Before I Let Go

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

This...didn't hit the mark for me. I wanted more mystery and intrigue, but it seemed to lean on the romantic and personality aspects of the characters, too often.
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I did enjoy the writing style. I feel Nijkamp has a prose that is easy to fall into and engage with. Though her plotting may not be a favorite of mine, I enjoyed her ability to keep me interested in the story and effortlessly continue reading. The story is somewhat of a mystery, yet the resolutions are revealed extremely slowly to the point where the mystery lacked suspense. Though I enjoyed the story overall, I felt a little unsatisfied by the plot.

I feel one of my favorite parts was the setting. From a New Yorker’s perspective, an extremely small town in Alaska is drastically different from my experience which is possibly what made it so intriguing. I’m typically not interested in small-town stories but the dynamic of this community is so WEIRD that I didn’t have a my usual experience while reading. I don’t even know how to describe this town. They are so creepy and almost cult-like to a point where it feels supernatural, even though it is a contemporary novel. Their perspective on Kyra and her death was almost “brainwashed-like” and totally inexplicable, which made it all the more intriguing for me. I thoroughly enjoyed trying to analyze the community’s mindset while reading, attempting to understand where their thoughts are rooted and why despite that we don’t get many concrete answers. In that respect, I found the setting very unique.
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The book evolves around Corey and Kyra living in a small community in Alaska. Corey moves away but returns when her friend commits sucide. The town do not welcome Corey's return and as she tries to find the truth about what has happened to her friend the more she finds she is being pushed away. This is a beautifully written book, it pulls on the strenght of friendship and how a small commmunity becomes lost at trying to understand about mental healh issues. I read this book in 24 hours I found it fascinating and gripping would really recommend.
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Before I Let Go is a young adult novel by Marieke Nijkamp. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I enjoyed reading her first book, This Is Where It Ends. 

Corey grew up in a small town in rural Alaska. Really small. As in, 246 people. She and her family moved away, but she has planed to go back and see her best friend Kyra. Two days before Corey’s arrival, Kyra is found dead, and everyone seems convinced that it was a suicide because of Kyra’s mental health diagnoses. 

Corey is naturally shocked and confused, and decided to proceed with her visit anyway so that she can attend Kyra’s memorial service. Even though she has only been away from Lost Creek a short time, so much has changed. Kyra feels like a stranger in her old home. 

When she tries to ask questions, she is shut down. The kids who shunned Kyra act like she was a valued member of the community. There’s a lot of muttering about fulfilling prophecies. Corey senses danger, but there is no way for her to leave; she’s quite literally trapped in Lost Creek. 

The story unfolds through conventional narrative: both from present-day and flashbacks. There are also fragments of letters that Kyra wrote to Corey and never sent. Finally, some of the story unfolds via scripted vignettes that look like a screenplay. I found myself slightly confused by this last format; it didn’t mesh as well with the rest of the novel as the other mediums.   

I liked this book. Nijkamp does an excellent job of creating a suspenseful ambience. Hints are dropped like breadcrumbs, and everything seems innocuous at first, but the feeling of dread creeps up slowly. I feel like the Big Reveal was not what I expected it to be after the masterful buildup leading up to it. I was left with so many questions about characters’ motivations that were left unanswered. 

I would recommend Before I Let Go. This book will appeal to the target demographic of young adult readers. This is a compelling thriller, and I found myself reading quickly to find out what was going to happen next. I am already looking forward to Nijkamp’s next book!    


I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
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This is a quirky, weird book that doesn't really go anywhere or have much of a point but yet somehow manages to be entertaining and intriguing at the same time. 

Corey returns home to the small Alaskan town of Lost after her best friend dies in suspicious circumstances. Was it an accident? Suicide? Murder? Having been away for a mere few months, Corey finds herself viewed as an outsider, making her quest to discover what happened all the more difficult.

