Book Review: Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamo

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Dear Bookworms,

I honestly really don’t know how I feel about this book, lets unpack it shall we?

Before I Let Go

By Marieke Nijkamp

Corey and Kyra have always been inseparable. Growing up the small Alaskan town of Lost, they were outsiders, but they always had each other. Corey was the only one who understood Kyras manic highs and depressive lows in a town rife with judgement and shunning. Six months after moving away to Canada for her mothers new job opportunity, Corey gets a call that Kyra has been found dead in the lake, under the frozen surface. Corey goes back to her childhood home for Kyras memorial and realizes this town, and the people in it, have become strangers. Corey is convinced Kyra would never kill herself, and the town is hiding secrets.

Don’t let this synopsis fool you, this book is not your run of the mill murder mystery. It has an ethereal almost otherworldly feel to it. Lost, cut off from the world with his snow and ice harbors a sort of preternatural feel which is hard to put into words. Corey is desperate for answers and continues to uncover horrible truths about Kyras last months in Lost before her death. I was so certain that I knew how this book would turn out (I was convinced Kyra and Corey were the same person with a case of dissociative identity disorder and this was some insane therapeutic way to separate her personalities and leave her with only one- I was waaaaay off base).

It was creepy, cultish, and sinister and the setting of this isolated Alaskan town really lent itself to setting that tone and mood throughout the book. There were some aspects of the supernatural; premonitions of the future and voices from beyond the grave.

There were some interesting themes that were explored which were refreshing to read. Mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder as well as various angels of sexuality that are too often underrepresented in literature.

Overall, I would say this was an entertaining read. It was certainly different from any other mystery I’ve read in awhile, even if I was left slightly dazed and confused at the end.

Until next week!



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Real-life bookworm with a taste for adventure. Coco enjoys reading as much as she enjoys good coffee. Coco is an experienced book reader, and expert book reviewer. If you need a book reviewed, you are in good hands.

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