Before I Let Go

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

I quite enjoyed ‘Before I let Go’, a story of mental illness and small town mentality, told in the first person by 17 year old Corey Johnson. The story is set in Lost Creek, a small town in Alaska, where outsiders are shunned. 
Corey is best friends with Kyra. Kyra suffers from bipolar and even though she has spent her whole life in Lost Creek this close-knit closed community rejects her. They don’t have time for someone who has episodes of depression and rage. Episodes that ruffle the town.
Corey’s family move from the town and she vows to Kyra that she will return but something happens before she can return to the town and Kyra is found dead. Corey returns for the funeral but Lost Creek has changed and she is viewed with suspicion.

The story had a great mystery and an eerie feel in this cold Alaskan town on the edge of the woods, where the skies are always dark.
I loved the supernatural element and there were a few moments of real suspense.
My only complaint is the story kept going back in time to show the relationship between Corey and Kyra and how Kyra’s illness affected her and these chapters started to become too repetitious in their content.

Before I Let Go is an eerie story about a small community and the lengths it will go to to protect itself.

*I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley
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This book was a good, fast read with relatable characters and a fair amount of suspense.  But the real hook in the book for me was the stunning setting and Nijkamp's descriptions of the Alaskan tundra.  I am always looking for book for my reluctant-reader teen.  this might be one she would actually enjoy!
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I loved this. 

I was utterly lost in it. It is not an action based novel but it’s a beautiful and compelling work of characterisation. 


I realise this isn’t a helpful review but I don’t want to spoil it. Go. Now. Buy. Read.
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Thank you NetGalley for this opportunity to read this book. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get into it and DNF
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I went into this knowing the basics. But enough that I was intrigued. I wanted to know was Kyra's death more suspicious than the town let on. 
Although I was getting through this quick enough I still felt something was missing. I was struggling to connect with the characters. 
By halfway I was more interest. I felt so sorry for Kyra. I just wanted to protect her. Take her away from that town.
This is such a heartbreaking story. Discovering how Kyra felt and how she was treated by an entire town of people. 
The whole town filled with delusional people who never cared for a girl who needed help, needed someone to love her and put her needs first. Instead of treating her the way they did. 
Kyra deserved better. 

The writing threw me off at times. I liked the diary entries and the letters. Adding Kyra's voice was an important part of this. But the random parts what were like someone describing a scene (idk how to really describe what the chapters were) but those pages just did nothing for me. I don't think it added anything. 

I will be checking out future work by Marieke. She discusses such important topics. I'm interested in what she discusses next.
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Corey and her best friend Kyra grew up together in the small town of Lost Creek, Alaska. After Kyra was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the citizens of Lost Creek began to fear her and believed she was dangerous. When her family moved away from Lost Creek, Corey promised she would keep in touch and be there for her friend. Seven months later, after failing to keep her promise, Corey found out that Kyra died of suicide. Corey returned to Lost Creek to get answers on what had happened to her best friend. 

Corey knew that Kyra was more than her bipolar diagnosis, but the rest of Lost Creek did not recognize the multifaceted aspects of Kyra's personality. Therefore, Kyra's bipolar disorder was a defining characteristic of her in this book. While I cannot comment on the novel's representation of bipolar disorder, the way the town treated Kyra's bipolar disorder was creepy, cultish, and deeply unsettling. 

Books with asexual representation are hard to find, so I was looking forward to reading a book with an asexual protagonist. But sadly, there was no asexual representation because Nijkamp conflated asexual and aromantic orientations. I am not saying that Corey is not also asexual, but she was clearly aromantic, which was never mentioned by name in the book. Overall, I am giving this book 1 star.
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An interesting story that has a beautiful setting. Overall this was a good read but there were some parts that weren't to my taste. I felt that the story was a bit predictable and sometimes the characters were a little irritating. Towards the middle of the book I found that I was gathering momentum with my reading it just took a little while to get into.
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Unfortunately I didn't finish this book, as I couldn't get into it - nothing against the author or book, just not to my personal taste. Thank you for the opportunity to read it.
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This book was fantastic! I felt like I never truly knew what was going on or what was going to happen as the story continued and this was a great thing. Too often I find myself guessing how a book ends or figuring out what happens without meaning to, but this book wasn't easy to figure out and definitely had me sympathizing with the characters and the situations they found themselves in.

Their friendship, which seemed so solid at first, started to unravel and the back and forth of each chapter let loose the knowledge that both girls had their different faults and that they weren't the perfect pair of friends that Corey thought they were. She thought she knew Kyra but the people of Lost are determined to prove to her that maybe she didn't.

The twists and turns in the book are great and I truly loved it.
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I read the first book this author published and wasn't very impressed. My job is to pick out young adult books to feature in our store during the holiday season so I thought I would give her another chance. Glad I did!

