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Before I Let Go

A young adult story of friendship, loss and the search for the truth



As she was moving away, Cory promised her best friend Kyra that she would always stay in touch and be there for her. But just days before Cory is to return for a visit to the remote village of the Lost Creek, Alaska, Kyra dies. Cory is devastated and confused. When she arrives in Lost Creek things are different. The entire community is whispering about the town’s lost daughter, saying Kyra’s death was meant to be. Townspeople push Cora away like she was a stranger. But Corey knows that she knew Kyra better than anyone and something is very wrong. Kyra suffered from being bipolar, and the medications rarely helped her. The one thing that she could do to channel her energy was to paint. And while Cory was away she painted beautiful, vibrant pictures of the town, paintings that gave the town hope. But Lost is keeping secrets about what really happened to Kyra, and piecing together the truth will prove difficult for Corey.


BEFORE I LET GO is a young adult novel that speaks to the kind of friendships two teenage girls can have, dreaming about their future, their hopes and their hero’s. One of the things I liked most about the book was the idea of Cory’s quest to discover what happened to her friend, despite the many obstacles put in her way. I like the author’s creativity of using Kyra’s paintings, wall graffiti and letters to understand her mindset. It was a quick read and the writing was good. The story was interesting, and the remoteness of the town added to the believability of the story. Cory’s having been shunned by the community is left with little to do but wander from place to place with little purpose. She at times seemed to lack spirit or drive, and I was disappointed with her lack of a passioned speech at the memorial service.

Author Marieke Nijkamp defines herself as a storyteller, dreamer and globe-trotter geek. She is the author of This Is Where it Ends and numerous short stories and lives in the Netherlands. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher Sourcebook Fire

Published January 2, 2018

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