Full Steam Ahead, Felix: Adventures of a famous station cat and her kitten apprentice gBook examines the tropemisconception that mental illness is something that is magical and thatreater depth and power comes from the manifestation of said illnesses This is something that is not typically addressed in fiction and I loved the way it was portrayedThat said I am a bit conflicted on how the LGBT representation is received by others of the community I ve seen this book labled as falling into the bury your ays trope as Kyra a pansexual irl is dead yet the main character is also asexual and I freuently see this trope used to identify works that specifically kill off characters from the LGBTIAP community when they are the singular character from that community and their death is used to forward the development of an allocishet character I m not attempting to speak for the rep but that s exactly why I wanted to include this conflict in my review because I m unsure of how this particular plot would be viewed Additionally I felt there was not much development into the character s sexualities beyond finding the labels they identify with which is definitely important to include and one having unreciprocated feelings for the other I have yet to find ownvoices reviews but I just felt there wasn t a lot that was expanded upon in the storyIn all this story is weird and my feelings on it are weird I don t feel I can properly vocalize what I did enjoy and unfortunately disliked about it but with that being said it was definitely a uniue reading experience I think if you are a lover of small town stories you might be interested in this one but I would keep your expectations a bit low in order to fully enjoy it I received a free copy of this book from Sourcebooks at Book Expo 2017 I had no obligation to review this book and all opinions are my own This was just my least favorite trope of a book where someone oes back to their small home town after a death of a mentally ill person they were close to I really don t think I can verbalize my own distaste for books like this in a way that doesn t make me sound defensive and angry about my own mental illness It feel pretty complex to talk about because everyone s experience of mental illness is uniue and can vary but just like I m trying to be in a ood place and I didn t really want this shit on my mind again you know Like sometimes etting better means etting some distance and I think it was just off timing for me to pick this up at this moment I m not sure if it s just me being in a place where I would be irritated by a book like this or if other people also found the book to be lacking Like just how many of these books can one read with over the top exaggerated portrayals of mentally ill people and like extra points for entangling the persons mental illness with some mysticism I think this one is just on me for not reading the summaryblurb before picking a book up I also think I would ve been forgiving of the book if I thought the writing was better or if the plot line felt engaging I also just found it so hard to believe that like high school students would be allowed to be running around in the Alaskan wilderness the way it seemed like Corey and Kyra were I also just lacked any feeling towards any of the characters I didn t care what was happening to any of them and they just all felt like they lacked depth Anyway this one was just not for me 2 starsWith a setting in a small Alaskan town you would expect Before I Let Go to have some atmosphere of a small town mystery surrounded by snow and dreariness But just like Girl in Snow Before I Let Go doesn t have that appeal as well as having boring charactersBefore I Let Go is at best in my opinion a mediocre book I know I might be sounding mean but there was nothing appealing about the story or characters It s bland and doesn t really offer much other than being another eneric book about a small town mystery There is nothing wrong with that type of enre if it is done well Before I Let Go was just plain boring and didn t have that vibe of an eerie mysteryBefore I Let Go is a small town mystery book that takes place in a small town in Alaska called Lost Creek Our main character Corey was set to return to Lost Creek to visit when she finds out her best friend Kyra has died When Corey does Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood get to Lost Creek she discovers something is wrong with not only the town but the people themselves They re keeping secrets about what really happened with Kyra and Corey wants to find answersBefore I Let Go could ve been areat book had it not been for its lackluster atmosphere and dead ass boring lead character Even if this is another small town mystery book they can still be a Imagine That! great read There s no denying the ominous tone to these types of books where not everything is what it seems and that your closest neighbors and friends could be hiding somethingBefore I Let Go had none of that It did have secrets but they were not presented in aood wayThe Cons1 Lack of AtmosphereFor many mystery books there is this feeling you et knowing that a secret could very well rip apart a person or a community It s even creepy if it takes place in a small town where literally nowhere is safe By all means Lost Creek should ve been a perfect setting It s notThere was no atmosphere to be seen anywhere This was the same issue I had with her previous novel This is Where it Ends where I did like the idea but it didn t have that effect of a school shooting and the characters were boring as well I figured that maybe Marieke did improve on that but it seems like it still stayed the same There was no suspense There was no hook There was no fear There was nothing It may have "been a fast read but by no means did that mean it was a ood bookThe "a fast read but by no means
