Sarah (saz101)'s Reviews > Don't Let Me Go

Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, young-adult

Love. It’s romanticised, mythologised – frequently sanitised – and at its most beautiful, its most pure, there is no single greater force for good in this world. Yet soured or corrupted, or viewed from aside with a poisoned heart, the hatred it incites is perhaps the most destructive, and it is this – love and hate, and the price of both – that Don’t Let Me Go examines – in often heartbreaking extremes.

It’s a basic right, particularly in the Western world, that we may love who we choose, or, should the adage prove true, who our hearts decide we must. Yet many who take this simple freedom granted for themselves do not believe it a right, but a privilege, one earned by merit of religion, the colour of one’s skin, position, or gender.

We meet Nate, our narrator, and Adam, the Juliet to his Romeo – or vice versa – on page one, which also happens to be the middle of their story. Through a series of flashbacks, Trumble shows the couple’s past and present: sweet romance and horrifying brutality in parallels to a present of petty fights and bickering, of distance which renders hearts strangers, not stronger in their affections. Yet to talk of Don’t Let Me Go in context of romance or of ethical allegory alone is to do it an injustice, for it is so much more than each, or either.

It's a story of extremes, of shining love and blackest hate, of marginalization and bullying, and about a gay teen dealing with a world who views him as a thing which must be ‘dealt with’, rather than a boy with feelings and a beating, hurting heart. Concerned as it is with hate and homophobia (though I suppose the two are, truly, synonymous), it is far more than a simple parable. Dealing with the broader meaning of love than romance alone, family, friendship, and, above all, finding oneself, Trumble handles her characters with sensitivity, warmth and humour. The story’s heartache is balanced with joy, and a love story so tender and pure in its honesty, its messiness, its good and bad, it’s intoxicating. Don’t Let Me Go a ‘feeling’ book, an emotional one, one driven very much by its vividly real characters.

The cast of Don’t Let Me Go is varied and disparate, and amongst its friends and families and heroes, is a love so beautiful and fierce it is humbling to witness. Yet none of them are perfect. Some are certainly more so than others – Adam’s family, Nate’s grandmother, the lovely Juliet and hilarious Daniel Quasimi among them. Others are profoundly flawed, with Nate – broken, combative, and self-destructive – winning that race by a country mile. Nate is not always easy to like. He makes impulsive, foolish decisions, acts in anger and hurts those who love him most. Yet there’s a painful authenticity to his actions, and Trumble doesn’t make excuses for her characters, showing them simply as they are: human. Despite his failings, readers will find in Nate a sympathetic hero, even more so as his story and history unfolds in heartbreaking clarity.

Four hundred years ago Shakespeare penned his now famous maxim on the path of love and, while comic in context, it rings, loudly, true in Don’t Let Me Go. Marrying (500) Days of Summer and Hannah Harrington's Speechless with the raw emotional authenticity of Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental series, Don’t Let Me Go is a powerful story with a profound message.

Don’t Let Me Go starts with goodbyes, and ends with hope, with promise of a future just beyond a not-so-distant horizon. It’s not possible to take the journey through this tale without seeing horrifying truths and the blackest sides of humanity, but, ultimately, it is ‘much to do with hate but more with love,’ and it is this – love – which makes it such a powerful story. Interwoven with a deep appreciation of music, a warm sense of humour, and profound understanding of how much our world needs books such as this, and needs to have such conversations, Don’t Let Me Go is a gem – one uncut and unpolished, authentic and untainted, and immeasurably precious.

I sometimes wish simply saying 'read this book’ were enough – because this book has something very important to say, and to teach, and it's also (when it's not utterly heartbreaking) an absolute joy to read. So perhaps I'll say it anyway, if I may: Read this book. And love. Above all things, in all things, love.
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Quotes Sarah (saz101) Liked

J.H. Trumble
“I’ll never understand why some people can’t just let others live their lives, you know,” Danial said. “You don’t have to understand. You don’t have to agree. Just leave people alone. When I look at the moon and planets and stars, all that narrow-mindedness and hate seem so petty. The universe is such a big place. One hundred thousand light years just from one end of the Milky Way to the other. One hundred. Thousand. Light years. In the time it’s taken for light to travel from one end of our galaxy to the other, thousands of generations have passed. It really makes you realize how small we are, doesn’t it? How short our time on earth is.”
J.H. Trumble, Don't Let Me Go


