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Before I Let Go
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A New York Times Bestseller!From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller This Is Where It Ends comes another unforgettable story of loss, hope, betrayal, and the quest for truth Best friends...
A New York Times Bestseller!From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller This Is Where It Ends comes another unforgettable story of loss, hope, betrayal, and the quest for truth Best friends...
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  • A New York Times Bestseller!

    From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller This Is Where It Ends comes another unforgettable story of loss, hope, betrayal, and the quest for truth

    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...

About the Author-

  • Marieke Nijkamp is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, and is an executive member of We Need Diverse Books, the founder of DiversifYA, and a founding contributor to YA Misfits. She lives in the Netherlands. Visit her at mariekenijkamp.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 16, 2017
    Nijkamp’s reflective examination on love and returning home pairs well with the haunting environment of Lost Creek, a tiny Alaskan town where strange things are known to happen. Corey and her family left Lost Creek seven months ago, and it’s been hard to leave behind her best friend, Kyra. Both girls grew up in Lost Creek, but Kyra’s mental illness drove a wedge between her and other residents, with Corey caught in the middle. Just before Corey’s planned trip back to Lost Creek, Kyra is found dead, leaving Corey just five days to uncover what happened and say goodbye to her friend. Told through a combination of flashbacks and present-day passages, this complex coming-of-age tale is hindered only by a repetitive fixation on Corey’s guilt and her musings on the concept of home. But this intense focus on Corey’s thoughts and feelings lets readers immerse themselves in her pain and her drive for answers; Nijkamp (This Is Where It Ends) has an uncommon talent for drawing readers deep into the psyches of her characters. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer Udden, Barry Goldblatt Literary.

  • Kirkus

    October 15, 2017
    Seven months after Corey left her hometown of Lost Creek, Alaska, and her best friend, Kyra, behind, she returns, grief-stricken, to learn what caused Kyra's death. Expecting the comfort of shared grief over Kyra's loss, Corey's instead treated with coldness and suspicion. Kyra's parents house her with discomfort, and the more Corey probes for answers, the more opposition she faces and the more isolated she becomes. Their friendship had been strained by Kyra's intensifying bipolar disorder, their different ways of interpreting the world, and Kyra's unrequited romantic love for Corey, yet their bond endured until Corey moved away. Thereafter, Kyra painted obsessively--vibrant murals and vivid paintings in town and at the abandoned hot springs resort where she spent her last months. The community expresses new reverence for Kyra and her art, which they view as revitalizing the community's fortunes. Mysteries proliferate: what accounts for the abundant fresh salmonberry flowers in January? Corey's isolation is compounded by both the isolated Alaska setting and a sense of horrors hidden in plain sight. What's missing is a connection between the two girls' complicated friendship and the archetypal horror narrative that fuels the tale's compulsive readability. The author's avoidance of clear references to Alaska's Native heritage belies the thematic insistence on the power of storytelling to shape the world. Settlers stole the land, readers are told, but the story of this thievery remains untold. Intriguingly spooky but never quite coheres. (Suspense. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2017

    Gr 9 Up-Corey left Lost Creek for boarding school as her mother relocated outside of Alaska. She hated leaving her best friend behind. Kyra's bipolar disorder kept her from being accepted by the small community. Corey found a place of belonging at her new school, so much so that she stopped answering Kyra's letters. When she learns that Kyra killed herself, she flies back to Lost Creek to learn more about Kyra's death. Corey refuses to believe her friend would take her own life. The community doesn't speak to her. Stunned that everyone treats her as an outsider now, she digs for the truth. This sophomore novel from Nijkamp will haunt readers. The Alaskan weather mimics the frostiness from the residents beautifully. The time line of the book alternates among the aftermath of Kyra's death, letters Kyra sent to Corey, and moments between the friends before Corey left. Nijkamp writes about the highs and lows of the mental illness and how even the best-intentioned people can do harm. The cruelty of the town's people will stay with readers long after they close the book. The honest reflection of mental illness, suicide, friendship, and being an outsider provides ample topics for book discussion. VERDICT Recommended for teens who enjoy haunting tales and are fans of Nijkamp's This Is Where It Ends.-Jennifer Rummel, Cragin Library, Colchester, CT

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist, starred review "With exceptional handling of everything from mental illness to guilt and a riveting, magic realist narrative, this well wrought, haunting novel will stick with readers long after the final page.
    "

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