Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an advance copy of Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp. I love mysteries and psychological thrillers; Nijkamp did not disappoint with this taut, compelling YA novel of two best friends living in a very small, creepy Alaskan town, Lost, that is not inviting to newcomers and shuns those who leave. After growing up in Lost, Corey moves to Fairbanks, a new school and life, when her mom accepts a better job but both Kyra and Corey promise to wait for each other. With Kyra’s unexpected death, Corey rushes back to Lost and through flashbacks, diary entries, letters, phone calls, and emails we see their close, enduring friendship and the town’s suffocating secrets and lies. Kyra’s storytelling and painting give the reader a rich history of Lost. The crippling grief and loss Corey feels over Kyra’s death is compounded by the town’s new worship of Kyra’s foretelling of the future in her paintings. But Lost never accepted Kyra with her bipolar diagnosis before, so what happened over the 7 months Corey was enjoying her new life in Fairbanks? Teens will not be able to put down this riveting mystery as Corey unceasingly searches for the truth from the town that now views her as a traitor. There were really no likable characters in this mesmerizing mystery but Corey’s steadfast quest for truth (she is guilty also) holds the reader captive from the first page to the last page, highly recommended!
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