Before I Let Go
by Marieke Nijkamp
My rating: 3 stars
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (January 2, 2018)
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Genre: YA | Depression
Print Length: 372 pages
Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.
Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, 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. With every hour, her suspicion grows. 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...
Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp
She moved away from the small Alaskan town that was home and left behind her best friend. Corey had good intentions, she never planned on ignoring Kyra’s attempts to say in contact. She never meant to turn her back on the lonely, tormented girl the town feared, the girl who suffered from mental illness. Now she is back, because Kyra is dead and no one will tell her what really happened, yet the town has changed. They are almost cult-like in their worship of Kyra’s visionary art, the paintings she only did as a release from her pain. What happened in the year she was gone? What guilt does Corey feel? What is the town covering up? Who is trying to kill Corey to keep their secrets safe?
BEFORE I LET GO by Marieke Nijkamp is a very dark tale told with an almost dreamlike quality, edges blurred, details not quite clear, always with something not quite known. One thing is clear, there is something wrong with the town, something wrong with the secrets they collectively keep and something wrong with how they changed toward Kyra, but we only get shards of the truth, shards of the rest of the story. There is no resolution, no “justice,” if you will.
There is definitely pain, tons of guilt, darkness and intrigue, as well as the intense feeling of “wrongness” that seems will never be answered, which made it difficult for me to connect with both the story and the characters. I was left unsettled and feeling I missed something. There is no healthy acceptance of mental illness and no message of hope directed at the young, impressionable audience this emotional tale is directed at.
I received a complimentary ARC edition from Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for my voluntary review.