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Before I Let Go

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  5,570 ratings  ·  1,250 reviews
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 los
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published January 2nd 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Rachel Safar I was also wondering about this. I feel like there was a lot of unfulfilled foreshadowing. I was expecting her to already be dead and her penance was …moreI was also wondering about this. I feel like there was a lot of unfulfilled foreshadowing. I was expecting her to already be dead and her penance was to walk the roads of Lost without Kyra. (less)
Dorie - Cats&Books :) This is definitely YA but it is a very mediocre effort, in my opinion of course, I DNF it

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.32  · 
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 ·  5,570 ratings  ·  1,250 reviews

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Emma Giordano
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I’m not really sure how I feel about this book. One the one hand, I was really invested in it. On the other, it’s not particularly the best story I’ve ever read. Nonetheless, it was interesting and I’m happy I read it.

CW: bipolar disorder, suicide, death, grief

Honestly, it’s hard for me to identify what my likes and dislikes are for this story. I had a similar experience with Marieke Nijkamp’s other novel, This Is Where It Ends where I didn’t love it personally, but still enjoyed my time reading
Elle (ellexamines)
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who don't mind being emotionally manipulated
The level of mediocrity here is just astounding. Given how ranty this review is, maybe I should one star this, but I honestly just don't have the fucking energy to hate this book. It's too mediocre to deserve hatred. Before I Let Go is a cliche story that tries to be something more but is not fooling me.

I'm going to full-out explain everything I disliked and liked about this book, but really, I should replace the whole review with “read Tess Sharpe's Far From You” written fifty-eight times down
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
When Corey moved away from her home town of snow covered Lost Creek, Alaska she promised her best friend, Kyra, that she would always stay in touch and always be there for her. As with most teens though Corey's new life and new friends she made after her move kept her busy so she wasn't the best with keeping in touch with Kyra. Corey did have plans for returning to Lost Creek very soon though and finally seeing Kyra again.

Unfortunately Corey receives a phone call that Kyra has passed away, she
Always Pouting
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was just my least favorite trope of a book where someone goes back to their small home town after a death of a mentally ill person they were close to. I really don't think I can verbalize my own distaste for books like this in a way that doesn't make me sound defensive and angry about my own mental illness. It feel pretty complex to talk about because everyone's experience of mental illness is unique and can vary but just like I'm trying to be in a good place and I didn't really want this s ...more
I'm... not sure how I feel about this book.

On the one hand, it has a very interesting premise. Sure, at its base, this storyline has been used a lot. But every author adds something different. In the case of Before I Let Go, I really enjoyed the Alaskan setting, as well as the eerie atmosphere it provided. There's also the matter of diverse representation: pansexual, asexual (though I felt like she was more aromantic?), gay, bipolar disorder. I did really love the mystery.

But a lot of the time,
jv poore
It sucks when bad things happen to good people. When blame can't be assigned, when that-which-is- terrible isn't exactly someone's fault, but maybe everyone could have done something a little differently to avert the tragedy...well, that's just real life.

Ms. Nijkamp displays life with a mental illness in a heart-felt, honest, hard-to-handle way that sticks with the reader long after the story has been told.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
2 stars

With a setting in a small Alaskan town, you would expect Before I Let Go to have some atmosphere of a small-town mystery surrounded by snow and dreariness. But just like Girl in Snow, Before I Let Go doesn't have that appeal as well as having boring characters.


Before I Let Go is at best (in my opinion) a mediocre book. I know I might be sounding mean, but there was nothing appealing about the story or characters. It's bland and doesn't really offer much other than being another generic bo
Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-thrillers

An ARC has been offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion

“Hers is a story that deserves to be told. Hers is a story that deserves to be heard. It’s the story of a girl who believed in heroes and wanted to be one herself. Who saw stories in the world around her, and who regaled an entire Alaskan town with them. And hers is a story of how they started to believe her. “

4,5 “eerie” stars

This book will be hard to review without spoiling your fun so I’ll probably keep it short.

I’ve se
⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

My reviews and (maybe) some other random thoughts can also be seen at


First of all, I love the cover of this book. It is so beautiful and fitting. Sourcebooks Fire sent me Before I Let Go as a bonus book with As You Wish and I was very intrigued by the plot. Unfortunately, this book just wasn't as great as I was hoping it would be.

Before I Let Go felt to me to be about friendships, los
Dannii Elle
I have no clue how I actually feel about this book... Actual rating 3.5/5 stars. I think...

Set in the isolated community of Lost Creek, Alaska, this is the story of once-best friends Corey and Kyra. Corey has returned to her former home only to find herself labelled an outsider. But struggling to fit in is the least of the troubles she faces here. In her absence Kyra, the best friend she left behind, slipped below the ice that enshrouds their small community and died a tragic death. Corey seems
Liz Overberg
Jul 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
To be blunt, this book just isn't good.

In order to build a growing sense of unease, a good storyteller will slowly build from "things seem pretty normal here" to "WTF is going on?!" Unfortunately, this story starts at the latter and stays there, effectively killing any tension.

The events are incredibly repetitive. I think the main character, Corey, has the same conversations with others and with herself about 76 times.

There is absolutely zero characterization of any characters other than the p
Jul 30, 2018 added it
This book will go down in my personal reading history as the first asexual protagonist I've read. Huzzah! ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Read the full review at Elgee Writes

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 th
Lara (Bookish_turtle)
I nearly gave it three stars, because I liked bits and pieces of it, but overall I wasn't really enjoying myself and there weren't enough bit that I liked. This book was okay.

