Book Review: Letting Go & Holding On by D.M. Roberts

Letting Go & Holding On by D.M. Roberts – 4 stars

Zoey Young leads a typical teenage life, fighting with her parents’ ideas for her future and their fear of her dependence on her best friend, Laura Simmons. When their fears become reality, Zoey’s world is capsized and she struggles to regain any semblance of control in her life. Through sessions with her therapist she is able to discuss her fears without feeling judged, however she remains isolated from the rest of the world. Not until she meets mystery boy, Tristan Wright, is she able to open herself up to fuller, richer experiences and develop a newfound confidence. But as she gets caught up in a whirlwind romance filled with uncertainty and fervor, she begins to blindly follow him down a destructive path.

Journalist Deirdre Hart is struggling through her own hardship, with her estranged husband asking for a divorce after three years of burying their problems. Her work proves an adequate escape, until her research into a string of teenage suicide shootings causes her past to creep back into her present. Despite cautioning from family and friends about her unhealthy obsession, she searches for the one answer she desperately hopes will bring her peace.

As Zoey’s relationship with Tristan takes a drastic turn, Deirdre discovers a dangerous secret, and both women are put to the test when their paths converge in a violent climax. But after mastering their fears and learning to listen to their intuition, they realize when faced with any adversity, there’s always a choice between letting go and holding on.

The author tackles the difficult subject of teen suicide shootings, and does so fairly well. The writing itself is enjoyable to read, and I liked Zoey as a main character. In some ways, the switch to Deidre bugged me, as she wasn’t as fun to read about, but overall, I found her to be a well used device that made the story work.

The book does have some boring, pedantic sections, where terms are being defined or concepts explained. Those definitions are probably necessary. I would have preferred to see them handled differently. Aside from this, the book was a good read, and the resolution was satisfying.

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