Letting Go by Bridie Hall

Letting Go by Bridie Hall
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (118 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Isabelle is left stranded at the airport, and her only chance of getting home is with her boyfriend’s older brother, Harper. When this good girl and bad boy set off towards home, it turns out that maybe she’s not such a good girl after all. And even bad boys have reasons for their bad behavior.

The road trip is full of shocking revelations and unexpected emotions, bringing the two of them closer than Isabelle ever thought possible. Maybe too close.

Few things are more awkward than going on a road trip with someone you have mixed feelings about, especially when it’s a trip for two.

Strong character development made me wish this story had a sequel. Isabelle and Harper reveal their rough edges almost immediately, but I didn’t realize how fascinated I was by both of them until I got to know the real people behind the masks they carry around. To be honest, I was a little annoyed by certain quirks until I learned how and why Harper and Isabelle developed them. It isn’t easy to develop such well-rounded characters in a short story!

The chemistry in this book never quite felt right to me. Isabelle doesn’t seem to have a great deal in common with her boyfriend or his brother. All three characters are intriguing as individuals, but I never really understand why she was attracted to either one of the brothers. While the rest of the plot was well-suited for something this length, I did wonder if the romantic elements would have worked better if they’d been given the chance to unfold more slowly in a full-length novel.

One of the most interesting things about this novella was how accurately it captures what it feels like to be a teenager. The dialogue flowed so smoothly that I often felt as though I were eavesdropping on Isabelle and Harper’s conversations instead of reading a book. It was also interesting to see how quickly these characters’ experience shifts in their emotions. One minute they’re happy, and the next one they’re frustrated or sad. Not everyone is moody as a teenager, of course, but including those scenes made these particular characters feel even more authentic to me.

Letting Go is a story I’d recommend to adult and young adult readers alike. I’ve always thought that road trips are nearly universal appealing, and this particular one is no exception to that hunch.


  1. amy bowens says:

    I really enjoyed this book! Looing forward to reading more from Bridie Hall

  2. Thanks for such a lovely review. I really appreciate your thoughts.

    • Astilbe says:

      You’re welcome! I hope you’ll consider submitting more books to Long and Short Reviews in the future.

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