The premise sounded good, I was keen for a murder mystery, but it wasn't really a 'murder mystery' book if it makes sense. It was more of a suspense novel, but that didn't really happen until near the end. It also felt like they tried to throw in some magical realism and a bit of 'friendship contemporary' and I don't even k
This was tough to get through! I felt completely disconnected from the characters and story, which made it difficult to empathize with Corey and her friends passing. And unfortunately, that's pretty much the purpose of the book - talking about and reminiscing about the past before her death.

Also, although this book spans only six days, those six days dragged. Too much happened and not enough - if that makes sense?

I wish I could say more, but I wasn't a fan and I'm just glad I managed to read un
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to the author and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The best part of this book, for me, was the setting. I truly hope there are not many towns like Lost Creek around. The town and the people in it gave this book a pretty creepy vibe. I believe this is a likeable book for a lot of people, everyone can find something to bond with in this book and feel satisfactory at the end.

A longer review can be found at Bite Into books

I have to be honest
*sighs* If I had two words to describe the experience of this book, they would be "ultimately unsatisfying." This book had me for a time and then it quickly lost me. I will give credit where credit is due: this is a better novel than Nijkamp's debut novel, "This Is Where It Ends." It's easy to read through and ultimately won't take you all that long for the notation of the prose (in my case, the audiobook that I picked up helped), but the sheer repetition of information in this novel cut the ten ...more
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. Townspe
Trigger warnings: mental health, death of a friend, fire, drowning, suicide.

I've been excited about this book for the better part of a year now. I mean...a YA thriller set in Alaska? Uh, YES. *grabby hands*

Unfortunately, what I got was...confusing, to be honest.

It cuts back and forth in time CONSTANTLY, both in the actual narrative but also in letters and notes and diary entries that were never sent. The story was...trying to be too many things? It was like it was trying to be a contemporary s
Katie McNelly
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
It will be very difficult to write a spoiler-free review of this book, but I will in due time. For now, suffice it to say that I liked this MUCH better than 'this is where it ends', though I can't say I cared that much more about the characters. It was a page turner and I polished it off in one sitting (about 4 hours). This YA is worth the read, and I have a feeling much younger readers (who get less wrapped up in a need for in-depth characterization) will really enjoy it.

I absolutely LOVED the
Nicole Chinnici
I’m not going to lie, it was the cover image that initially drew me to Before I Let Go. It immediately grabbed by attention and prompted me to read the description, which further intrigued me to request a copy.

It took me a little while to get into this book, but slowly and surely, the way Nijkamp used language really hooked me. I loved the storytelling itself; the writing style, tone, and atmosphere created all really worked for me. I also quite liked the focus on stories within its pages, and t
This ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Before I Let Go is one of those books that has an amazing cover that will automatically pull you in. In all honesty, I didn't care what this book was about after I saw it. I assumed it would mention a murder, or two, but was just so intrigued that I just had to have it. I also have zero regrets about doing this.

Not going to lie, this book definitely had it's ups and downs. At least for me, but that honestly it couldn't been me b
CP Benefits - I have already read and loved this <3 I don't know if I'm allowed to say anything about it yet but WHEN I AM... ...more
Jenny Baker
2.5 stars

I almost gave this three stars, because there were times when I enjoyed it. Those moments just didn’t happen often enough.

I was so excited when I heard about this book almost a year ago. I couldn’t wait for it to release. Once it released and I read early reviews, I hesitated. Every time I saw this book at the library, I felt drawn to it, so four days ago, I finally gave in and read it.

I’m disappointed. First of all, the book goes back and forth in time from current to different times
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 sh ...more
This was heartbreaking. This was beautiful. This story needed to be told. I will never forget these characters, this town, this book, this story, these emotions I felt while reading it. That's all I can process right now. ...more
2.5 stars. Edit 04/25/18: You know what? This stayed with me a lot more than I thought it would. Its emptiness is haunting and there's something subtly terrifying about this whole narrative. So yes, I'm rounding this up, even if it's not a full three star.

Before I Let Go is a book with many problems, but the main ones - the ones that led me to not like this book - are two: marketing and characterization.

Everything about this book - the cover, the premise, the way the story is set up - makes you
Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley for the free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

I'm going to be blunt here and just come out and say it - I did not like this book, and I'm hugely disappointed. I read the synopsis, and immediately knew I wanted to read "Before I Let Go". It sounds like it would have everything I love in a book - suspense and mystery, a strong female friendship, a fast-paced plot, and an incredible setting. Obviously, I set the bar way too high, as
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, ya, mystery
I read the last book from Marieke Nijkamp and really liked it, I had high hopes for this one, but unfortunately it does not measure up.I rounded this rating up from 2.5. I liked the short chapters and the underlying story about mental health but parts of it were a bit strange. When the town grabs onto this teen and uses her manic episodes to heal themselves and the town, it was difficult to understand. How parents went along with this was a huge mystery to me. As far as a YA book goes, teens mig ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book and the format that it was written on , The short chapters interrupted with a sort of plays in which the main character would narrate whatever was happening seemed very ingenious to me. The plot is also good and the main characters are both strong and very complex. I recommend this book to any teenager that is dealing with loss or whoever who wants to read a nice story.
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Marieke Nijkamp a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek.


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