I don't know that this works as a YA. I'm not convinced it would engage that demographic despite passing references to pansexuality, asexuality and homosexuality, all of which seem to have been shoved in because that's a trope of the genre rather than because the story needed them. Still, I enjoyed it and even if you don't, it's a very short read.
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Kyra and Corey have been best friends forever. But Kyra is different in their tiny little town of Lost, Alaska. She's shunned her entire life for those differences by most people, her days and nights on end without sleeping, her wanderings that have her parents and others searching for her for days, her deep depressions. Kyra is bipolar. And not even her closest friend fully understands what she is going through. Medications don't work, therapy doesn't work. Corey's family moves to Canada and a promise is made that she will return to Kyra as soon as possible. But her new school and life keep her from writing back to her friend and before years end she receives a call telling her that Kyra has fallen through the ice and drowned. Corey, heartbroken, returns for her memorial service to find Kyra's paintings throughout the town, paintings that appear to foretell what is to come there, even her own death. And the town that shunned her now revering her and pushing Corey away as an outsider. Corey knows that something is terribly wrong here.....and that the Kyra they are describing is not the Kyra that was. As she seeks the truth, even Kyra's parents turn against her and its clear that her own life is at risk as she awaits the day of her departure. 
Kyra's fantastic and painful experiences and thoughts as a young woman struggling with bipolar disorder are both beautifully written and heartbreakingly felt. Highly recommend!
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I read Marieke Nijikamp's previous book and loved it, so I was excited to be approved for this title too. This story was so intriguing and fun to read. I read it very quickly and was fully immersed in the storyline. I knocked a star off for the ending. It could have been more in depth, resolving, and descriptive. Overall, I highly recommend.
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When I bought a house, I chose a small town, almost like Lost Creek - a town where everyone knows their neighbours, where you can run across the dirt road if you run out sugar in your recipe, and where the sense of “community” is so thick that you can feel it when your car rolls in the mostly deserted streets. It is comforting perhaps, but it’s also suffocating at times, and that’s the atmosphere that surrounds this book. That sense of foreboding, of being watched, feels so real in this novel that it almost made me look over my shoulder as I read it.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Sourcebooks Fire, but I had already gotten it from my local library a few months ago. I had tagged this book as a 3 star read on Goodreads. The book gave me chills throughout due to the sentiment mentioned above, but that's pretty much the only thing that remained with me. It was a decent read, but if I had to recommend a book from this author, it would be "This Is Where it Ends". The plot, while intriguing, left me a bit cold at the end, and the characters weren't as memorable as those in the author's other book.
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I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley. This book had me from the very beginning. I love that it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I would highly recommend this book to my fellow readers. Thank you for the chance to review this book!!!!
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It was a bit interesting at the beginning because it was setting the atmosphere and the pace of this mystery type book. That turns out to be a lot of talk but not much action or mystery.  It was very easy to read but very predictable and boring, I got kind of confused by the time line, because it shift between past and present more often than was necessary, I was t particularly hooked in the story or the characters.  Which I felt didn't really develop. I like the subjects that touched, I mean the gender and the mental illnesses was a good idea but it didn't really develop much, I felt it promise a lot but fell short for me. 

So I didn't like it much.
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I really felt that this book had potential, but unfortunately it fell short for me. I kept thinking that it was about to get good, or something was about to happen, and then nothing ever did. I was expecting a thriller but really didn't feel that.
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Dear Publisher,
thank you for sending me this book. I read it, but i couldn't finish it. I had high expectations from this author, and the book wasn't that bad, but in reading the story i didn't felt what i was supposed to feel. The chapters set in the present were few, most of them were set in the past or were letters or phone calls. The fact that I couldn't get to the end of the story was because indeed in the plot I didn't really felt like an attraction to the story. I hate to use this adjective with books, but most of the time, for me, it was boring. I couldn't get to the end because I was expecting much more from this book. But maybe, who knows, one day i can even give it another shot, I really want to get to the end of Carey and Kyra's story.
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I was given an advanced copy through Netgalley for my review. I would highly recommend this book to family and friends and will buy a copy for myself.
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Before I Let Go is a book I couldn’t wait to start reading after seeing the blurb but unfortunately it fell very short of my expectations.
The story is told from Corey’s viewpoint but I didn’t really get a grip on who she really was I know she came back to Lost Creek as her best friend had died, Kyra, I also know she moved away to go to a sport school, she’s afraid of the dark, wants to be an astrologer but much more than that I do not know and this is where the story falls short. Lost Creek is a very small Alaskan village that snows a lot, again apart from that I know nothing more. Kyra could have had so much more depth to her character especially as she was a depressed individual.
The story was confusing I still don’t really understand what happened and it could have been so good. The timelines bounced around a lot the characters weren’t developed enough leading to a what the heck’s happening on every page. Unfortunately this wasn’t for me.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this ARC I received in exchange for an honest review.
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Before I Let Go is a tragic story about regret.  The characters live in a small town with unique norms that I found hard to fully understand (never having lived in a small town).  But I did relate to love, loss, regret, stereotypes, and people who see the world differently than I do.  Marieke Nijkamp is so descriptive that the reader can visualize events as they are occurring.  I highly recommend Before I let Go.
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I really enjoyed this book and the creepy vibes it gave me! The setting was really creepy and I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen! I haven't read a book by her before and this book really makes me want to read it! I appreciated that this book was able to be told in a different way but didn't make you confused with how it was told. I mean sometimes you're reading a thriller and things get so confusing you don't know what you're reading. And I everything is all over the place, but I think this book did a great job by not going down that direction, but I will say I was left with questions that I felt were never answered! I kept wanting to go on with this story, and I appreciate the author for writing a story that keeps us interested and wanting to find out more of what is happening. Overall it was a good novel! Highly recommend!
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Overall it is a good book but there are some parts that felt forced. I liked the overall theme, but as a teenager there were some parts of the dialogue that felt fake.
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I honestly don’t even know where to start with this book. I was keen to read Before I Let Go for two main reasons. The first being that it had an asexual main character, and the second being that it was a mystery/thriller. I guess I’ll address both of these aspects right now.