This should fly off the shelves at Christmas and I can't wait until my teenagers come in to tell me how much they loved it!
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A little strange and hard to follow but I didn’t hate it. I liked that it had a little creepiness added to it. I also appreciate that appreciate that it emphasized mental health issues. I did enjoy “This is Where it Ends” much more though.
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First off are my apologies for not sending my review much sooner. This was a read in one sitting for me. Loved the story of the two girls and the slow reveal of what was happening in that town. Made for a compelling read that I highly recommend for students to read.
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This was just my least favorite trope of a book where someone goes back to their small home town after a death of a mentally ill person they were close to. I really don't think I can verbalize my own distaste for books like this in a way that doesn't make me sound defensive and angry about my own mental illness. It feel pretty complex to talk about because everyone's experience of mental illness is unique and can vary but just like I'm trying to be in a good place and I didn't really want this shit on my mind again you know? Like sometimes getting better means getting some distance and I think it was just off timing for me to pick this up at this moment. I'm not sure if it's just me being in a place where I would be irritated by a book like this or if other people also found the book to be lacking. Like just how many of these books can one read with over the top exaggerated portrayals of mentally ill people, and like extra points for entangling the persons mental illness with some mysticism. I think this one is just on me for not reading the summary/blurb before picking a book up. I also think I would've been more forgiving of the book if I thought the writing was better or if the plot line felt more engaging. I also just found it so hard to believe that like high school students would be allowed to be running around in the Alaskan wilderness the way it seemed like Corey and Kyra were. I also just lacked any feeling towards any of the characters. I didn't care what was happening to any of them and they just all felt like they lacked depth. Anyway this one was just not for me.
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While Nijkamp delivered a well-written novel, I do think that the characters could have bene developed a bit better. I could not invest myself in them. Characters are a major component that I don't think these really reached.
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This is a book that has been on my Netgalley shelf for the longest time so I was determined that I was going to pick up and begin reading this book. This was a bit of a mix book for me, it had so many things which I thought would suck me in immediately but it sort of just fell a bit short, while a good read it didn’t have that extra factor to keep me interested and determined to find out what happened. After a while with nothing really getting resolved it all sort of felt a bit meh. I’m not sure if I just couldn’t quite connect with the characters or if I just wasn’t really believing the mystery that was going on.

Now this wasn’t a book that I ever thought, do I really want to finish this book, it just wasn’t one that I was excited to get back to reading. I did really enjoy the writing itself as some of the descriptions were fantastic and the feeling of eeriness was definitely conveyed through the pages. Unfortunately, it just fell a little short for me.
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Was able to finally get around to reading this one, even though my NetGalley copy was lost on my old kindle.

This was a solid 3.5-4 out of 5 for me. I feel like everyone was raving about this when it first came out, and maybe I would have felt the same if I was able to read it sooner. I still very much enjoyed this but I think since I let the hype settle, I went into it more critically.

I'd still recommend this to a friend.
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Before I Let Go is a good read.  It hooked me and I didn't want to put it down.  It's an interesting read that at points had me wondering actually what was going on in Lost Creek.   Corey and Kyra were best friends.    Corey moves away and doesn't kept great touch with Kyra but she plans to go back and visit.  Before Corey gets back to Lost Creek, Kyra passes away.    Before Corey left Kyra was an outcast in town but when Corey returns to Lost Creek everybody has changed.  There are weird things going on in Lost Creek.  Corey is not one to sit back and she tries to figure out what's going on.   I really liked Corey.   There were points I wondered of Corey would make it out of Lost Creek.  I liked this one but would have liked a little more at the end.
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This was an odd one- I’m not sure that I enjoyed this novel but I also didn’t dislike it. It’s a little slow, and a little weird, and has so many TWs I’m not sure I can list them. 

It’s a good novel with an interesting premise and a peculiar plot that ought to have grabbed me but it all felt a little bland. A shame.
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I’m looking at this book through a different lens than most of the people reviewing, I think. I didn’t see this book as a thriller or suspense (which is one of my fav genres) but as a book focused on the battle of mental wellness and trying to make sense of the non-sensical. 

I’m always hesitant to read books with mental health rep and only read ones by authors I trust. I trust Marieke because of her own experiences and the fact that This is Where It Ends nearly broke me. 

I interpreted the story as a look at how the world (or a small community) sees a person with mental health concerns...not a sum of their parts but defined by one piece of them (see: allegory with art). I saw a close friend try to make sense of suicide and other’s grief processes. 

This book is dark and deep (but hello, did you read her debut? You should expect this). I’m still mulling it over in my mind.
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I did enjoy this book but in some places it was a little slow. Overall it was a good story.
Thank you NetGalley for providing this book!
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