Before I let go: A Book review

Feb 25, 201933 comments

I picked Before I let go up when I was looking for another book of Marieke Nijkamp and I could not find it on the store. I read the blurb, which I rarely do, and got ready to dig into the mystery set in the obscure town near Alaska. Let us see how Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp turned into, alright?

If you like reading about mental health with diverse characters you might like Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp. Read my #review here. Click To Tweet

About the book

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp Cover

Book Name: Before I let go

Author: Marieke Nijkamp

Genre: Fiction – Drama, Young Adult

Characters: Corey, Kyra

Setting: Alaska, The USA

The plot

The story begins with Corey returning to her small town called Lost Creek,
Alaska after she heard her best friend Kyra is dead. As she tries to understand what happened to Kyra, Corey is pushed away from the very town she grew up in and lived for sixteen years. 

Kyra and Corey have been best friends since childhood. They have stood together through thick and thin, especially when Kyra was diagnosed as bipolar and the villagers started treating her differently.

But now everything appears to have changed. Everyone speaks of Kyra lovingly and treats her like someone special, now that she has gone. What happened in the past few months and how did Kyra even die? You need to read Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp to know more. 

My initial thoughts

For starters, I don’t think it was meant to be a mystery novel, thanks for nothing, Goodreads!, because there was no suspense, like at all. Somewhere in the middle of the book, we already know the ‘what, when, why and how’. The plot had a lot of things going on, but the storyline became so predictable and lacked pace. 

Well, the book talks about mental illness and the kids are sexually diverse (a pansexual and an asexual) but I can not be the judge of the realness of the representation. The atmosphere was creepy and sinister until the end, which I liked. 

Things that worked for me

  • The friendship between Kyra and Corey was strong. The whole story revolved around that instead of romance. for a change.
  • I liked the writing style and it kept me invested until the end despite the other flaws.
  • I liked the eerie setting and frankly just reading about this small town in a remote place.

Things that didn’t work for me

  • I felt the pace was so slow and it became kinda repetitive after a while. 
  • I didn’t particularly relate to any of the characters, which were bland and flat.
  • The non-lead characters seemed under developed as well.

Bottom line

Before I let go talks a lot about strong friendship in an eerie and hostile environment. If you like reading about mental health with diverse characters you might like Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp.

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Let us chat:

Would pace of the book make you like or dislike it? Have you read this one? Let us talk. 

33 Comments

  1. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

    I had all the same difficulties with this one that you did. I had trouble actually finishing it – the pace was so very slow. And while the friendship between the girls was strong – we only got the aftermath, so in a way, it felt a bit forced to me.
    Great review!

    Reply
  2. Nadene

    I don’t see myself getting into this book. The slow pacing would drive me nuts and the fact there was no mystery or suspense makes it less appealing.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I totally get it. I would have felt the same way too.

      Reply
  3. vidya

    Not sure if I will enjoy this one but the cover and title do intrigue…

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I guess that is why I picked this one up too.

      Reply
  4. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku

    Great review, Gayarthri. This is my first time checking out your blog (thanks for the connection!) and I love your book review format! This is super fun and easy to read. I appreciate that you aren’t commenting on the representation of sexual diversity as shared in this book. I find that’s often the only thing people speak about when reading books that contain diversity.

    What is the other Nijkamp book you were looking for? Did you ever find it? Will you be reading it?

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I was looking This is where it ends and I think I will give the author another try. I don’t look for forced diversity representations!

      Reply
  5. Heidi

    Great review!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thanks!

      Reply
  6. Marcia

    I’ve had this book on my TBR shelf since last year and had no clue it was not suspense. Thanks for your review.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I hope you try this one out.

      Reply
  7. Kymber Hawke

    This was a great review. I think I might like this one.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Let me know if you read it!

      Reply
    • Gayathri

      Goodreads is definitely misleading.

      Reply
  8. Bianca

    I like the way you section your reviews. It makes them really easy to read.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I am glad it works for you!

      Reply
  9. Kate @ Bitch Bookshelf

    Pace can totally set my impression. I’ll power through a slow pace if the characters and works are compelling. Otherwise, I’m out.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I do that as well!

      Reply
  10. Whispering Stories

    Great review. Good to hear your honest review.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thank you!

      Reply
  11. Ashley Jayne

    great review, doesn’t sound like a book i would enjoy though.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Yes it may not be for all!

      Reply
  12. Gemma

    I read this last year and it made it into my list of top books of 2018. I loved how atmospheric it was. I’m glad you enjoyed the story to come extent.
    Gemma @ Gemma’s Book Nook

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I can see how it might appeal for some but it didn’t work for me.

      Reply
    • Gayathri

      Let me know if you ever read it.

      Reply
  13. DJ Sakata

    Well done, it is so annoying when books are mislabeled, Amazon often does that too.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I am with you on that.

      Reply
  14. Amanda McGill

    Great review! Sounds like an interesting read.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Yes it definitely was.

      Reply
  15. Tasha

    I would have picked this up from the cover and the synopsis but it doesn’t sound like I would have enjoyed it. I am grateful for your honest interview and appreciate the way that you highlighted the positives and negatives of the story.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thanks! I picked the book the same way.

      Reply

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  1. Sunday Musings #38: One About Meeting Authors And The #Dubailitfest | Elgee Writes - […] Book review: Before I let go […]

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Hello there!

Gayathri loves reading, recommending books and talking about bookish things in real life. Her blog is just an extension of that habit. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she freelances as a beta reader. She lives currently in Dubai.Head over to meet me

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