Corey is definitely ace – there was a chapter where she went into a little bit of depth about how she didn’t really feel attracted to people and had no interest in kissing etc. Later in the chapter, there’s a flashback where Corey and Kyra are looking up queer identities and Corey says that asexual felt right for her. Though, there’s no doubt that Corey is aromantic, as well. She talks about not ever having crushes, and not ever feeling like she could give Kyra the romantic love that Kyra felt for her. I thought it strange that Corey was able to find asexual but not aromantic when she and Kyra did their searching. However, I did find an interview with the author that does confirm that Corey is aro, and states that she’s still figuring stuff out:

    I do imagine Corey is aro as well. She's just on the cusp of figuring out her own identity though, and asexual is the first word she comes across. The first time she feels recognized. I imagine she'll go on to fine-tune it and figure out what fits her best, but she isn't quite there yet.

So this book definitely had ace rep going on but since Corey’s aro-ness was never explored – there’s not even a hint as to whether or not she’s even figuring it out or simply thinks being ace covers how she feels in both areas – I had mixed feelings.

On to the mystery/thriller aspect. Of which there was… none. So Corey flies back to her old little home town after her best friend, Kyra, dies. Corey thinks that there’s something amiss around Kyra’s death, and she’s right – there is. But we never really find out what. I’ve tagged this book as paranormal because there was this weird introduction of prophecy by painting, where everything that Kyra painted came to life. And this creepy little town made her paint everything they ever wanted. And when she started painting her own death they were just okay with it because whatever she paints has to come true.

If you’re like ??? after reading that paragraph, you should be. I read the entire book and I’m still feeling ??? about the whole thing, to be honest. There’s no hint in the blurb that this book would take a weird, magical twist and even as I was reading it I was wondering if it was really magical or if these people were making the things happen themselves and just imagining it was Kyra’s paintings making the changes. I guess that could be the point but instead of it feeling mysterious it just felt weird.

Before I Let Go is a strange book because Corey was supposed to adore Kyra but when she moved town she almost immediately cut off all contact with her. I felt like Corey’s behaviour when she came back to Lost Creek was a little sanctimonious considering that she wasn’t there for Kyra, just like the rest of the town wasn’t. So I found it a little hard to buy into Corey’s heartbreak when she was fine with Kyra not existing in her life when she was actually, you know, alive. And besides that, their relationship was just a lot of conversations about Kyra’s BPD and stars and getting out of the town. I wanted so much more from them.

All in all, Before I Let Go was not what I was expecting. The story dragged on a lot because most of the book was Corey’s internal monologue about Kyra (most of which was repetitive), the mystery aspect was incredibly weird, and even though there were discussions about mental health and not being defined by your diagnosis there was actually not much more to Kyra’s character other than her diagnosis.

© 2018, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.
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I loved this book. Creepy, atmospheric. I really enjoyed reading it, and it kept me thinking about it when I had to put it down to do things. I love the layout of the book, the short chapters, feeding the information through and then slamming you with a well put line - I would heartily recommend this to anyone. 
I read it in the height of a heatwave, and the detail and description still gave me the chills.
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Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this book. I wasn't connected to the main characters. It was very scattered, cliche, repetitive.
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