Review: THE UPSIDE OF LETTING GO by Nacole Stayton

Posted April 16, 2013 by Michelle in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

tulg jacket final

Title:  The Upside of Letting Go
Author:  Nacole Stayton
Genre:  New Adult
Release Date:  April 20, 2013
Cover Design byBrett Farizio

~ Synopsis ~
Haley Martin decides the only way to let go of her lingering nightmares is to literally move on. Taking a leap of faith she finds herself enrolling at a campus hundreds of miles away from home.
She leaves any thoughts of dating again in Jersey, that is until fate crosses her path with a blue-eyed stud named Kyler King. He is notoriously known for being emotionally unattainable, but his façade is only to hide the burdens he bares every day.

As Kyler and Haley’s physical attraction becomes deeper, the secrets of the past threaten to surface. When Haley’s past collides with the present, will her secrets prove too big of an obstacle hindering their happily ever after, or will letting go be the key that locks their bond forever?

~ Review ~

If you liked Thoughtless and The Edge of Never (two of my favorite reads), I have no doubt that you will like this book too!

The Upside of Letting Go is one of those books which truly exceeded my expectations more than I could have ever imagined. The book, deemed New Adult, had a cover photo of a young man pushing young woman on a swing, and it just didn’t draw me in or “intrigue” me. However, since the time this book originally showed up on Goodreads, the cover photo was updated.

After reading the book, I still don’t feel that the cover does the book justice, but I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to read this book. Otherwise, I think, NO, I KNOW, I would have easily overlooked it and would have missed a well-written storyline with relatable and developed characters who took me on one heck of a ride filled with a mix of emotions.

With a duffel bag hung over her shoulder, Haley Martin boarded a Greyhound bus in New Jersey, leaving behind a past filled with heartbreak and misery, in hopes of starting a new life in a new college town over 500 miles away. It is in Alabama where she meets Kyler King, a beautiful young man with a tragic past as well, who has no interest in settling down with anyone.

“I’m standing face to face with the blue-eyed God from the admin office I saw earlier today. Once again I’m speechless. Our eyes lock, and I feel something I haven’t felt in a very long time: lust.”

Haley and Kyler start spending more and more time together since their respective roommates are dating. But they reach a mutual agreement that they are just going to be friends with some occasional benefits. Neither one of them is ready for the honesty and commitment of a relationship nor are they ready to talk about the defining moments in their lives…the moments which are responsible for building the retaining walls that have protected their hearts…the moments which led to Kyler permanently sleeping with the light on. (Oh, and let me tell you, when you read those “benefit” scenes, you won’t be disappointed!)

“I feel his eyes gaze over my towel-covered body in a hungry way that should make me feel violated but only turns me on. In this moment I don’t care about anything else except filling this void in my heart, and with Kyler looking at me like he wants to accomplish the same goal, I know what’s about to happen.”

With an understanding and strong connection due to those defining moments, their friendship blossoms into true love. Sometimes we can’t understand what another person has been through unless we have lived it ourselves. Haley and Kyler have that understanding.

“Two can play this game, and I don’t think he knows he is playing with fire. I’ve gotten pretty good at loving and leaving, so if this is what his cold shoulder is about, then tonight I’d be more than happy to give him a whirl and send him on his merry way. I know I’m supposed to steer clear of him, and Lord knows I do not need a relationship of any kind, but sex is just sex, right? He is gorgeous, and it’s hard not to appreciate beauty when you keep running into it head on.”

Unfortunately, an integral piece of Haley’s past shows up in her present and threatens to change her new life, the new Haley, and the relationship which she and Kyler have fought so hard to hang onto.

And it was at the end of this book that I truly felt that cover did not do the book justice. In my mind (and before I knew who the inspirations were behind the characters), I knew Haley was absolutely beautiful. Although the cover of the book shows a broken girl, a motorcycle, and darkness, there is also so much light in this book.

Yes, drama and some angst take place, which would explain why I literally went through an entire bag of Hershey Kisses with Almonds. At one point, I wanted to stop reading. I didn’t want my bubble to burst. I smiled, I gasped, I cried, and I screamed “what the hell?” on more than one occasion. Yes, I literally had emotional whiplash from the characters as well as the storyline that completely sucked me in and made me feel like these people were my personal friends.

Without a doubt, The Upside of Letting Go was a 5 star read for me, and I am so thankful that this book literally landed in my lap! Great job Nacole Stayton, and I eagerly await your next book with anticipation! You should be very proud of your debut novel.

Nacole StaytonAbout the Author
Nacole Stayton was born and raised Christian “Nacole” Stayton. She is twenty-three years young and currently resides in the Bluegrass state, Kentucky. She spends her days working at the local hospital and nights writing vigorously on her current novel. She has a passion for helping others and wears her University of Kentucky gear proudly. While her husband loves all things outdoors Nacole enjoys the finer things in life like getting pedicures while reading on her Kindle Fire. Her hair color changes with the seasons and she has a weakness for tattoos and iced coffee.

Read our interview with Nacole!


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