counter The Art of Holding On and Letting Go - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

The Art of Holding On and Letting Go

Availability: Ready to download

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, mak 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.


Compare

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, mak 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.

30 review for The Art of Holding On and Letting Go

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Lenz

    Yes, I'm kicking off my book launch by giving my own novel a 5-star-rating! I was so excited to see the beautiful cover. I'm in the final stages of editing with my publisher this month, and the release date is September 12th, 2016. Stay tuned for giveaways! Update, July 12, 2016: Editing is done, advance reading copies have been sent out, and reviews are rolling in. Thanks to Kirkus: "A compelling, unusual coming-of-age story." And Publisher's Weekly: "Lenz offers a thoughtful meditation on life Yes, I'm kicking off my book launch by giving my own novel a 5-star-rating! I was so excited to see the beautiful cover. I'm in the final stages of editing with my publisher this month, and the release date is September 12th, 2016. Stay tuned for giveaways! Update, July 12, 2016: Editing is done, advance reading copies have been sent out, and reviews are rolling in. Thanks to Kirkus: "A compelling, unusual coming-of-age story." And Publisher's Weekly: "Lenz offers a thoughtful meditation on life after loss." Congrats to the winners in the first Goodreads giveaway! More chances coming up soon. I appreciate your support!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Gorgeous debut novel. All the details about rock climbing and the peace to be found in nature are a breath of fresh air in the YA world. I love the strong female and male characters with different backgrounds and physical challenges presented as real, rich, individual voices. "Clean" enough to give to young middle schoolers (a bit of swearing, a bit of kissing) but really aimed at high schoolers who are learning how to hold on and to let go. Gorgeous debut novel. All the details about rock climbing and the peace to be found in nature are a breath of fresh air in the YA world. I love the strong female and male characters with different backgrounds and physical challenges presented as real, rich, individual voices. "Clean" enough to give to young middle schoolers (a bit of swearing, a bit of kissing) but really aimed at high schoolers who are learning how to hold on and to let go.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Angela Kidd Shinozaki

    Not rated. Review only. Advance Reading Copy. This is one of those rare books where the story lives up to its cover and title. I couldn't wait to read this one. The idea of holding on and letting go being something that anyone can relate to and strive for. It's an especially good concept for those of us who may have a tendency to hold on a little bit too tightly. But also important for those who have experienced loss and are in danger of letting go completely. And of course it quite literally ap Not rated. Review only. Advance Reading Copy. This is one of those rare books where the story lives up to its cover and title. I couldn't wait to read this one. The idea of holding on and letting go being something that anyone can relate to and strive for. It's an especially good concept for those of us who may have a tendency to hold on a little bit too tightly. But also important for those who have experienced loss and are in danger of letting go completely. And of course it quite literally applies to rock climbing as well ;-) This story is perfect for those who want to walk, or climb, in another person's shoes. It's very atmospheric, from beginning to end, so you can easily get lost in the story. It breaks a lot of cliches regarding stereotypes, and it questions how we define people. There are some great concepts to explore. I enjoyed the addition of literary quotes (including Thorough and my personal fav Mary Oliver) and how the author keeps coming back to them so that both the protagonist and the reader are led to interpret them in different ways. I especially like the concept of rock climbing not to conquer the mountain but to become the mountain. I love the line about Cara untangling her thoughts like strands of cold spaghetti. And the idea of having a "scallop shell of quiet." And how Cara's uncle gave her rocks as birthday presents. There's some great subtle girl power in this book as well. Of overcoming obstacles both physical and mental. Challenging the things that hold you back. This book will enchant you with its mysteries and romance as well as break your heart wide open as you feel Cara's loss and rediscover what it means to be alive right along with her. You'll cheer for her to get back to climbing and find home. As a note, I wasn't sure at first how I felt about her parents just taking off and leaving her like that. But then I see that Cara needed to grow and become an adult and find herself on her own, as we all must do. Plus I actually appreciated the reminder that parents are still people too, with their own lives, drives, ambitions, and ways of dealing with loss and moving on. Maybe the best thing they could do for Cara in this moment was to let her go.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heather Meloche