Reading Progress

October 21, 2012 – Shelved
October 23, 2012 –
page 5
1.42%
October 23, 2012 – Shelved as: contemporary
October 24, 2012 – Started Reading
October 25, 2012 –
page 68
19.26% ""I made a mental note to google the inventor of door locks and light some candles for him (or her)." Must. Resist. Compulsive. Urge. To google. Dammit I hate it when books do this to me!"
October 25, 2012 –
page 79
22.38% "“What I wanted was to never have to let him go, to crawl inside his skin, to be one with him, every second of every minute of every day. Forever. That sick kind of wanting that rips at your soul while making you look like some kind of psycho to the rest of the world.”"
October 25, 2012 –
page 79
22.38% "Trumble's doing a really good job at the fucked up emotions of feeling like you're losing the one you love the most. Nate knows he's being selfish wanting Adam to stay. He knows Adam CAN'T stay. But he wants him to. And Trumble does this wonderful job of making neither boy right or wrong. It's just honest: That it sucks and hurts and :("
October 25, 2012 –
86.0% "I gotta tell you. At this point I would've bitch slapped Nate and left the room. Danial has the patience of a saint, not to mention Adam O__o"
October 25, 2012 –
page 88
24.93% "Aw, is anyone else kind of disappointed http://nateschaper.com isn't real? *sadface*"
October 25, 2012 –
page 99
28.05% "Question, my American friends: is sport really such a big deal in high schools over there? That level of organized school sport doesn't exist here. And I'm not just talking the 'jock' cliche--Are there really football teams and pep rallies and whatnot, or has YA been lying to me?"
October 25, 2012 –
page 106
30.03% "Holy fuck. Jake. My heart just tried to choke me :O I... Oh goodness :("
October 25, 2012 –
page 131
37.11% "Ok, ok, I love Danial. He's bizarre and brilliant :D"
October 25, 2012 –
page 133
37.68% "I knew it! I knew it I knew it I knew it! This Mr Wolf doesn't eat Grandmas, he wants yo mamma!"
October 25, 2012 –
page 134
37.96% "ROFL! Grandma's been surfing the innermost for gay porn. For, Uh, 'research.' I think I love her. "Nice young men though, don't you think?""
October 25, 2012 –
page 156
44.19% "Need to sleep. But book so good *cries*"
October 25, 2012 –
page 187
52.97% ""
October 25, 2012 –
page 203
57.51% "The bitch. THE BITCH. SOMEONE LET ME AT THE LITTLE BASTARD I'M GONNA CUT HIM >:O"
October 25, 2012 –
page 211
59.77% "I don't know if I'm angrier at Justin, Adam or Nate. But I am RAGE. SARAH ANGRY. SARAH SMASH."
October 26, 2012 –
page 224
63.46% "' "Who's your favorite music artist?" ... "Taylor Swift," he said, without hesitation. Ouch. ' Ahahahahaha! ♥"
October 26, 2012 –
page 249
70.54% "Nate is really making me hate him right now >:/"
October 26, 2012 –
page 269
76.2% "I have intense chills and gets anbouf Nate and Adam. They're so so perfect and beautiful together and and and *runs away crying*"
October 26, 2012 –
page 274
77.62% ""I had had enough of these games." Bitch, REALLY? Well fucking finally but it's about 4 months to late. WHY NATE? WHY?!"
October 26, 2012 – Finished Reading
October 27, 2012 – Shelved as: young-adult

Comments Showing 1-43 of 43 (43 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Brigid This book is exceptional.


Sarah (saz101) You may have mentioned that XD
I'm really, SERIOUSLY excited to read it! ♥


message 3: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda Ha, I just bought this for Kindle as well! :D


Sarah (saz101) Ooooh, I saw! I've just started and I'm INTRIGUED. It's kind of... a little bit sad and I... mmm... I'm super excited. I've heard AMAZING things :D


message 5: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda I hope it's as good as we've heard - enjoy :D


Sarah (saz101) *fingers crossed*
It's funny. Contemp's never the genre I'm drawn to of my own accord, but it always winds up being one of my favorites.


message 7: by Taneika (new)

Taneika Wow, this sounds so, SO good! How have I never heard of this before :O *adds to Book Depo basket*


Wendy Darling 4 stars AND a rec from Brigid? Must read!


message 9: by K. (new) - added it

K. Review already!!!


Brigid Oh, you guys must read this book. It's amazing. Seriously amazing. The feels. You must FEEL all the FEELS. I do not understand why this book isn't a runaway bestseller. Sleeper hit?


