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Estelle: Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble

Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble [ twitter | website ]
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Kensington Books
Pages: 288
Target: Young adult for mature audiences / Adult fiction
Format read: Paperback borrowed from library
How I heard about it: The fabulous BookChic!

Summary: A lot has happened during Nate and Adam’s short relationship — there’s the bullying at school that escalates into raw humiliation, the acceptance of their parents (or lack there of), and the upcoming challenges of maintaining their closeness when Adam gets a theater job in New York. Even though Nate convinces him to take it while he remains in Texas, jealousy and backlash from Nate’s honest blog and new attitude in school soon come between the two and manage to make them feel even farther apart.

The same day I finished reading this novel, I found myself sitting in the diner with two of my best friend and my husband. I was having a great time but I couldn’t stop thinking about Nate and Adam, the main characters from Don’t Let Me Go. This is all thanks to the remarkable debut novel by J.H. Trumble. She has created characters and a plotline that was so honest and real, it was like I knew these characters personally. Like they were two people I knew in high school.

From page 1, I was completely invested in this story. I know that’s true because I didn’t always like what Nate had to say or the actions he took. I loved him, he annoyed me, and he frustrated me just like any other human in my life. And I don’t blame him. Ever since he decided to come out to his high school, his dad has basically abandoned him, he was brutalized by his peers, and later forced to share the most intimate details of that assault and the relationship with his boyfriend, Adam, during a very public trial. All of this, indeed, would affect a person in a huge way.

This leads us to an epic and imperfect love story. In my mind, that is the best kind. Because it’s authentic. Love is never easy. Love is not without challenge. And we see the inner workings of a deep relationship from the get-go. The most intimate of details and moments are shared, and I felt like I was experiencing their relationship right alongside them. (And reliving the doubts and jealousy I once faced when I was in my own long-distance relationship.)

Don’t Let Me Go isn’t just a romantic love story. Its strength also lies in the friendships. Nate’s friendship with Danial (they have this unreal chemistry) and also Nate’s unhealthy need to help out Luke, a boy who is in the closet but looks to Nate like he is a god. This novel never feels like one character or plotline is getting ignored. Nothing feels under developed and that is a true feat because much goes on, as the time shifts (seamlessly) from past to present.

 This book is every reader’s dream. I felt I was given the ability to create my own relationship with these characters, as well as take something from their challenges, their failures, and their triumphs. I was outwardly yelling at the book near the end like I could make a significant difference in the last couple of pages. The ending could have gone several ways but I think Trumble did a stellar job of wrapping up this heavy, multi-layered story.

 Is it time for me to stop gushing yet? Don’t Let Me Go is an experience. It is hands down the best book I have read so far in 2012, and probably in my top 5 since I started reading like a maniac last year. I guarantee it is going to take a long time before I feel this strongly about another novel. Stop what you are doing and go read it now.

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September 24, 2013 - 9:00 am

Just Between Us by J.H. Trumble (Book Review) - […] LGBT Format read: Paperback ARC from author. (Thanks!!) Other books I’ve reviewed by Trumble: Don’t Let Me Go | Where You […]

December 3, 2012 - 9:01 am

Fiction Review: Where You Are by J.H. Trumble - […] I wrote my review of J.H. Trumble’s Don’t Let Me Go in March, I wrote about how I kept thinking of the main characters of that story like they were […]

November 20, 2012 - 12:08 am

Top 10 Tuesday: Ten Books We're Thankful For - […] 5. Don’t Let Me Go: Oh man. This book hit me in the gut. The main character is dealing with a long distance relationship and being open about his sexuality in a school and a town that is not very accepting. The writing is powerful, but never preachy and whoa, you know you like the book when the character makes some frustrating moves and you are hanging on. I called it one of my best reads of 2012 and that still rings true. (My review.) […]

July 9, 2012 - 11:22 pm

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books That Have Flown Under the Radar - […] An engaging love story between two boys who are forced to work their relationship long distance. DLMG illustrates the pain and exhilaration that come with being who you are and letting the world know it, the difficult of young love, and the power of acceptance. goodreads / amazon / E’s review […]

June 16, 2012 - 9:29 am

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - Wow. I’ve never heard of this book, but this review definitely makes me want to read it! It sounds like such a powerful story.

March 18, 2012 - 8:02 am

In My Mailbox Meme: Rather Be Reading Blog (Estelle) - […] Estelle: Paper Towns by John Green Estelle: The Big Kids’ Table (March) — Adult Fiction Picks Magan: Cracked by K.M. Walton Magan: Interview with Cracked’s K.M Walton Estelle: Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble  […]

March 16, 2012 - 11:48 am

J.H. Trumble - Aaah. Thank you!

March 16, 2012 - 9:22 am

Estelle - JH, THANK YOU for such an amazing book. I could have went on for 400 pages about it. I need to buy my own copy with my next Amazon shipment. It belongs on my bookshelves.

March 16, 2012 - 9:15 am

J.H. Trumble - I’m speechless. Thank you for that passionate review!

March 16, 2012 - 9:14 am

Estelle - Meg, I’m so glad I convinced you. If I can get 5 people to agree to read it today, it will be my good deed for the week. haha. Thanks so much for the comment! Made my morning!

March 16, 2012 - 9:12 am

Meg - I need nothing more than to know it’s your favorite read so far this year — high praise, indeed! These characters sound messy, imperfect and real… which is just how I like them. Great review — you definitely have me convinced!

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