    Lenz's book pulled me right in with her descriptions of mountain climbing in The Art of Holding On and Letting Go. She offers so much sensual and lyrical detail about the climbing process that I felt I was on the cliffs and mountains with main character Cara. The book follows Cara's emotional journey from Ecuador, where tragedy strikes her family, to the flat, concrete streets of a Detroit suburb, where she is sent to try to restart her life with her grandparents. She must try to make new friend Lenz's book pulled me right in with her descriptions of mountain climbing in The Art of Holding On and Letting Go. She offers so much sensual and lyrical detail about the climbing process that I felt I was on the cliffs and mountains with main character Cara. The book follows Cara's emotional journey from Ecuador, where tragedy strikes her family, to the flat, concrete streets of a Detroit suburb, where she is sent to try to restart her life with her grandparents. She must try to make new friends, try to grapple with the loss she faced in Ecuador, and try to understand where she fits in to her new locale as well as the world as a whole. Being a metro-Detroiter, it was cool to see Cara going to the climbing facilities near her new home since I've been to those, as well. Lenz creates well-drawn characters, especially the agoraphobic grandmother and the witty grandfather, who made me bust out laughing on many occasions. This is a book about Cara's intense passion for climbing up walls of rock as well as the drive to climb higher than who she was before in order to become a stronger girl in the end. A beautiful debut about holding on to what's most important and letting go of those things that stop us from moving forward.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    First - what an amazing cover! So beautiful and ties directly to the story. This is one of those books that is so full of emotion and depth it sticks with you long after you finish reading it. Cara is a complex character and the growth that she goes through in the different parts of the book is very real. And the secondary characters are just as full and rich with emotion. Seeing how they interacted together made me root for the different relationships between family and friends. Lenz's writing s First - what an amazing cover! So beautiful and ties directly to the story. This is one of those books that is so full of emotion and depth it sticks with you long after you finish reading it. Cara is a complex character and the growth that she goes through in the different parts of the book is very real. And the secondary characters are just as full and rich with emotion. Seeing how they interacted together made me root for the different relationships between family and friends. Lenz's writing style pulled me in and made me care about Cara, her new friends, her grandparents and even her parents, although as a parent myself I had a hard time relating to them and their lifestyle. As a YA novel, I can see how it will appeal to that age group or even upper middle grade. And as an adult with children of my own, I enjoyed reading the thoughts and feelings that the YA age groups deals with on an every day basis.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I really loved this book and would have finished in one day but had to pack for a week's vacation. At first I didn't think the rock climbing aspect of the story would appeal to me much. I'm not an outdoorsy person unless sightseeing counts. But almost as soon as I started the book, I became enthralled with the characters, the plot, and--yes--the rock climbing. Kristin Lenz does a marvelous job of keeping the reader engaged in the story. I never once felt like skimming a page, which says a lot! D I really loved this book and would have finished in one day but had to pack for a week's vacation. At first I didn't think the rock climbing aspect of the story would appeal to me much. I'm not an outdoorsy person unless sightseeing counts. But almost as soon as I started the book, I became enthralled with the characters, the plot, and--yes--the rock climbing. Kristin Lenz does a marvelous job of keeping the reader engaged in the story. I never once felt like skimming a page, which says a lot! Definitely one of the best YA books I've read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Moriah

    *This review will also appear on A Leisure Moment as a part of the blog tour on Aug. 22, 2016* **I received an ARC of this book via Elephant Rock Books in exchange for an honest review** First, let’s talk about how much I love this cover. It’s beautiful in its simplicity, yet it describes Cara perfectly. Next, I’ve never been to Detroit, or California—really any of the places mentioned in this book, but Cara made me feel like I was there. Me, someone who hates heights, lived vicariously through Ca *This review will also appear on A Leisure Moment as a part of the blog tour on Aug. 22, 2016* **I received an ARC of this book via Elephant Rock Books in exchange for an honest review** First, let’s talk about how much I love this cover. It’s beautiful in its simplicity, yet it describes Cara perfectly. Next, I’ve never been to Detroit, or California—really any of the places mentioned in this book, but Cara made me feel like I was there. Me, someone who hates heights, lived vicariously through Cara as she climbed her way across the world. She didn’t just climb mountains, and her hands weren’t the only part of her left with a few scars. Her story was about her metaphorical mountains as much as it was about the physical ones. As I read The Art of Holding On and Letting Go, I pegged it as a young adult novel for any age. It had complex ideas of existentialism but could easily be enjoyed by someone just discovering the glorious young adult section. The characters acted their age, but that isn’t to say that each didn’t grow. I liked watching that growth transpire, whether through new friendships or stepping outside one’s comfort zone. The friendships that Cara made in Detroit made so much of the story. Kaitlyn and Cara were a dynamic duo of sorts, and Nick had a welcomed presence. Lenz also added Kaitlyn’s struggles with her looks and identity in a graceful way but still tackled what it means to be different and that being different is okay. Because of their amazing friendship and how Nick loved Kaitlyn for the girl under the goth, I rooted for her and Nick to get together the entire time and wanted their friendship to go to tbe next level. First love is such a precarious thing. What defines it, and how do you know when it happens? Tom Torres was Cara’s question. She had been one of the guys for so long that she didn’t know what to do when one of those guys saw her as Cara Jenkins, girl climber—or just a girl that loved Agatha Christie novels. They didn’t have a hot and heavy romance but a slow burn. Cara’s most integral relationship was that with her grandparents. The family had to mend through an unwilling volunteer, and it took some time for them to find their footing. Cara acted like any sixteen-year-old would, and her grandparents could only do what they knew to do. It was entertaining and heartfelt and carried a lot of the book. The beginning of the book was a tad drawn out but necessary. Some things happened at the beginning that I did not expect, but I liked the twist that Lenz added. I can see why this book is already winning awards. The Art of Holding On and Letting Go will take you to new heights.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I served on the Sheehan Book Prize committee that selected this book as the winner. It's a wonderful exploration of grief, of friendship, and of relationships more broadly. A solid voice, some really fantastic settings (with incredible details that really make clear Lenz knows how to world build), and a book that will linger with readers. I served on the Sheehan Book Prize committee that selected this book as the winner. It's a wonderful exploration of grief, of friendship, and of relationships more broadly. A solid voice, some really fantastic settings (with incredible details that really make clear Lenz knows how to world build), and a book that will linger with readers.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emily S.