that mean it was a ood setting
Did That Mean It Was A Good
did help somewhat but only a little since help somewhat but only a little since never ot that Alaskan vibe Plus I m sure small towns like Lost Creek don t have police chiefs or something like that2 Boring CharacterCorey is without a doubt a boring character I don t hate her but there isn t anything interesting about her to redeem her She was so boring I forgot her name twice That is not a King Alfred's Version of St. Augustine's Soliloquies good sign To me all she was was a friend who wanted to find out the secret of her friend s death And that s fine and all but she didn t have much of a personality She wasn t uniue in any way and came off aseneric She could ve been a Rescuing Gus great character had Marieke put in a personality other than being a mystery solver 3 CredibilityThere were a few instances where I had to suspend my disbelief with how the town reacted to Kyra s death and Corey s intrusion It felt way too much like something from a cheesy movie another issue I had with This is Where it Ends There were even chapters where it was written in a script format that didn t add to the story It was random If Corey was interested in writing or playwriting then it would make sense But she wasn t and it was redundant4 Boring ReadSince there was no atmosphere my experience with Before I Let Go was a boring one The chapters were short so I waslad I didn t have to endure than 8 pages of boring dialogueThis isn t a major issue I had with the story but I Class of 92: Out of Our League got to say it In This is Where it Ends the town is called Opportunity The town in Before I Let Go is called Lost Creek shortened to Lost I can t with these names The ProsHonestly there weren t that many pros1 Someood representationI did find Kyra s bipolar disorder to be a Portrait of a Starter: An Unhidden Story good rep It didn t look like it was handled badly so I llive Marieke props for that2 FriendshipThe moments between Corey and Kyra was probably the highlight of the book They really did care for each other and even with Corey not understanding Kyra s bipolar disorder she was still there and didn t leave her Verdcit A boring read with a boring character No eerie atmosphere lackluster story I worry that if Marieke doesn t improve her writing I believe her future books will suffer the same just like Before I Let Go and This is Where it Ends There is a story in Before I Let Go but it didn t live up to it and sadly disappointed meThanks for reading my review Cesar I have no clue how I actually feel about this book Actual rating 355 stars I thinkSet in the isolated community of Lost Creek Alaska this is the story of once best friends Corey and Kyra Corey has returned to her former home only to find herself labelled an outsider But struggling to fit in is the least of the troubles she faces here In her absence Kyra the best friend she left behind slipped below the ice that enshrouds their small community and died a tragic death Corey seems to be the only who who truly remembers the How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly--and the Stark Choices Ahead girl that was lost and is the only one willing to search for answersPart of my inability to navigate my feelings about this book is due to how mesmerising I found the uality of writing I so badly wanted to award this the full 5 stars as I found beauty in every sentence and was enchanted by the way Nijkamp structured and vividly created such an atmospheric and eerie settingHowever regardless of my adoration for these aspects I struggled to fully immerse myself in the story line Early on I was fascinated by the mystery but when the intrigue kept adding and nothing seemed to be resolved I was left a little disappointed Some semblance of an explanation wasarnered about two thirds of the way through but it felt like an unsatisfactory one for me and as so much of the book was still left I was awaiting a thrilling plot twist that never arrived Despite my misgivings in this area I still found this a wonderfully diverse read that discoursed authentically and sensitivity on a variety of real world topics I am still so lad to have read this even if only for the chance to experience such sublime writing and have this author pegged as one who I will continue to exploreI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Thank you to the author Marieke Nijkamp and the publisher Sourcebooks Fire for this opportunity. Ows something is wrong With every hour her suspicion rows 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 wint. ,
