Title: Before I Let Go
Author: Marieke Nyjkamp
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: January 23rd, 2018
Days before Corey is to return home to the snow and ice of Lost Creek, Alaska, to visit her best friend, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.
Corey knows something is wrong. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…
“Death is a thief. It slips into our lives and steals what we care about most. It breaks us, and even when we piece ourselves together again, the pain remains.”
I feel this is going to be a tough review to write, but I still wanted to talk about this book more since it was one of my most anticipated books of next year. If you’ve been following me for a while, you may or may not know that I’m a huge fan of mysteries and thrillers, and this premise totally caught my attention when I first read it, because it seemed like a perfect read for winter, with the setting and everything. So I have to thank the publisher for giving me an ARC of this book, because I was beyond excited to pick it up after that.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t really enjoy the novel as much as I thought I would. I didn’t particulary like the plot development or the characters, and once I started reading the story, there wasn’t much of a mystery to me, despite being labeled as one.
“Stories remind me of heros and possibilities. Stories remind me that I’m not the only one to deal with this. Stories make me feel less alone.”
I think my main problem was regarding the pacing of the story and the whole plot. It wasn’t a long book by any means, and I felt I was reading the same thing over and over again. Yes, it started as a kind of a mystery, with our main character’s best friend’s death, but nothing was really happening, and all that was going on was quite repetitive, and I couldn’t grasp anything important that added content to the story.
The main focus of the book was Kyra, and you could really tell that. Everything was about her, and I think I didn’t connect with the protagonist or other characters because that very reason. All Corey could think about in the book was Kyra, and she only talked about her throughout the entire book. And I feel we only knew the same things because they didn’t discuss anything more, and if they did it wasn’t until the second half or the end of the book ’til they did, which again made the novel quite repetitive and slow.
I think the character I liked the most was Kyra, and I’m still not sure if it was because we knew that much about her because of Corey or because something else, but she was the most interesting one in the story. However, I didn’t like how the author portrayed her mental illness, and I definitely hated some things that happened in the story regarding that.
“They’d come for new opportunity, but they found that winter is not malleable, and frost settles too. And no matter how hard they tried, they could not escape being lost.”
The story also has flashbacks, and you know I usually love them but in this story they were a bit confusing, in my opinion. Sometimes I didn’t know if what I was reading had already happened or not, and some of the things didn’t add that much to the story.
And oh, that ending. I want to keep this review spoiler free since this book hasn’t come out yet, but ugh, I’m still pissed by those lasts scenes. I found everything quite predictable, because this story wasn’t really a mystery to me, and I feel the author foreshadowed everything since the beginning, but I’m still salty with a scene regarding our main character’s life that happened in the very end of the story. And I didn’t like how it was solved.
So yeah, overall even though the premise sounded amazing and I had high hopes, it ended up disappointing me, because there really wasn’t a mystery and the whole story was a bit plain.
I recieved an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
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