Book Reviews

Review: Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

I have such mixed feelings about Before I Let Go. On one hand, I was really searching for a thriller read that would keep me up in the middle of the night with anticipation. While there were aspects that were like that, I never felt like I had to keep reading and the plot sort of plateaued for me around midway through.


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…


book review Before I let Go by Marieke Nijkamp(Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

The only really concise way I can break down my feelings seems to be in bullet points, so it’s going to be that kind of review.

The Pros

  • I enjoyed the exploration of Kyra and Corey’s relationship. It’s sometimes a hard realization that we weren’t there for our friends when they needed us, or that we don’t know them like we think we do.
  • To some extent, I really enjoyed the character of Lost, the town they live in. There were eerie parts and also this intense insider vs. outsider mentality that seemed both genuine and creepy right off the bat.
  • I did enjoy the format of the book – divided into days and also the mixture of unsent letters and stage cues. This made me wonder if the ‘scripted parts’ actually happened.

The Cons

  • I didn’t see much character growth. I didn’t really feel like Corey learns very much or changes too much by the end.
  • It wasn’t very thriller-y. Corey goes around and asks a lot of questions, but we kind of know what happened from about halfway through.
  • I thought Kyra was kind of underdeveloped. Sure we know certain traits about her, but they didn’t seem to transcend her plot purpose.
  • Nothing MADE me keep reading. Of course I wanted to finish it, but I never had to finish it.

All in all, this was sort of a mixed read for me. I think if you are interested in small town dynamics, don’t mind a slower paced read, and want a subtle eerieness, then this could be for you. But for me, it just wasn’t working.

You can find Before I Let Go on Amazon(US), your local indie, and add it to Goodreads.


Do you enjoy reading horror/thrillers? Or are mysteries more your thing?

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