Holding On and Letting Go is a great debut novel; actually for me it is the debut surprise of the year. Told from dual POV’s this is a story about different kinds of relationships; ones between friends turned boyfriend girlfriend, ones between friends, ones between enemies turn friends, and those between siblings and family relationships.
The story is not surprising just because it is well written or because it is a highly emotional read, but because it was able to completely take me in different directions and surprised me by doing the unexpected. At the very beginning I thought that this will be yet another story full of characters that can be found in almost every teenage movie (jock, shy/ different/ misfit girl, evil cheerleader ex-girlfriend, funny best friend), but I was wrong. As the story develops these characters step out of those stereotypical roles and turn into great three dimensional teenagers full of personality. The greatest surprise is the leading female character, Emerson. She turns from an angry and egoistic girl into a proactive, strong and compassionate young lady. The reason being that she decided to get better.
Unfortunately, the story has a weak link and that is a romantic relationship between two main characters (Emerson and Matt). The writer did not convince me enough to believe that Matt completely embraced the new and stronger Emerson. Since there is a second installment of the series I will have the opportunity to see how their relationship will progress.
So I highly recommend this story. I cannot wait for the second book in the series that will tell Matt’s ex-girlfriend’s story. My questions is, will also feature all the characters from this one too?
The Story Base:
Holding On and Letting Go is a coming of age story about love, friendship, healing wounds and finding strength to continue life after tragedy. Sixteen year old Emerson returns to her home town two years after the death of her brother and in order to continue with her life she first has to face her demons and make peace with this tragic event.
Two years after her little brother's death, sixteen-year-old Emerson Caulfield returns to a home that she spent the last two years missing. In theory, everything should be the same. Her best friend Matt, still lives next door. Her house is in the exact same condition as they left it. The scenery and hallways haven't changed, yet for Emerson, everything is completely different. The place may be the same, but Emerson is most certainly not. She returns home hurt, angry and miles away from the girl she once was.