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.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and Entangled.
+++Contains triggers: Abuse
READ THIS BOOK IF:
- You’re looking for an unconventional lead
- You want a sweet, soft romance with a ton of emotional turmoil
- You love alternating POVs
The Secret to Letting Go is a poignant mystery jam-packed with trauma and learning to forgive yourself for situations out of your control.
- Deals with the agony of coping after loss. Whether it be a violent death, natural, or suicide, the blame and guilt people sometimes internalize eats away at them, causing them to react in different ways. Clover and Daniel both experienced heart-breaking losses that they feel, at least in part, somewhat responsible for. Learning to let go of the pain and guilt is a journey, and a hard one. The Secret to Letting Go captures the many ways that loss can break us and chain us to the past. Through memory and love, through processing and casting off the negative thoughts that plague them, Clover and Daniel finally start to heal.
- Abuse, mental illness, and PTSD all appear in this story to varying degrees. The depiction of paranoid schizophrenia was especially poignant. The spells of illness and bouts of paranoia, the high times and the lows, were short but powerful.
- Clover’s circumstances are heartbreaking and unfair. Clover is a genuine, beautiful person who gives a little bit of herself to everyone she meets. She’s thoughtful, compassionate, friendly, and thinks of others always before herself. She’s a tad eccentric and a little weird but it’s kind of endearing.
- Mystery drives the story, forcing you to question Clover’s character. Despite all of the generous and nice traits she has, her secrets make everything feel slightly sinister. The urge to discover the truth will compel you to read faster.
- I couldn’t really connect with any of the characters. The main characters, Clover and Daniel were so concerned with each other that you didn’t get a clear picture of their personalities, Daniel more so than Clover. Secondary characters were short bursts of personality that were far and few between, just when you start to like them, gone again.
- The plot is relatively slow when not dealing with some life-altering catastrophe and the underlying mystery of what happened to Clover’s parents. The alternating POVs are more like diaries and stream of consciousness. Daniel wondering what Clover is doing, Clover thinking about Daniel, etc.
- The climax/big reveal was disappointing. Not that it wasn’t tragic or horrific or even emotional, but because it was made out to be some terrible thing that would destroy everything and when it happens, a teeny frenzy and then, shrug.
- Romance threaded throughout but the chemistry was subtle and occasionally super awkward.
If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this: