Before I Let Go by Marieke Niejkamp
Expected Publication: January 23rd 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire
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…
Note: I received an ARC of this via Netgalley. This in no way influences my opinion.
I have extremely mixed opinions about this book. I felt constantly compelled to carry on reading, but at the same time, I was left with more questions than answers and I often felt like the book didn’t flow as well as it could have done. The book felt choppy and I feel like things could have been explained a little better.
One of the things I both liked and disliked about the book was the flashbacks. It often went back in time and then came back to present day etc. Whilst I usually like this style of writing when used well, I don’t feel like it added anything extra to the story. It gave us snippets of the past between the two characters, but I don’t feel like it was entirely useful in understanding what happened. If it had been used better and given us more of an insight, rather than the snippets we were given, I feel like it could have really helped the readers and we could’ve gotten a better idea of the bigger picture.
Another issue I had with this book was the fact that I didn’t feel that much empathy for the characters. I feel like the chopping and changing between past and present stopped me from really connecting to the characters. Also, the author used a variety of different minority groups, to the point where I felt like she was using them to try and be different rather than actually representing them as they are. Corey was Asexual whilst Kyra was pansexual and bipolar at the same time. Whilst the bipolar was represented (as far as I know – I don’t understand a lot about the disorder, but some), I feel like it could have been represented more, rather than becoming the side issue. What I did like was the fact that no one really understood Kyra or what she was going through. I feel like this is so true to society because a lot of people misunderstand illnesses such as these and that leads to the sufferers feeling lonely and like an outsider – which is exactly what Kyra was feeling.
What I did like about this book was the creep factor. The town, the people and history of Lost Creek was completely eerie and it definitely had me wanting more. I had to know what was going to happen next and where it was going to go. I loved the spa and the feeling of abandonment that it had because I feel like it added something to the state of mind Kyra had before her death. The people were also completely creepy. I can definitely understand how the two MC’s felt like outsiders because it was a completely close knit community with secrets.
Another issue I had with this book was the ending. I felt like I had more questions about the characters and the events that led up to Kyra’s death than I did answers. There was some issues with the plot that confused me and which were never actually addressed. I also felt like the ending was a bit anti climatic considering the things that had happened before hand – I almost felt like there was something/a certain event that was missing that I would have liked to have seen, but it never happened. (I don’t want to say too much because spoilers).
All in all, I have completely mixed reviews about this book. I felt completely hooked by it and I had to know what was going to happen next, but at the same time I feel like it had its issues and could have been better. This book definitely has a lot of potential! Also, I just want to mention that I absolutely love the cover! I gave this book 3.5/5 stars.