Meaning they feel a bit like a transparent ploy to scare the audience The other issue is that any atmosphere created is ruined by the thrown in chapters written in script format This somehow feels both immicky and lazy There were a few scenes written in script that honestly kind of felt like the author drafted a scene and couldn t be bothered to translate it into normal writing But okay let s say Nijkamp enuinely thought it would add to the book Here s why it doesn t work the epistolatory chapters and the flashback chapters fit in fine but the play script chapters completely throw you out of the story I literally thought Nijkamp was planning on some kind of reveal about these chapters being fake because of how misplaced they felt I did like the use of snow covered Alaska as a method to create atmosphere I happen to really like the cold wintry aesthetic Honestly though I ve seen this done better If you re looking for a book that uses Alaska to create a truly Moonrise great atmosphere look to The Smell of Other People s Houses instead OH MY DEAR GOD USE GOOGLE On the topic of representation So this book is really diverse first of all It stars an ace lead her dead best friend is pan and has bpd there are two side characters who are mlm and people of color And in my positives section I moing to discuss the discussion around bpd and narrative depersonalization But for now let s talk about the ace lead Though at one point Corey uses the word the major plot point framed to show that Corey is ace seems to be Corey rejecting Kyra Which is a major inaccuracy as to what asexuality actually is The result is that asexuality is euated to aromanticism by the narrative I expect Nijkamp was trying to make this book palatable to readers who don t know what asexuality is let alone aromanticism but I am incredibly unhappy with this as a writing decision and to me it undermines representation that would ve otherwise been really revolutionary SOME LONE POSITIVES So the main theme of this book is the trope of the magical mental illness the idea that someone with mental illness is someone deeply other the idea that mental illness will make your art Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi greater or suffering will make you deeper And this book at its core is about taking down that trope That s a really compelling theme and I really appreciate it If you re looking for with this also with super diverse leads Final Draft by Riley Redgate is calling your nameI will say that Nijkamp has a very readable writing style I finished this in only two sittings and it wasn t a struggle toet through And while a lot of the book felt to me like smoke and mirrors meant to make the readership think things were deeper than they are I think this could be a ood book to consume uickly It s not oing to be a DNF However I think plenty of readers will find it easy to see through this book I m starting to doubt if I would like This Is Where It Ends if I read it today Nijkamp is Alien Alpha good at emotionally manipulative writing but I don t think this book is trying to shoot for anything deeper that readers can truly connect to Find Me Blog Goodreads Twitter Youtube I m not sure how I feel about this bookOn the one hand it has a very interesting premise Sure at its base this storyline has been used a lot But every author adds something different In the case of Before I Let Go I really enjoyed the Alaskan setting as well as the eerie atmosphere it provided There s also the matter of diverse representation pansexual asexual though I felt like she was aromanticay bipolar disorder I did really love the mysteryBut a lot of the time I had no idea what was oing on and t An ARC has been offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion Hers is a story that deserves to be told Hers is a story that deserves to be heard It s the story of a irl 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 45 eerie starsThis book will be hard to review without spoiling your fun so I ll probably keep it shortI ve seen readers stopping their reads as they were lost about what kind of book this story was When it happened I was puzzled and confused too I wondered where the author was headed to with the choice she made for this book It took a turn I totally did not expect based on the blurb Yet I still loved it Maybe because this story can t be put into a box Marieke Nijkamp s writing is excellent The story is nerve racking with an oppressive moodEverything happens in this very very small town lost in Alaska with endless nights and snow everywhere It is weighting on you It has an oppressive and eerie feeling Lost is a town that thrives on secretsThe small clues left here and there built up the tension till the apex of the thriller All along I was uneasy shivering shoulders tense and I could not put it downBack to the story