Title: Before I Let Go
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
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...
Before I Let Go is haunting and eerie. It's a complicated story about life and loss, about hidden truths in small towns, and about coming and going. Leaving and returning. What's left behind and what's lost.
After the sudden news of her best friend's death, Corey is left confused and alone. Worried. Something must have happened. She knows Kyra, she knows that Kyra would've wanted to see her when Corey returned. And so she continues her trip back to Lost Creek, Alaska, to find out what happened to Kyra and to say good-bye. But the town feels different than she remembers. Everyone's a bit more closed off than she remembers. And everyone is mourning Kyra. Nothing is what Corey expected to find and she's determined to discover the cause of Kyra's death and the town's change of heart.
There's a lot said in this book about the different ways we're seen by the people around us, those close and those not so close. To Corey, Kyra is so much. She's creative, bold, open, troubled. In need of support, looking for a way out of Lost Creek so she can get the help she needs. They're best friends. Corey will always care about Kyra, she'll want what Kyra wants. To the town, at first she's a bother. She's unhinged. They don't know how to deal with first her bipolar diagnosis and later her moods, her swings from being manic to being depressed. She isn't like everyone else, and they don't know what to do. Later on, Kyra becomes something more. Something used to serve their needs instead of her own. More of a thing than a person that needs help and support.
This is definitely a serious book told in different parts, through Corey's return to Lost, Kyra's unsent letters, and the town's own view of itself. I would recommend this to fans of mysteries and and thrillers, small towns with potentially dangerous secrets.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Sourcebooks through NetGalley.)