolutely love books that are set in Alaska, and this one was atmospheric and chilling. The descriptions were great, and I felt the cold seeping into my bones just from reading about the climate. Paired with a story that surrounds themes of grief, and mental illness, this was certainly not a lighthearted story.

This one is going to be enjoyed by many, but unfortunately I didn't love it.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to like this book but i found the story dragged on and could have been much shorter.  This is a story of friendship, mental health and a desperate and struggling community based in Lost, Alaska

"After so many years struggling to make ends meet, hope can be a dangerous thing. They wanted to cling to it with both hands"
Was this review helpful?
On the one hand, it has a very interesting premise. Sure, at its base, this storyline has been used a lot. But every author adds something different. In the case of Before I Let Go, I really enjoyed the Alaskan setting, as well as the eerie atmosphere it provided.
Was this review helpful?
I was a bit under-whelmed by this book, possibly because it is aimed at teens. The storyline was good and it was enjoyable to read, I loved how it was all unfolding but found the ending rather disappointing if I'm honest. I would rather it had ended differently but that just my opinion. For the teen/YA reader I think that it would be a brilliant read.
Was this review helpful?
*I received this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

What a bloody weird book tbh. It starts off really off-kilter, people are being purposefully evasive and their answers are all mysterious and none of it makes sense and for the main character (and myself as the reader), it's really frustrating. 

The overall feeling by the end of this was ...well that escalated quickly, as you see how the whole town has just descended into madness by making a girl with mental health issues into a deity. The whole magical prophetic painting isn't really resolved so it's hard to categorise this book- half mystery half supernatural? Either way it wasn't a particularly enjoyable experience.
Was this review helpful?
I was intrigued by both the title (I wish NetGalley offered that as a reason for choosing to request an ARC!) and the premise. And this was an interesting read. But the plotting was uneven, and ultimately the story fell a bit flat.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to enjoy this book. I have read the author before and I thought ok, lets give this a go. My biggest complaint is that the character development or lack thereof really caused the book to sink in my eyes. I just felt blah and I wanted more. The mystery was practically non existent and although it was there, it could have easily been missed. I wish everything would have been fleshed out a bit more. I think I would have enjoyed this story more if that was the case. 

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review.
Was this review helpful?
Nijkamp captures Corey’s teen voice perfectly.  The narrative is indicative of the age as it fluctuates between dramatic outtakes and rambling narcissistic monologues; creating at times a sense of disconnect. She is understandably confused by the cold reception she receives when she arrives back in Lost. Unfortunately for us, we never get a true sense of anyone beyond Corey so we also remain in the dark. We are told she is now considered an outsider but not why; she’s only been away seven months. This lack of follow-through repeats throughout the book.

 it’s easy to predict what happened and why. Nijkamp captures the town’s xenophobia and selfishness perfectly, though the catalyst that brings it into the open felt manipulative and added an element to the story that didn’t work for me. As we reach the end, we realize there was no great mystery involved here but rather a sad story of a town that chose to sacrifice one of its own to ensure its survival.

Before I Let Go has a strange appeal to it despite the lack of direction, characterization, and her attempts to incorporate multiple tropes which leaves her writing vulnerable and weakens the storyline.
Was this review helpful?
A profound and moving tale of friendship.

I wasn't 100% sold on some of the themes BUT I devoured this book!

An air of mystery and searching for the truth mixed in with grief.

ACE!
Was this review helpful?
The blurb caught my attention and made me want to read. I requested the book and when the release day came and went, my request was still pending, So with that being said I borrowed the book from my local library and it ended up not being my cup of tea and I ended up dnfing the book. Several months later my request was approved and I downloaded the book by accident. I don't want to use the not giving feedback feature due to the fact that the request was approved several months later and by that time I got the book from the library like a true book worm. I only rated the book 3 stars because I have to choose a rating. I personally don't like to rate a DNF since I didn't read the whole book. Thank you for the approval anyway.
Was this review helpful?
My student read this book.  She liked it, but wasn't a huge fan of it. she did read the entire book, but she just didn't like it that much.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley and SourceFire books for the chance to read this novel. 
I'm only sorry I couldn't leave a positive review.


I had to finish reading Before I Let Go simply because I couldn't believe someone could intentionally write a book this poor. This book was so bad, I considered enlisting my husband to write my review for me because his brand of honesty is far more hilarious than mine. To be fair, this book did not start out horribly, otherwise, I would not have finished reading. The first half of the story kept my interest with an overall eerie feel and mystery I was anxious to solve. I also love a well-done Alaskan setting, as it can contribute to a unique story. Unfortunately, as the plot progressed, I was still scratching my head. It seemed like the author got lost in the woods with her characters and completely forgot the point of the book she set out to write.

Not only were the events in the story unbelievable, but they were not even remotely fleshed out. After finishing, I can't wrap my head around the numerous plot holes and nonsensical storyline. 

-What was the story about? I'm really not sure.
-What was the purpose of the characters? Haven't a clue.
-Did the characters achieve anything? Not even remotely.

Just as a reader might begin to expect the story to get interesting, they will be let down, receiving more questions and about a paragraph of actual action. I was disappointed with the constant repetition of certain points, "The town changed. The people changed." Still, I don't know why these changes occurred and it annoys me. The flashbacks, meant to give insight to the reader, and one of the most important points of the story were confusing and poorly done. I do believe the author has potential and is able to write beautiful imagery, but her plotting, at least in this book, needs clear direction. I hate to say this about a book, but Before I Let Go was utter rubbish and literally one of the worst books I have ever finished. Before you pick it up, just Let Go.
Was this review helpful?
This is a very strange and creepy thriller that is sure to keep your attention. A thoroughly enjoyable story that most would enjoy!
Was this review helpful?
I had read Nijkamp before and liked her writing style so I was excited to read this one. She is brilliant in the way she hooks the reader into the story. This was a tale of two best friends, but one moves away and then must come back to the town of "Lost." I'd heard the saying one never truly returns home, and man does this book make me believe it's true. It's suspenseful and well-written, but for me the ending wasn't satisfying. It left more to be desired. 
Thank you to Netgalley for my copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Definitely an interesting read, but one that i had high expectations for after seeing so many glowing reviews. I definitely enjoyed it, though not as much as some other reviewers.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoy YA literature and this book seemed different from any other YA I've read. Sadly the differences just didn't work for me and left me more confused than anything. 

The story is about Kyra and Corey, best friends who live in Alaska. Corey moves away and several months later returns to Alaska when she learns that Kyra has died and they think it was suicide. The narrative is told in back and forth chapters and while both the girls' characters were very well drawn, the rest of the characters fell flat for me and didn't seem at all believable. 

I felt that the information related to the girls' sexuality was just thrown in and didn't truly have a reason for being there. There were a lot of points in the book that were hard for me to believe or that felt thrown in "just because".

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This novel was beautifully written although I could not really connect with this book.

Did not care for any of the characters or the style in which it was written.  I felt as though things did not quite fit....
Was this review helpful?
I thought that this book was a brilliant mystery, it was gripping and also full of twists and turns. I did find it to be very creepy, especially towards the end but I thought that it explored some really interesting issues regarding mental health and the conspiracy of silence in a small town. I was somewhat put off by the revelation of the true relationship of the main characters but only because I had some confusion in the beginning and I thought that the two characters had a very strange relationship. Overall, very thrilling.
Was this review helpful?