Finished Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp. I received a copy from the publisher for review.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.
Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.
Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter… ”
This book is so hard to describe. It’s a sort of ghost story and a sort of cult story and definitely one about grief and friendship. (Basically all my favorite things in one gorgeous mishmash that shouldn’t work, but does.)
It’s not a secret that Kyra has been diagnosed bipolar. The whole town knows and the whole town (except for Corey, basically) has shunned her. Except when Corey goes to a new school out of town, somehow things have changed and the town now views Kyra as…well, to paraphrase Groundhog Day, something like A god, if not THE god.
And now that Kyra is dead and Corey has no idea what happened to her friend, she is trying to piece together exactly what happened. (It doesn’t help that she is now viewed as an outsider–seriously, guys, this place is hardcore creepy.)
To say more would be to rob this story of its beauty (and creepiness, and it has both in roughly equal measure). You want to experience this for yourself. Recommended.