    This is a fantastic debut novel by Lenz. I loved the symmetry between rock climbing and personal loss and love. Beautiful prose and imagery. Congrats Kristin! --Emily S. Deibel, author of Cecilly in Cinderland

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    In The Art of Holding On and Letting Go, homeschooler and competitive climber Cara’s life falls off balance when the unthinkable happens. Cara is left to pick up the pieces in unfamiliar territory when she moves in with her grandparents. Detroit is much different than her California mountain cabin home, plus she has to adjust to the stresses of high school. New friends help her navigate these uncharted waters in this journey of self-discovery. This debut is a quick, absorbing read about friendshi In The Art of Holding On and Letting Go, homeschooler and competitive climber Cara’s life falls off balance when the unthinkable happens. Cara is left to pick up the pieces in unfamiliar territory when she moves in with her grandparents. Detroit is much different than her California mountain cabin home, plus she has to adjust to the stresses of high school. New friends help her navigate these uncharted waters in this journey of self-discovery. This debut is a quick, absorbing read about friendship, grief, family, love and following your passion. I’ve never been mountain climbing but I was caught up in Cara’s love for the sport, and the vivid descriptions made it feel like I was right there with her. Read more here and enter to win a copy of the book for yourself.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    I started this book expecting it to be a pretty light read, and on some level, it was--I finished the book within 24 of cracking it open. What I didn't expect that it was a remarkably thoughtful and multi-dimensional book about loss. When tragedy strikes Cara's family, she finds herself parked with her grandparents for an indefinite amount of time. She's jerked out of her woodsy, climby, homeschooled California world and thrown into suburban Detroit and all that goes with it. I loved that while t I started this book expecting it to be a pretty light read, and on some level, it was--I finished the book within 24 of cracking it open. What I didn't expect that it was a remarkably thoughtful and multi-dimensional book about loss. When tragedy strikes Cara's family, she finds herself parked with her grandparents for an indefinite amount of time. She's jerked out of her woodsy, climby, homeschooled California world and thrown into suburban Detroit and all that goes with it. I loved that while there is a sweet romance it certainly isn't the focus of the narrative. That's reserved for Cara's personal journey and for her developing relationships with both her grandparents and two new friends. The author explores the different ways Cara was experiencing loss but also the way loss has affected her grandparents and new friends. It also isn't moralistic about her parents' decision to leave her behind at her grandparents' while they attempt several dangerous summits (they're professional mountain climbers). Cara definitely misses them, but having been raised by them, she also understands what they need to do. I have a friend whose husband died in during the Continental Divide race, and this book really made me think both about the impact of his death on their family but also about the fact that he died doing something that he loved. The book keeps coming back to the Mary Oliver line, "What will you do with your one wild and precious life?" Part of Cara's journey is coming to terms with what that means for her, independent of her parents' choices. The quotes from famous writers, like Oliver, Thoreau, Dillard, and Muir, on nature and life were an added bonus. And best of all, it just made me want to climb. So much so that I'm planning on a trip to the climbing gym next weekend.

