The Art of Holding On and Letting Go by Kristin Bartley Lenz
Expected Publication: September 12th 2016 by Elephant Rock Productions, Inc.
Pages: 307 Pages (Paperback)
A Junior Library Guild Fall 2016 Selection
“When every piece falls into place, it’s like a dance, a delicate but powerful balancing act. The art of holding on and letting go at the same time.”
Competitive climber Cara Jenkins feels most at home high off the ground, clinging to a rock wall by her fingertips. She’s enjoyed a roaming life with her mountaineering parents, making the natural world her jungle gym, the writings of Annie Dillard and Henry David Thoreau her textbooks. But when tragedy strikes on an Ecuadoran mountaintop, Cara’s nomadic lifestyle comes to an abrupt halt.
Starting over at her grandparents’ home in suburban Detroit, Cara embarks on a year of discovery, uncovering unknown strengths, friendships, and first love. Cara’s journey illustrates the transformative power of nature, love and loss, and discovering that home can be far from where you started. (goodreads.com)
* Thank you to Elephant Rock Books for providing me with an
eARC in exchange for my honest review *
When the publisher contacted me regarding this book and I checked out the synopsis I was definitely intrigued. I've never read a book about a competitive climber before, or even seen climbing being mentioned in any other YA book I've read so far, so I was eager to dive into it. Thanks to a massive reading slump it took me way longer then it usually would, which is a shame, but I made my way through it and I can tell you that I was not disappointed by it.
In this story we follow Cara's story that starts off in Ecuador during a climbing competition (which is described really, really well and with just the perfect amount of details) during which tragedy strikes Cara's family. Following Cara as she holds on to hope that maybe everything will be okay, and then having to accept that it won't and that her entire life is about to change, was heartbreaking and brilliantly written. Seeing her navigate a her new surroundings, making new friends and falling in love was amazing, especially because it was such a contrast to the way the book started off.
What stuck out for me about this book was the way Kristin described the climbing aspect and Cara's emotional landscape, how it was changing and evolving along the way. You could really feel what she was feeling and understand why she felt that way and why she made certain choices. Cara is a fascinating character that I very much enjoyed reading about.
I really enjoyed Kristin's writing style, the way she created likable and relatable characters that seemed realistic and three dimensional. The story definitely lived up to my hopes and to that really pretty cover.
All in all, The Art of Holding On and Letting Go is a intriguing story that brings something new to the table, something we've not seen before, and it does it incredibly well. I can definitely recommend it if you're in the mood for a contemporary with lots of emotions and a looking into the life of a competitive climber.
I give The Art of Holding On and Letting Go by Kristin Bartley Lenz 5 out of 5 stars.
Barnes & Noble
Also, if you want, you can totally check out the blog tour for The Art of Holding On and Letting Go (which I'm totally part of):
· Mon., Aug. 22 – Kristin makes a guest post on Making Connections
· Fri., Aug. 26 – Kristin interviewed on Fiction Over Reality
· Tues., Aug. 30 – Kristin interviewed on A Leisure Moment
Thurs., Sept. 1 – Kristin interviewed on Crazy Book Obsessions!
· Sunday, Sept. 4 – Kristin makes an appearance on blackplume
· Tues., Sept. 6 – Kristin makes a guest post on Books Are Love
· Thurs., Sept. 8 – Kristin interviewed on Alice Reeds
Mon., Sept. 12 – Release day post on Making Connections
· Mon., Sept. 12 – Kristin makes a guest post on Books & Tea
· Mon., Sept. 12 – Kristin is interviewed by her agent, Carrie Pestritto, on Literary Carrie
· Thurs., Sept. 15 – Kristin interviewed on Books Are Love
· Tues., Sept. 20 – Kristin makes a guest post on The Reading Date
· Friday, Sept. 23 – Kristin makes a guest post on Twenty Three Pages
Mon., Sept. 26 – Kristin interviewed on Literary Rambles
Wed., Sept. 28 – Kristin interviewed on Wandering Educators
· Wed., Oct. 5 – Kristin interviewed on Operation Awesome