nowWhen Corey comes back home to Lost after she s learned that her best friend Kyra has been found dead she soon realizes that Lost is not home anySo much has changed that it s scary Its inhabitants who could not stand Kyra seem to have claimed her She is mourned fervently by everyone and that s so not what Corey remembersCorey is rieving She had a very tight friendship with Kyra Kyra was special and I won t say about this as to not spoil the book Let s just say that the way Marieke Nijkamp described what Kyra went through "Was Spot On Take It "spot on Take it someone who also has "This Kind Of Special FriendsCorey " kind of special friendsCorey resenting the town so much Where were they when Kyra suffered all these years When they rejected her Where were they When She Needed Love she needed love acceptance the Kyra suffered so long from their rejection because in this little town anything different feels like a threat Why is everyone so afraid of me Because you re unpredictable Like spring storms and inaccessible mines In Lost unpredictability has never been ood But Corey is also struggling with her uilt as she can t avoid thinking that she left Kyra alone too She has her death on her hands tooIn the span of six days Corey will try to understand what happened in the few months she left What really happened to Kyra and to the townShe also realizes that even if she is born and rew up for than sixteen years in Lost she is now an outsiderMarieke Nijkamp did a stellar job at writing suspense The oppressive atmosphere The eyes always watching every move Corey did The petals appearing in her room The fever overcoming the town The small signs Corey athers to show her that Kyra s death may be not what it seemsKnow beforehand that things will be left unexplained even by the end of the book Things beyond our logical rasp If you can t stand a book leaving uestions unanswered then don t read this But if you love books and movies with a mysterious and scary feel if you love spooky atmosphere then this could be your next fixIt was my first Marieke Nijkamp and it won t be my last as she thinks and writes out of the box Find me onWordpress Beware Of The ReaderFacebook Beware Of The Reader Facebook besties Best Reading Blogs Ever Instagram bewareofthereader Twitter BewareOffReader I m not really sure how I feel about this book One the one hand I was really invested in it On the other it s not particularly the best story I ve ever read Nonetheless it was interesting and I m happy I read itCW bipolar disorder suicide death Beautiful Ghosts griefHonestly it s hard for me to identify what my likes and dislikes are for this story I had a similar experience with Marieke Nijkamp s other novel This Is Where It Ends where I didn t love it personally but still enjoyed my time reading it Before I Let Go is not a completely mediocre novel but it s not overtly impressive but also not all that badI did enjoy the writing style I feel Nijkamp has a prose that is easy to fall into and engage with Though her plotting may not be a favorite of mine I enjoyed her ability to keep me interested in the story and effortlessly continue reading The story is somewhat of a mystery yet the resolutions are revealed extremely slowly to the point where the mystery lacked suspense Though I enjoyed the story overall I felt a little unsatisfied by the plotI feel one of my favorite parts was the setting From a New Yorker s perspective an extremely small town in Alaska is drastically different from my experience which is possibly what made it so intriguing I m typically not interested in small town stories but the dynamic of this community is so WEIRD that I didn t have a my usual experience while reading I don t even know how to describe this town They are so creepy and almost cult like to a point where it feels supernatural even though it is a contemporary novel Their perspective on Kyra and her death was almost brainwashed like and totally inexplicable which made it all the intriguing for me I thoroughly enjoyed trying to analyze the community s mindset while reading attempting to understand where their thoughts are rooted and why despite that we don tet many concrete answers In that respect I found the setting very uniueRegarding the characters I didn t love Corey She was fairly bland and lacked character development Despite Alexandra, Gone going through some immense realizations when visiting her hometown I feel she did not change much and her reactions and perspective on the world were fairly stagnant I did like Kyra though It s strange to discuss her as she is not an active character as she s dead at the start of the story but I felt she was well fleshed out Though I can t speak for the representation I felt the author tookreat care in representing her bipolar disorder Kyra remains an individual and uniue person while dealing with her illness and I feel much information about the reality of this disorder is revealed through the text which I love to see in literature Additionally I LOVED how this. 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 strangerCorey kn.
