Title: Letting Go by Jessica Ruddick
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
How long do you hold on?
Cori Elliott likes order. Her schedule, her social life…even her GPA is perfect. Then she finds out her high school boyfriend’s death wasn’t an accident—it was suicide. The devastating revelation is enough to fracture her perfectly structured life, sending Cori in a downward spiral of self-doubt and impulsive decisions.
And right into the arms of Luke Evans.
But Cori’s life isn’t perfect anymore. In fact, it’s all coming apart. The only way she can save herself is to let go of everything—including the girl she used to be. Even if it means losing the one guy who might just be perfect for her in the process..
Letting Go is a very charming new adult romance by Jessica Ruddick. This debut novel is a sweet, fun read with minimal angst or drama. The characters are endearing and the plot is refreshingly unique.
Cori Elliott is a type A personality whose second year of college is not beginning under the best of circumstances. She is scrambling to cover her tuition after her financial aid falls through and she is devastated to learn her boyfriend Tyler’s death the previous spring has been ruled a suicide. Cori makes an impetus decision to go to a frat party where she acts even more out of character when she gets drunk and makes out with a hot stranger, Luke Evans. Luckily for Cori, Luke is actually a really great guy, but her inability to be honest about her past becomes a huge stumbling block for their burgeoning relationship.
Cori is a likable, but frustrating, character. She has very high standards for herself and she works hard to maintain her perfect GPA. Cori is quickly overwhelmed trying to balance her classes, a new relationship and finding last minute financial aid. She is also struggling to make sense of Tyler’s suicide and she is caught in an endless loop of blaming herself while at the same time playing the “what if” game.
Luke is a couple years older than Cori and he, too, is very serious about college. While he devotes plenty of time to studying, he also knows how to have a good time. Contrary to Cori’s assertions he is perfect, Luke made his share of mistakes in his previous relationship and he is completely honest about his role in its eventual demise. The only thing he asks in return is that Cori also come clean about her past as well. Although she has numerous opportunities to explain her relationship with Tyler, Cori tells a bunch of half truths and tries to convince herself that lying by omission isn’t really lying. However, it is only a matter of time before Tyler discovers her secrets but will he be as understanding as she thinks he will be?
Letting Go is a very engaging novel and Jessica Ruddick does a wonderful job keeping the story moving forward despite Cori’s inability to completely let go of her past. The characters are beautifully developed with realistic issues to overcome. The romance between Cori and Luke is absolutely delightful and although their love scenes are not explicit, there is no denying the chemistry between them. It is an all around terrific read that fans of new adult romances are sure to enjoy.