Release date: February 1, 2016
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.
The Secret to Letting Go, told in a dual perspective of the protagonists Clover and Daniel, is mainly a story of guilt and being so broken up over guilt that it changes your life. Daniel is grieving the death of his ex-girlfriend and his guilt over not knowing what exactly caused her to commit suicide. Clover, while hiding it as a secret, is feeling guilt over her parents. Under spoilers, I can only say that she was forced to move on forward from that incident and try to forge a new life in the town where she meets Daniel. From the start, he feels protective towards her, and feels like he needs to save her. They are essentially two broken people, and them gravitating towards each other was not a healthy start to the relationship. But when they are together, they do forget their respective pasts, even if it is good for them to keep the secret from each other.
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.