Read Before I Let GoWhen Corey moved away from her home town of snow covered Lost Creek Alaska she promised her best friend Kyra that she would always stay in touch and always be there for her As with most teens though Corey s new life and new friends she made after her move kept her busy so she wasn t the best with keeping in touch with Kyra Corey did have plans for returning to Lost Creek very soon though and finally seeing Kyra again Unfortunately Corey receives a phone call that Kyra has passed away she was found under the ice in the lake that should have been frozen solid this time of year Some think that Kyra purposely went looking for a weak spot in the ice and a way to end her own life after battling mental illness for years Corey knows she needs to return to Lost Creek and A Year in 120 Recipes get some answers on just what happened to her best friend Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp is a young adult mystery read After finishing this book I m beginning to think that perhaps Marieke Nijkamp is just not an author for me Last year I read This Is Where It Ends and while the idea behind the story was one that I was really taken in with the execution of the book left a lot to be desired for me and unfortunately now I can say the same with Before I Let Go I think really my biggest issue with this book came with the character development which was pretty non existent Corey is really the only character that felt developed and I find myself hard pressed to say even that as all that is repeated is she and Kyra had been close so now instead of owning up to her own mistakes she is determined to find who is at fault for Kyra s death which should be touching and emotional but instead I just disliked Corey and found myself not caring if other s were at fault or not Now as far as the mystery is concerned in this one it is buried within the repetitive nature of Corey blaming the town and eventually does come to light It s one that I might have been really taken with as there was a creepy and disturbing vibe but if I blinked while reading I would have missed it as that part of the story wasn t developed very well in my opinion So as sad as I am to say this one just wasn t for me and as much as the ideas behind Ms Nijkamp s stories appeal to me I think this may be my last attempt I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalleyFor reviews please visit It sucks when bad things happen toood people When blame can t be assigned when that which is terrible isn t exactly someone s fault but maybe everyone could have done something a little differently to avert the tragedywell that s just real life Ms Nijkamp displays life with a mental illness in a heart felt honest hard to handle way that sticks with the reader long after the story has been told 5My reviews and maybe some other random thoughts can also be seen at First of all I love the cover of this book It is so beautiful and fitting Sourcebooks Fire sent me Before I Let Go as a bonus book with As You Wish and I was very intrigued by the plot Unfortunately this book just wasn t as F. Scott Fitzgerald great as I was hoping it would be Before I Let Go felt to me to be about friendships loss and small town mentality I like that it switched between past and present and you learn the most about Kyra from the past chapters and the letters she writes to Corey The different styles this book is written in was also a nice change There are phone calls notesletters both sent and unsent and parts that are written like a scriptHowever I feel like we only scratch the surface of these characters and I didn t feel like there was much depth to them Corey felt like the only fully developed character to me which was kind of odd Also this book was just weird I was confused for almost the entire book and I still don t feel like there was enough closure at the end There were too many things infused into this book that didn tet explained which drove me a little crazy Eyes watching her Voices she hears The salmonberry blossoms left everywhere including on her at one point None of it ets explained Also the weird chanting and actions by the townspeople and the semi crazy ending seemed so off and unexplained I felt like I was in an alternate universe and you wake up and don t remember what happened Before I Let Go was definitely a very fast read it took me about a day total to read it and I stayed up lateish to finish it because I just couldn t fathom how this book was oing to end There isn t really a mystery here that you can t figure out but I literally had no idea what was oing to happen to Corey when shit started etting crazy Final Thought I still want to ive This Is Where It Ends a try even though I didn t LOVE this one I m a little concerned that Marieke Nijkamp might just not be an author that I can connect to but I still want to ive it a shot I don t want to say I would never recommend this because it wasn t that bad and I was interested confused enough that I read all of it and didn t skim If you looking for a creepyweirdfast read you might want to "Give This One A "this one a and see what think I loved the underlying creepiness there just wasn t enough that I loved for me to ive this one than a 3 All the thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for sending me a free copy of this book to read and ive an honest review forThis title was published on 02 Jan 2018 The level of mediocrity here is just astounding Given how ranty this review is maybe I should one star this but I honestly just don t have the fucking energy to hate this book It s too mediocre to deserve hatred Before I Let Go is a cliche story that tries to be something but is not fooling me I m oing to full out explain everything I disliked and liked about
