Book Reviews

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp (Spoiler-free) Review

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 lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.

Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…


“Hers [Kyra] 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.”

This quote perfectly sums up this entire book. It’s mysterious just like this book. It’s all a big mystery that we slowly start to unravel with Corey as our narrator as she tries to figure out the secrets of her town and how her best friend, Kyra, ended up dead before even reaching the age of 18.

“Be careful in Lost Creek. Not everything is as it seems here.”

This book was beautifully haunting and mysterious. Corey returns to her hometown of Lost Creek, Alaska, population of 247 246 after her best friend dies abruptly. None of this makes any sense to her. How did Kyra just happen to end up dead? She promised to wait for Corey to return to her. Corey is back to get some answers. What she doesn’t realize is that the town has changed and she is no longer considered one of them; she is an outsider, and outsiders aren’t welcome in the town of Lost Creek. Everyone she knew her entire life is treating her differently. Even weirder, they seem okay with Kyra’s death. They say it was meant to be. Something is just not right with this town and Corey isn’t leaving until she gets the answers she wants.

There was so much representation in this book! I loved it! Now, if the representation is accurate, that I cannot tell you. I am just going to post some quotes from the book about the different representations and you can decide for yourself if the representations are accurate or not.

Kyra was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.

“When I’m manic and bursting with energy? Have you ever not slept for days on end? I’m more productive, but it isn’t because I’m happier. It’s because I’ll burn up if I’m not busy.” “It isn’t easier when life goes flat, either. When my moods turn dark and it feels like the sun won’t rise again.”

Kyra also considered herself pansexual.

“I don’t want my love to be limited. I just want to love.”

Corey considered herself asexual.

“I’m not attracted to you. I don’t think I’ve ever been attracted to anyone. That’s not how it works for me.”

There was so much more to this story than just the representations though! I had a hard time putting this book down. I just wanted to know what really happened to Kyra and why the town was so…odd. If you like books with a mystery, then this one is for you! I had a lot of fun reading it! I am rating this book 4 out of 5 stars!

Thank you to my friend Shawn for sending me this arc. Thank you to the publishers and Marieke Nijkamp for the advanced copy.

Note: Quotes were taken from an advanced copy and are subject to change upon publication.

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40 thoughts on “Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp (Spoiler-free) Review

  1. Great review! I’ve been hesitant about this one, because I didn’t love this is where it ends. But the author is dutch so I maybe wanted to give her another chance and your review just made the decision for me that I should pick this up🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems like pretty good rep to me. I’ve heard various things about this…not sure the plot is the type of book I would read, but I did request it…but it never got approved or denied! Someone stopped checking the Netgalley requests!

    Liked by 1 person

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