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 was a really phenomenal book- it deals with what might be supernatural things, but the way they are framed, even as a reader you aren't sure what's real and whats not, whats happening in real life and what's happening in the characters heads. What is clear is that this book deals with the very real issue of mental illness and how it effects not just the person who is has the illness, but everyone around them
At the heart of the story are Kyra and Corey, best friends who were seperated when Corey's mom moved for a job. Left behind in the very quirky town of Lost, Alaska, Kyra finds herself very literally lost and alone, trying to cope with Bipolar disorder in a town that doesn't understand her at best and is afraid of her at worst. Kyra spirals out of control and without Corey there to ground her she takes her own life. Where the story really gets interesting is when Corey begins to dig into Kyra's death and discovers the town she once loved may have contributed to Kyra's death much more heavily then she thought possible. The town has changed and Corey is no longer welcome, but first she must survive a week in Lost while trying to preserve the memory of a friend she loved. This book takes a lot of twists and turns, but at it's heart is about 2 friends who lost their way and a community that wanted to assign meaning to an illness they didn't understand, even if it meant killing Kyra.
For me, this book has more meaning beyond being a really excellent story. As someone who has both anxiety and depression, it was easy to relate to Kyra, and to see the toll it can take on those around you who just don't understand. I could feel Kyra's frustration when she wanted people to just accept her as who she is, bipolar disorder and all, and still want to get better, to feel more "normal", to stop the swing from mania to depression, to feel like she belonged. All in all, Nijkamp does an amazing job taking very real issues that surround mental illness and the lack of understanding that can come with it, and weave it into a story that leaves you wondering about the secrets little town keep and the magic they cling to when they feel their world falling apart.
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