this book but really i should replace thebook but really I should replace the review with read Tess Sharpe s Far From You written fifty eight times down the page That book is also focused on irl friendship with romantic vibes but it s ot far developed characters to drive the story Read Far From You Do it CAN YOU EVEN BE MORE CLICHE Can I summarize this book for you It s a mashup of dead best friend had secrets and may have been in love with live best friend because bury your ays and irl moves to small town and discovers family secrets except if you leeched every single ood thing about both those plots out of the book Before I Let Go was especially disappointing for me because of all the comparisons it begs to every other suspense book ever I was really hoping this would differentiate itself with a new take on all those tropes Uh Nope it s not an original take This is a mashup of a lot of way better books and also predictable Here s the thing though any cliche suspense book can be saved How do you save a cliche suspense book There are two options characters or atmosphere Yeah this book doesn t do either Let s A Grant County Collection: Indelible, Faithless and Skin Privilege get into those two factors WE NEED CHARACTER WORK KIDDOS We all know that books in which the protagonistoes back to her small town are a bit of a cliche But I do tend to enjoy them Why Because at its core this trope is about the exploration of relationships and childhood Yet this book doesn t explore a single fucking thing about our protagonist s childhood Do you know why I just called her our protagonist Because it has been less than twenty minutes since I finished this book and I just forget Corey s name Moving on For ood character driven suspense we need to focus on all of the above 1 the protagonist s character 2 the former best friend s character and 3 the complexities of their relationship 1 As I ve already mentioned our protagonist is incredibly bland Informed traits do not make a character what we need is an inner monologue And unfortunately Corey doesn t have any uniue thoughts or reactions to the world I feel as if she s a character I should adore but most of her character is for the reader s emotional manipulation 2 I do think the author put a vague amount of effort into developing Kyra the dead best friend Kyra s BPD is represented well at least and the narrative is clear on the fact that she is than her BPD But uh she s textually not much than her BPD because she has basically no personality I do think to be positive that it comes from a matter of lacking effort on the part of the author rather than a enuine distaste for mentally ill people 3 Kyra and Corey s relationship just seems so lacking in problems Kyra Success gets rejected and is not that weird about it they hardly fight there s not much tension between them There are one or two moments where past Kyra mentions feeling like no one not even Corey sees her as anything but her BPD That was interesting idea I would ve liked to explore Yet their issues feel oddlylossed over and importantly we don t Vineyard Prey get much of a sense that they have issues from Corey s narration It feels like an informed character trait and loses all its interest within the narrative Basically I just felt like every problem and character trait was informed rather than shown And like Iet that it s young adult but listen young adult can and has do better Moving on WHAT IS A SUSPENSE I DON T KNOW HER The book could ve A Village Affair / A Passionate Man / The Rector's Wife gotten away with its incredibly lacking characters if the plot weren t so fucking obvious But there s no twist I had the solutionuessed from the blurb The townsfolk start saying it was her natural end on page 50 and they stay on that exact same phrase right to the end and it is so so obvious where it s Pea's Book of Best Friends going There s not even a slow progression from normal atmosphere to creepy atmosphere which could ve replaced a slow burn plot And this is maybe what ruins the book the most I am firmly of the belief that aood atmosphere can save an otherwise mediocre book Nijkamp tries to add atmosphere at least There are a ton of minor touches where Corey thinks she s being followed by The Nightingale Of Peshawar: Selections From Rahman Baba ghosts that echoothic horror and are in hindsight kind of cool But some of these touches feel superficial because they don t add to the story. 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 returnJust days before Corey is to. ,