Before I Let Go

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

This book was engaging and well written.
I think the kids at school will really enjoy it
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I wasn't sure what to expect with a Dutch writer writing about my unique home state, but Before I Let Go was an emotional, lyrical exploration of community, loss and storytelling.
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The story had me hooked right from the start. Nothing like short chapters to propel the reader forward. Unfortunately, the characters did not have much depth which made it hard to care about what was happening to them.
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Before I Let Go, the new book by Marieke Nijkamp due out in January 2018 (who also penned the best seller This is Where it Ends which is on my tbr list) was a strange and emotional book. It wasn’t quite a thriller but there was intrigue and danger and maybe a touch of super natural, or maybe just plain crazy, I don’t know, but it really worked well for this you d adult story.


I usually don’t like when a storyline bounces back and forth between past and present but it was executed well with this book and did not confuse at all as the main character gave us flashes of the past she had with her friend that tied in with the present moment.
One thing I had trouble with was the sheer repetitiveness of Corey’s conversations. Though I am unclear whether  or not that was intentional to add to the crazy or just the pressures of making a deadline.

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To Corey, Lost Creek Alaska was her home until her mother uprooted her and moved to Winnipeg leaving everything she knew behind including her best friend. With promises to write and plans to visit she gets on a plane and watches as Kyra fades into the distance.

wp-1506135515743.jpgSeven months later and Corey has planned to visit Lost for her holiday break but a mere week before she is to go she gets a call that breaks her heart. Kyra is dead. Corey takes her trip early to say her final goodbye to the friend that was supposed to be waiting for her.


Things in Lost are almost nothing like they were less than a year ago. The citizens of the town are acting strange and she wonders about the circumstances of her friends death. As she tries to find the answers she desperately needs she quickly finds herself an outsider in the place she used to call home. Lost doesn’t like outsiders and as a result Corey no longer feels safe. Can she find the answers she seeks before she leaves Lost? Or will the secrets of this town take her down like they did Kyra?


All in all it was a good book. Did I love it? No. But it did make me feel and it was well written, interesting and good. I felt sorry for the main character and heartbroken for her and her bestie. If that ever happened to me and mine I would be forever crushed.


I would definitely recommend this to my fellow YA readers. My booklings, please, give this book a chance and let it settle in your mind and heart and see how you feel yourself.

I give it a resounding 3.5 stars out of five.


I received this book from Netgalley for a fair and honest review.
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This book was just okay. I didn't find it captivating or entertaining. I actually put it down to read two other books, but eventually finished it just to see if it had any redeeming qualities. If you read the book jacket, then you've basically read the book. The question, "what happened to Kyra," is eventually answered, but only after you've read over and over that she was bipolar and painted when she was manic. Kyra didn't fit in with her small town, the town people were weird, and she died. Basically, that's the story, and you can read all of that within the first few pages. I despise repetition and that's what 80 percent of the book is. I would not recommend this book.
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Very lyrical story about a girl who returns to her remote Alaskan hometown to say goodbye to her best friend, who recently committed suicide.  Loved the writing in this, but there's a lot that's left unexplained and the story delves into being predictable.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading this.
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The setting of the novel works and it is pretty much a fish out of water narrative as the character finds themselves in a small town of Lost Creek in Alaska.  It has an interesting premise but at times the narration feels a bit forced and at times it is a story about nothingness and how it is hard to fit into a small town that is very closed knit.  Though at times, it is interesting there are other times where I felt the story didn’t quite accomplish what it was setting out to do. 
There is a psychiatric development in the story that doesn’t always ring true.  I do have to say that Nijamp does create a mystery story and there is the overall feeling of dread and loss that creeps within the narrative that is very effective.  The writing style has it’s own pacing and at times, I do feel that the average reader will need a little patience to work through the novel. 
The ending is a bit forced and doesn’t really have the pay off that you would hope would be a satisfying conclusion but it was a bit flat.  Overall, it is very well written and feel that there is a definite audience out there for this but it is a book that is not for everyone.  If you like a book that is full of atmosphere and an exotic location where you fill in the blanks yourself, then you really can’t do no wrong with this novel.
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There's not a lot I can say here except I struggled to get into this book and found the characters to be under developed. I didn't particularly feel the depiction of mental illness was handled very well.
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The atmospheric language of this novel directly transports you to the remote Alaskan township of Lost Creek. I found this novel weird and creepy, but in the best possible way.  Whilst many questions are left unanswered at the end of the book, the author's writing skill keep you engaged and guessing until the very end.
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I really struggled with this book, I found it so slow nothing seemed to happen. I found Corey repetitive and really quite selfish, this book had so much potential but I was left finishing it with lots of unanswered questions and feeling generally quite confused.
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When I requested this ARC, I didn't realize it was written by the same author as This Is Where It Ends -- though I should have guessed based on the cover. I enjoyed the book and it kept me engaged, but whole time I was reading, I was waiting for a twist that never fully materialized. The end was a bit thin and unsatisfying.
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Story felt a bit disjointed to me. Enjoyed the writing and short chapters though. Strange people in a strange town = strange story. Unfortunately, this book was not for me - perhaps meant for a much younger audience.

Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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I really wanted to like this book but it dragged on at times.  It had potential but too much narrative and not enough action.
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Unfortunately, this book was not a good fit for me, and I am declining to review it. I loved the author's first book, but I didn't click well with this one. I'm still looking forward to seeing what else the author writes. Thank you for the approval.
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So this was a pretty quick read, but it almost pained me to continue reading. It was almost a "lost interest" or "did not finish" - but I pushed through because I was hoping there would be some sort of an ending to this mystery that made the journey less boring. Alas, I was disappointed.

Before I Let Go is the story of Corey, a girl who returns to her hometown of "Lost" after finding out that her best friend Kyra has died. Once there, Corey strives to find out how exactly Kyra died, and is met with all sorts of mystery and road blocks. 

The story revolves around Kyra and her bipolar disorder and the stigmas surrounding it. The setting is pretty cool - it's a very small ghost like town in snowy Alaska, where there are auroras and old hot springs. Half of the book revolves around "outsiders" of this town, and turns the townspeople into some sort of cult that worships the girl who they once ignored. As Corey gets to the bottom of the so called "mystery", you have to sit through a bunch of repetitive, flowery nonsense about storytelling, being an outsider... being "Lost" - ha, cause that's the town name... big mystery. There is a whole lot of build up - like 300 pages worth - with seemingly only like 2 characters (and one is dead). And then when you get to the climax of the story, it's like 3 pages and doesn't even have and end result. I was hoping that this story would go somewhere, but it really seemed like more of an attempt at flowery words, emotions, and trying to make something into a literary work of art.. something that just ended up being a whole bunch of words with no meaning. 

If you want to read through 300 something pages of thrilling literature, you're not going to find it in this book. I was never at the edge of my seat, and I never really got a supposed resolution. Maybe someone else can read more into the fluff and see that as art instead of the half-plot, but I just couldn't.

I received an ARC of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcefire Books for giving me an advanced e-copy of this book. 

Months after leaving for boarding school, Corey finds out her best friend Kyra has died. She has drowned below the thick ice in their home town of Lost Creek Alaska. 

When home everyone keeps telling Corey that Kyra, who for years was ignored and treated poorly by the town, was "burned out" and "knew she had to die", but "important to the town". Confused by this, Corey sets off to find out what really happened to Kyra. 

I enjoyed this book, just not as much as other thrillers. The premise was a great idea, and it was executed fine. But I think there definitely could have been more depth brought to the characters of the town. The creepiness factor was there, but I think it could have been taken up a notch. 

Though I gave this three stars, I would still recommend to others. I know other people who would enjoy this the same, if not more, than me!
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Before I let go

This book had a haunting air to it. I enjoyed that feeling the writer evoked to the reader as it made the story more mysterious. 

Corey and Kyra are best friends or used to be until distance pulled them apart. Days before Corey is to return home to the frozen town of Lost Creek, Alaska, to visit her best friend, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated of course, but she is also confused. The entire tight knit Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town's lost resident. They are saying her death was meant to be. And now they push Corey away like she's a stranger. Corey was one of them until she fairly recently moved away. Why do they turn their back on her and Kyra?

Corey knows something is wrong. The residents of Lost are keeping secrets, chilling secrets. Corey decides to stay in Lost to piece together the truth about what really happened to her best friend. This process proves to be intricate, complicated and a dangerous proposition for young Corey.
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This book almost tore out my heart. The subject matter is intense and holds a personal place in my life, this made the book all that more important for me to read. I was riveted from the first page and the more I read the deeper I was drawn in. The author's descriptions of Kyra made this book even more intense. There were self questions that you find yourself asking as you read, and then you find the answers and gasp out loud. Thank you NetGalley and Marieke Nijkamp for allowing me to read this ARC and write a honest review.
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Corey's best friend is dead. Don't worry, that's not a spoiler. Instead of going back to a tiny town in Alaska to visit her best friend, Corey has to return for Kyra's funeral. This is where things start to get weird. Prior to Kyra's death, the townspeople wanted nothing to do with her after she is diagnosed with a mental illness. Corey moves to Canada (where she attends boarding school?--is this really a thing anymore????). Upon Corey's return, Kyra has practically been raised to sainthood by the townspeople who will only talk about her death and how it was "meant to be". 

Obviously suspicious, Corey begins to delve into the circumstances around Kyra's death but is met with resistance at every side because she is now an outsider (even though she was raised there--and really, the only thing this plot point was missing to really drive it home was a horde of townspeople standing around pointing and shrieking "INTERLOPER".) 

As Corey digs deeper, it becomes apparent that the town has SECRETS about THINGS and Corey quickly realizes that the town is desperate to protect their secrets, no matter the cost. 

This was a pretty enjoyable read, but after awhile I found myself rolling my eyes every time someone reminded Corey she wasn't one of them anymore (it happens a lot). The book did have a pretty interesting twist that I didn't totally see coming, and for the presentation of both asexuality and mental illness in a way that didn't feel terribly forced (but also wasn't super positive), I'd give this book 3 stars and probably an addition to my purchasing list.
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Just like Kyra, the reader can see the future of this story. Too much narrative. Too much regret. Not enough action. A much stronger story would have emerged if the narrative was focused and if the letters served to tell the tale.
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