Sarah (saz101) @TANEIKA. OH, TANEIKA, I LOVE YOU.
Come here. *huggles*

It's wonderful. I really, REALLY hope you love! ♥

@Wendy: I... I'm saying this to everyone, but I hope you LOVE it. It's a wonderful book with the most wonderful wonderful wonderful things to say. I think, to sum it up, it's a marrying of (500) Days of Summer and Hannah Harrington's Speechless, with (BRIGID. COVER YOUR EARS) that kind of raw emotional honesty of Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental books.

I really DO hope this is a sleeper hit. It deserves it.



message 12: by Taneika (new)

Taneika AWWW, I LOVE YOU TOO.
I am buying this as soon as I possibly can because it sounds fantastic and "a marrying of (500) Days of Summer and Hannah Harrington's Speechless, with (BRIGID. COVER YOUR EARS) that kind of raw emotional honesty of Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental books"

I THINK MY MIND JUST EXPLODED WITH HOW BRILLIANT THIS SOUNDS. OH GOD <3


Sarah (saz101) *dances* I hole you looooooove it! HOW IS PERTH? AND TANEIKA? AND TANEIKA THINGS?


message 14: by Taneika (new)

Taneika It sounds fantastic and will I cry? I HAVE A FEELING I AM GOING TO CRY!
Perth is okay haha, I GO HOME TO VISIT MY FAMILY IN A WEEK THOUGH AND I AM SO EXCITED :D NEXT THURSDAY COULD NOT COME FAST ENOUGH!! I have uni exams on at the moment, am halfway through and only have two left :) WEEEEEE! But one of them was Accounting *headdesk* UGH. So I won't be so busy soon and I AM EXCITED!

HOW ARE YOU? HOW ARE SARAH THINGS?


Brigid No, you cannot compare my books to this. It's like comparing McDonald's food to haute cuisine. This book is amazing.


Sarah (saz101) Hey! Don't Let Me Go is WAY better than McDonald's (true story: halfway through a McDonald's chicken burger was when I decided to go vego).

It's like comparing rubies and diamonds. They're both beautiful and brilliant and valuable, in some ways quite different, in others not so much.

*nods*


Sarah (saz101) Also: I CAN AND I WILL! MWAHAHAHA TRY AND STOP ME.


message 18: by Brigid (last edited Oct 27, 2012 06:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brigid Lady, I was comparing MY book to McDonalds. Don't Let Me Go was the fine cuisine in that statement. :-P


Sarah (saz101) Oh, I know, but I was doing this thing, where I was deliberately misinterpreting what you said because YOU ARE INSANE O__O

I KNOW you aren't looking for affirmation or anything, but KDGKDGSKHGLS. Have you even READ your books? They're AMAZING. And they're amazing for really similar reasons to this one. Seriously.

SERIOUSLY.

Seriously, see what you're doing to my verbal tics? SEE? LIKE, SERIOUSLY? :O

Hehehe ;D


Sarah (saz101) TANEIKA. Crying... mmmm... VERY possibly. I had a lot of 'nearly' crying moments, and one at the end where I actually did (also, I saw Frankenweenie tonight and I cried three times. It was so good *blubbers*) Eep! I really hope the exams go well and QUICK because home is AWESOME.

I AM GOOD.
I've been having epic book ADD so it felt really good actually finishing this one and not only that, but LOVING it so damn much :D

BUT GOOD.
I hate daylight savings because of the missed sleep, but I'm kind of loving the sunlight and the everything :D


message 21: by J.H. (new)

J.H. Trumble Brigid wrote: "No, you cannot compare my books to this. It's like comparing McDonald's food to haute cuisine. This book is amazing."

Stop it! It's more like comparing Saba Steak Salad at coconut shrimp at Tommy Bahamas. Both delicious. Just different! :)


message 22: by J.H. (new)

J.H. Trumble J.H. wrote: "Brigid wrote: "No, you cannot compare my books to this. It's like comparing McDonald's food to haute cuisine. This book is amazing."

Stop it! It's more like comparing Saba Steak Salad at coconut s..."


I meant "and coconut shrimp." Ugh. Can't type. And you guys! I've enjoyed reading your comments!


Sarah (saz101) J.H. wrote: Stop it! It's more like comparing Saba Steak Salad..."

OH MY GOODNESS. BOTH OF YOU :O
BOTH OF YOU ARE AMAZING.

It must be something in the water at Kensington... Both the amazing mad writing skillz and the complete inability to see how amazing you are :P


message 24: by Taneika (new)

Taneika Sarah (saz101) wrote: "TANEIKA. Crying... mmmm... VERY possibly. I had a lot of 'nearly' crying moments, and one at the end where I actually did (also, I saw Frankenweenie tonight and I cried three times. It was so good ..."

