The Secret to Letting Go Paperback – Feb 1 2016
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
When a shy girl with hacked blonde hair wanders into his dad's sporting goods store, she catches Daniel's eye, but seems pretty clueless. Even so, when she can't afford a new camp stove, having only nineteen dollars to her name, he makes an impulsive offer. If she meets him at the beach the following day, he'll trade one of the extra stove his family has at home. In return, Clover offers him some home made preserves.
Before they get together the next day, Clover runs into Amelia, Daniel's twin who is painting on the wharf overlooking the beach. At first Daniel's suspicious of this 'chance' meeting, but when he overhears part of their conversation, he begins to realize that Clover has a natural charm and innocence that's unlike anything he's ever encountered. Despite the wall he's erected around his emotions, Clover has already started breaking it down. When a jar of her preserves slips from her hand, she loses her balance and nearly drowns. Daniel and his friend Sam save her. This sets in motion a long overdue romance between Sam and Amelia as well as creating some good, but uncomfortable emotions between Clover and Daniel
By the end of the story, there have been plenty of hurts for each of them, a ton of secrets brought to light and several surprise plot twists, not to mention a hurricane. I read this in about four hours because the characters refused to let me put it down. It's a great book for teens who have experienced the loss of a love or a friend, have painful family secrets or just like a neat romance with no profanity or sex. It's a great first book and I look forward to more from this author.
While Daniel's past is out in the town to know, hers is much more hidden, and even after it all comes out, their relationship suffers because them being as they are, they can't keep going at it unequally - him being her savior and she depending on him. Each of them needs to heal on their own, and despite them being in love with each other, they consider that to be more important. I liked that the author depicted a healthy route to their relationship and let it grow organically. They are characters you can relate to, but it does feel like they are a bit extreme at their spectrum. While the writing was definitely good, I feel the story was bogged down with a lot of dialogue, which didn't always feel normal. Nevertheless, it was a book I enjoyed reading, and I definitely look forward to future works from the author.
Received a free galley from Entangled Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Secret to Letting Go is about two main characters, Clover and Daniel, each with their own traumas to deal with. Clover has secrets that she doesn't trust anyone enough to share them with and Daniel lost someone close to him and has yet to deal with it. Clover and Daniel meet and shenanigans ensue.
This book switches perspective between Daniel and Clover every once in a while. I liked that it didn't do it every chapter like some novels do. It was a really quick read for me, and over all, I did enjoy it. There were a few things that I didn't enjoy, though. There is a character that is very obviously mentally ill, and I don't know how to say who it is without spoiling things. He does bad things, and Clover often refers to him as evil. I did not like how the mental illness was handled in this book at all. While I'm sure some people act and do the things he did, it just gave a poor image to what mental illness is. I feel like it adds to the fear and misunderstanding by portraying it the way that it did.
Clover and Daniel spend a lot of the book saying the same things about themselves or their situations and it does get a bit annoying. Clover keeps repeating that no one would ever love her if they knew what her secrets were and Daniel doesn't want to allow himself to feel anything for Clover and he absolutely doesn't want to talk about him tragic event. This pretty much happens until about 60% into the book, then the secrets start coming out. None of the secrets were a surprise. The book is a bit predictable. But there are enough hints dropped throughout the story that nothing is shocking.
However, despite these, I still enjoyed it. It kept me up past 11 pm one night and I had to force myself to put it down and go to bed because I had to get up early for work the next morning. Katherine Fleet managed to write teenage characters that I, mostly, didn't want to slap and I don't think I rolled my eyes once!
I liked her characters, especially Amelia, Daniel's twin sister. The one I liked the least was probably Clover, but she just frustrated me with her unwillingness to let go (which I'm sure is the point, considering the title). She described the setting really well. It made me remember what it was like the two times I've visited Florida, with the thunder storms and the humidity. Ugh.
Overall, I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.
This was a story full of highs and lows.
We have Clover, arriving in town to follow her mother’s wishes. From the start you notice that Clover is a different girl from the rest. She was overly naïve a times (which could also be infuriating), and super honest with people. I loved that she was not jaded like there rest. After hearing her story, we find out why she was like this, why she was so different from the rest.
I liked Clover in general, even though she could be frustrating at times. Loved the way she viewed the world and how she treated people. Her past was truly heartbreaking, and I wanted to hug the hell out of her for most the book.
As for Daniel, he was a cool guy, helping Clover without really thinking about it. He was too wrapped up in guilt that had no place in his life, so he didn’t see himself very clearly. Which was another thing I liked Clover, she was the first to really see him and the good guy he was.
As for the romance, I never truly saw it between these two. They were getting to know each other and they made good friends, but romance? I just didn’t see it. Much like they discovered, they both needed to figure out who they were before starting a relationship with anyone, and I thought that was a great idea. They both needed to discover their place in the world, be friends first and maybe start a romantic relationship; the potential was there for them.
It was a nice story with really heartbreaking moments, but with lots of hope for Clover. :-)
*Thank you to Entangled Publishing for providing an ARC in exchange of my honest opinion*