book review (with cover mani!): I let you go

This book has been all over the place and I just wasn't sure about it, but when a copy was forced upon me by my favourite bookseller, who was all: Why haven't you read this yet?!, I decided to give it a try. I'm happy to report that yet again, Steph was right on the money, because it was incredible!


The back jacket, from Goodreads:

In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .


To put it plainly, the subject matter of I LET YOU GO is heartbreaking, but if you can connect with Jenna like I did, you'll be mesmerized by her voice. I think it would've been easy to overdo certain emotional reactions, considering the tragedy, and yet, Jenna's grief is relatively quiet, resting just beneath the surface. Naturally, it comes to the forefront every so often, which is when I'd feel tears sliding down my face, but for the most part, Jenna tries to look forward. 

Because above all else, Jenna is a survivor, but there's more to life than just surviving. She wants to start over and create another life for herself. But how can the human soul recover from such despair? Jenna begins to address that question within the early chapters, and for the rest of the book, we follow Jenna as she tries to figure it out. 

Unfortunately, that's about all I can tell you about I LET YOU GO, because surprises abound in this baby, popping up in unexpected places to give you pulses of anxiety and quash any notion you had about sleeping even though you have a big meeting the next morning. So instead, I've put together a few GIFs that accurately capture my emotional reading experience; the circle of feelings, if you will.

1. Heartbreak

2. Surprise


3. Brain-explosion

Repeat those expressions four times and that's how I got through I LET YOU GO. The writing is riveting, evocative, and downright bananapants, which built the plot to the highest levels of insanity while cracking open my Grinch-y heart. I admire authors who make me squirm in my chair, which is why I'm now an official member of the Clare Mackintosh Fan Club. Because holy squirm-fest! I even found myself leaning forward as I read, because relaxing in a chair felt disrespectful to the stress-eating stakes.

So if you decide to pick up I LET YOU GO, do yourself a favour and don't start right before you go to bed. Not unless you've got some sick days at work left, anyway, because the rest of the world will quickly seem insignificant once you turn that first page. Oh, and don't read any reviews. I've been noticing some reviews for this book include spoilers, which is the meanest thing ever (OMG STOP DOING THAT, PEOPLE). You've got to read this one without any prior knowledge of anything, except the warning that your dogs probably won't get walked and kiddos will have to fend for themselves. Not to worry, though, you can make it up to them later with bacon strips and a trip to the water park. Respectively. Haha!


For this mani, I used:

China Glaze - Man Hunt and Immortal
Julep - Kenna
ORLY - White Tips
Fingerpaints - Black Expressionism
OPI - Matte topcoat
Tools - saran wrap technique, piCture pOlish nail art brush #9, triangular makeup sponge

And for more, non-book-related manis, be sure to check out my IG page! (@jennieshaw)


  1. Can't wait to read this one! It's my my (massive) TBR :).

  2. Oh, it sounds so gooooood! And your nails are painfully awesome, as usual. I love how they came out- isn't the saran wrap effect fantastic? Of course, you also rock the writing in nail polish thing, which is a rare skill let me tell you. :D


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