Book Review: The Letting by Cathrine Goldstein

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Title: The Letting
Author: Cathrine Goldstein
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: December 15, 2014
Genres: YA/NA, Dystopian



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The LettingThe Letting
Cathrine Goldstein
The Wild Rose Press, December 2014
ISBN 978-1-62830-662-0
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

What if the Devil doesn’t know he’s the Devil?

This is the question Veronica “Ronnie” Billings poses to Phoenix, her sworn enemy, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution, and the one she loves.

Kidnapped by Phoenix’s rebels, Ronnie learns how wrong she has been. She had no idea that her patriotism was wasted on a corrupt government. Ronnie was proud to be a Leader; taking hundreds of harvested girls to the Letting facility. After all, she was saving them from future Couplings and bringing them to the safety of the New World. Or so she thought…

Confused, Ronnie realizes the only way to discover the truth is to trust her heart. Together, Phoenix and Ronnie devise a plan to stop their corrupt government and preempt the dangerous rebel coup which is approaching. But when their plan goes awry, will Ronnie be strong enough to save Phoenix, her country, and herself?

When we first meet Ronnie, she’s a sort of camp counselor but this camp is unlike any we’ve ever seen. For starters, the kids (all young girls) are housed together by blood type, the first hint we have that this may not be a wonderful place. Blood type O, by the way, is almost extinct and that matters because O is the universal donor.

We can’t be sure in the beginning precisely what’s going on because the author has created a maze of facts and suppositions but, once I started to catch on, I was enthralled by the premise and by Ronnie herself. This girl, kept in the camp for years, ostensibly because there’s something wrong with her blood, has made a name for herself as uniquely adept with the children who need to be prepared for the Letting. The Letting is an ordeal but the rewards are great—so they say—and Ronnie has never questioned her part.

Until one night when all will go topsy-turvy and Ronnie will learn what she’s really been doing.

I felt a real attachment to Ronnie and to a number of other characters. Phoenix, in particular, is an appealing young man and I thought his relationship with Ronnie grew naturally, only moderately taking on the dreaded aspect of insta-love. Ronnie became a force to be reckoned with right before my eyes while holding on to her essential kindness and other players, while not nearly so “nice”, shall we say, were vividly drawn and, in more than one case, made chills run up and down my spine.

Worldbuilding is not entirely clear but that’s okay because we haven’t heard all the story yet. I don’t especially want to know all the details at this point; I’m hoping a second book is in the works and the author will share more 😉

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, December 2014.

About the Author

Cathrine GoldsteinGiven my love for cities and all that is gritty, my new obsession with trees really has me stumped. (Sorry.) Maybe it’s because trees are the inspiration behind my new YA/NA novel, The Letting.

Whatever the reason for my new infatuation, some things remain constant — like my love for: coffee (although sadly, it’s now decaf); yoga; Luna bars (I am petitioning for them to bring back Chocolate Raspberry!); running in my neighborhood; Hemingway; Bukowski… and, above all, my husband and my girls.

I am the author of the bestselling novel, Sleeping With Mortals: The Story of a New York Mistress, and I’m also a playwright. I have my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Theatre.

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