Before I Let Go (Skyland #1) by Kennedy Ryan

Before I let go

“Grief is a grind. It is the whole work of breathing and waking and rising and moving through a world that feels emptier. A gaping hole has been torn into your existence, and everyone around you just walks right past it like it’s not even there.”

Told from dual POVs, Before I Let Go tells the story of Josiah and Yasmen, a couple who fell in love in college, got married, and were living happily with their family, successfully growing their business together and overall, just had everything figured out until they didn’t. When they lose two very dear people, their vows to weather every storm together begin to feel like chains.

This was one of my highly anticipated releases of 2022. The cover is gorgeous, and everyone seemed to have read and enjoyed this book, but sadly, it didn’t meet my expectations. It fell flat in one too many areas.

Honestly, I don’t see any reason why Josiah and Yasmen got married in the first place. They only had sexual chemistry. There was no emotional connection between them, and anytime they were reminiscing about their past and the love they shared, it was always some sexual encounter or the other. That was very cringy; I won’t lie. I didn’t care for any of the characters in this book except Kassim🤭.

Deja is such an annoying character, and I want to slap her for all the cruel things she did and said- always seeking to put her mum down in front of friends and family, and for what?. I don’t care that she’s a teenager in her formative years!

Everyone kept telling me I would understand why she was that way towards the end of the story, but I didn’t find one justifiable reason for her cruelty. She’s such a rude and uncouth child, and I cannot count the number of times that I rolled my eyes when Josiah would allow her to get away with her silly attitude 🙄.

I feel so sorry for Vashti. Finding out that you’re a rebound must suck, and actually, I did feel like she and Josiah were a better pair than Yasmen and Josiah. I hope she gets a man that deserves her love, and I want a sequel with her as the main character🥺.

Grief is difficult to deal with, and I’m glad they got help through therapy. Holding back on grief is a recipe for disaster because the victim continues to try to hold everything together until they can no longer hold themselves. I want more people to know that it’s okay to cry and feel all the feelings while they are grieving, as this will help them to process their grief instead of bottling everything in.

I’m really glad that Yasmen had friends to comfort her while she was in the most chaotic phase of her life. But I’m afraid I have to disagree with some of her feelings, decisions, and sentiments because they seemed shallow. However, I love that her friends tried to be there for her.

This book explores difficult themes such as complex mother-daughter relationships, death, loss, miscarriage, and depression. Please take care when and if you decide to pick up this book. The writing is beautiful, and the story was undoubtedly entertaining, but it didn’t meet my expectations. Maybe it’s because I placed it on a high pedestal, but I definitely expected more.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Stephanie Ozoemena

Stephanie discovered her love for reading at the tender age of 7 and she has not looked back since then. When she is not reading, she is daydreaming about traveling to the numerous countries she has read about in books.

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