Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Secret to Letting Go by Katherine Fleet

The Basics:
The Secret to Letting Go by Katherine Fleet
Entangled: digiTeen
Published February 1, 2016
Source: Received Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo Goodreads

Why I picked up this book:

Come on, look at that cover! And the blurb made me want to know what Clover's story is.

One summer can change everything...

Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble. 

Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.

My Thoughts:
The Secret to Letting Go was an unexpected delight. I hoped it would be enjoyable, and while the story ended up being more emotional than I anticipated, it was really good. 

One thing The Secret to Letting Go really excels at is capturing that YA feeling. Daniel and Clover both have traumatic events in their past, and I think to a degree, those backgrounds set this apart from a story that could have been lifted from your local high school. But the emotional extremes, the uncertainty, a lot of the thought process behind their decision-making all felt very appropriate for the age group. There's a sense of all or nothing, path of least resistance, but awareness of the value in the path less taken, that I thought resonated really strongly for characters in their late teens.  

The story is narrated by both Daniel and Clover, who each deliver multiple chapters in turn instead of the more common every-other-chapter. I really liked this approach as it let me settle more into the story from their perspective. I felt like I got to really spend time with the characters, even though every-other-chapter results in the same amount of time in their heads.

This story is also really emotional. I finished it while I was drinking tea at a coffee shop, and I had to wipe away tears. Tears! I really liked the growth of both characters. They both have personal journeys to go on, and do so in ways that I read as authentic.

I wouldn't call this a YA romance - it's more a like relationship novel, which I *loved.* This is more about how can we work as a couple than about the will we, won't we that normally features in romance novels. If you're hoping for a lot of romantic moments, this book probably won't be satisfying. But I thought that it was a really smart way to write about these two specific characters, and I loved the approach.

Bottom line:

The Secret to Letting Go is the first book I've read this year that I know I will re-read. I really liked it, I thought it had some interesting layers. There are some parts that are just out there enough to bring a sense of drama and elevate the story from a typical high school romance. I recommend this one if you like YA relationship stories!

5 stars
For fans of YA, relationship stories, emotional stories

Don't just take my word for it though! I've gathered up a couple of other blog reviews, so check them out for some other opinions!

The Rambling Book Junkie 

Reviews by Ruckie

Il Profumo Delle Pergamene


  1. Hi Chelsea, this is late, but I wanted to thank you for reading and reviewing my debut book. I'm so happy you liked it. Sorry it made you cry! Thanks again, Katherine

    1. Such a good debut! I loved it! I can't wait to read whatever you've written/write next!