Ooooh well, even nearly crying is good. I like it when books make me cry.. I know, weird hahaha.
OH GOOD! Yes, I've been reading a lot more lately because I have more time (due to only study and no assignments and whatnot) but I have been EXTREMELY lazy with reviews but I am so, so glad you loved this book so much :D

OOH I WISH WA HAD DAYLIGHT SAVINGS STILL :( I actually loved it! And the missed sleep sucks, but I suppose you'd get used to it after a while wouldn't you? As for the sunlight... I am so happy it's Summer again :)


message 25: by Taneika (new)

Taneika And as for what you said about your books Brigid, I AGREE WITH SARAH. Your books make me giddy and happy inside because they are SO AMAZING.


Sarah (saz101) OMG! TANEIKA! GIDDY HAPPY YES.

And T, as far as crying? I think it's kind of a guarantee. It's tough for a book to make me cry (dry eyes right through Jellicoe Road) and... Yeah. Honestly, this book is WOW.


Brigid Oh my god, I am dying laughing. People are staring at me at Starbucks. :-)


Brigid I know you mean that in a dirty way, but seriously, I will never forget the guy and that banana. WHO CAN'T OPEN A BANANA??


Tee loves Kyle Jacobson This book is GREAT! and her next one coming out in December Where You Are is totally EPIC! You guys will love it! Where You Are by J.H. Trumble


Brigid I've read Where You Are and it is AMAZING.


Brigid There was a Michael Merrick vs. Michael Kemmerer conversation?


Tee loves Kyle Jacobson Brigid,
OMG I laughed and I cried and then when I listened to the playlist I went back and re-read it and man the music is spot on! J.H is a great author and I need the winter to go by so we can get Luke's story in October 2013


message 33: by J.H. (new)

J.H. Trumble You listened to the playlist, Brigid! I'm so glad. I think it's perfect too. While I was writing and editing, I played those songs over and over again, mostly in the car. I was just trying to really understand what they all were feeling. How do you do that with your characters?

And you guys . . . crack me up!


Tee loves Kyle Jacobson J.H.
OMG your playlist had me laughing and crying because the songs fit the scene so perfect. I read the book and I was thinking man let me set up the playlist and set it on loop and re-read the story and boy I could see Robert and Andrew dancing and having fun. I can't wait for the release in December!

~Tee


message 35: by Tina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tina Tee loves Kyle Jacobson wrote: "This book is GREAT! and her next one coming out in December Where You Are is totally EPIC! You guys will love it! Where You Are by J.H. Trumble"

You WILL love it. You guys are hysterical. It makes me feel all warm & fuzzy that you have all discovered DLMG. Tell everyone you know about it!


message 36: by J.H. (new)

J.H. Trumble Yes! Tell everyone :)


message 37: by Tina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tina Hire a billboard, take out a full-page ad in the NYT book section... OK, they might not be viable options.


Tee loves Kyle Jacobson hahahha I love the bloggers book promo month because we get to spotlight a book and these are my December spotlight


message 39: by Tina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tina Tee that is so great. The cover looks good all over your blog!


Wendy Darling Sarah (saz101) wrote: "@Wendy: I... I'm saying this to everyone, but I hope you LOVE it. It's a wonderful book with the most wonderful wonderful wonderful things to say. I think, to sum it up, it's a marrying of (500) Days of Summer and Hannah Harrington's Speechless, with (BRIGID. COVER YOUR EARS) that kind of raw emotional honesty of Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental books."

Fuuuuuuudge. You hit on three things I like a LOT. Damn it, Sarah.


Sarah (saz101) Oh oh oh, I liked the BOOK a lot, Wendy! SO MANY LOTS.
It's... *sigh*

It's wonderful for so SO many reasons, and I have so much respect for... well, it'd be so easy to call it an 'issue' book, but it's so much more. It's kind of like... you know how Speechless has something really powerful to say, but it didn't say that by beating you over the head with stick? It did it by slowly breaking your heart and making you fall in love and...

I'm shutting up now. Seriously I am ♥


message 42: by Taneika (new)

Taneika As if I wasn't already convinced before Sarah, what you just said makes me incredibly excited! Guess what my first paycheck is going to be spent on when I get home? I adored Speechless for how powerful it's message was without preaching! lovelovelove!


Sarah (saz101) TANEIKA! *HUGS*
I so hope you love it. I kind of want to grab it an stick it in everyone's face and say READ! READ! READ! :D


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