  12. 4 out of 5

    A.J. Douglas

    I am most at home in a book with action, adventure, far off fantastical places, and bloody life or death fights. So when an author manages to make someone like me fall in absolute love with a contemporary novel set in my own backyard with a sports vibe to it (and I am not a sports person by any stretch), that is an accomplishment. Cara grew up traveling the country with her adventurous parents and family friend, with the outdoors as her school, and climbing big rocks. That is until tragedy strik I am most at home in a book with action, adventure, far off fantastical places, and bloody life or death fights. So when an author manages to make someone like me fall in absolute love with a contemporary novel set in my own backyard with a sports vibe to it (and I am not a sports person by any stretch), that is an accomplishment. Cara grew up traveling the country with her adventurous parents and family friend, with the outdoors as her school, and climbing big rocks. That is until tragedy strikes, throwing her from the only life she's ever known, and into the heart of Metro Detroit, of which I am a lifelong native. This is a wonderful, solidly writen story about a girl learning to rediscover herself after loss. It resonated deeply with me because I experienced my own life shattering loss at Cara's age. The main focal points of this book centers around family, friends, and learning to cope. Elements that I feel are so underdone in the YA genre. I also want to add that I loved how the author handled the romance angle in this book. It is there, but secondary to Cara's narrative. Again, something that I feel is very underdone in YA with female leads.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I gobbled this one right up and found it sweet and engaging and full of heart without any hint of cloyingness. A million years ago, Kristin and I sat next to each other in a cubicle jungle and talked about books and reading and all these years later, here she is with her very own. Congratulations, Kristin and thanks for sharing your work -- I'm thrilled I got to read something of yours. I gobbled this one right up and found it sweet and engaging and full of heart without any hint of cloyingness. A million years ago, Kristin and I sat next to each other in a cubicle jungle and talked about books and reading and all these years later, here she is with her very own. Congratulations, Kristin and thanks for sharing your work -- I'm thrilled I got to read something of yours.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jodi McKay

    I could not put this book down! Cara's story not only gives us a glimpse into the amazing world of rock climbing, it highlights and supports the need to do what you love even when life knocks you down. All of that is excellently blended with a typical life of a 15-yr-old who tries to find who she is outside of everything she's ever known. I could not put this book down! Cara's story not only gives us a glimpse into the amazing world of rock climbing, it highlights and supports the need to do what you love even when life knocks you down. All of that is excellently blended with a typical life of a 15-yr-old who tries to find who she is outside of everything she's ever known.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Syaza ♡

    4.5 stars i loved reading this! i definitely had a wonderful time reading cara's journey! also, the way the author described both rock & wall climbing makes me wanna try it out one day too! it's so effortless (nice job!) i highly recommend this book to everyone! 4.5 stars i loved reading this! i definitely had a wonderful time reading cara's journey! also, the way the author described both rock & wall climbing makes me wanna try it out one day too! it's so effortless (nice job!) i highly recommend this book to everyone!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    A beautifully written novel about loss, the meaning of "home", and the healing force of nature, rock climbing, and friendship. Full review soon. I gotta let this one sink in. A beautifully written novel about loss, the meaning of "home", and the healing force of nature, rock climbing, and friendship. Full review soon. I gotta let this one sink in.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I loved that the characters in this novel felt real -- like they were your own friends. A book I will definitely be recommending to my middle school readers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    After tragedy strikes while climber Cara Jenkins is competing in Ecuador, she finds herself living in Detroit with the grandparents she hardly knows. Cara is completely rudderless, uninterested in climbing again, and desperate to return to her California home. But her parents are still climbing mountains, even while her father in particular struggles to heal from his emotional wounds. Even while Cara chafes under her grandmother's rules and stern demeanor, she finds friendship in Kaitlyn and Nic After tragedy strikes while climber Cara Jenkins is competing in Ecuador, she finds herself living in Detroit with the grandparents she hardly knows. Cara is completely rudderless, uninterested in climbing again, and desperate to return to her California home. But her parents are still climbing mountains, even while her father in particular struggles to heal from his emotional wounds. Even while Cara chafes under her grandmother's rules and stern demeanor, she finds friendship in Kaitlyn and Nick, two Goths with complicated family dynamics of their own, and a budding romance with handsome basketball player Tom. Even while Cara resists the allure of climbing, someone keeps sending her notes nudging her to get back out there and do her thing. When she eventually gives in and realizes that there is a rock climbing gym nearby, it isn't the same as the mountains she once loved so much, but it is just the challenge she needs to get her interested in living again. The book's title is perfect for what happens in its contents as Cara does have to figure out what to hang onto and what to let go of in life, just as when she's climbing. I enjoyed the descriptions of this unique sport and the complicated relationships and fears that so many of the characters faced, some better than others. The sport of rock climbing will gain a new appreciation from those who read the book, but it will also prompt readers to consider how challenging it is to find oneself when the individuals and things that matter are gone. How is it possible to find the way home and what makes one place in particular home? Is it the place, the memories or the individuals who live there? I have often pondered this as I face the eventual ending of my own teaching career. Who am I when I am no longer a teacher? Where exactly is it that I belong?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    This is by far the best book I have read in the past year. I don't care if you're 14 or 40. Everyone should read this book. The characters are so fleshed out and we get to see them all changing from page to page, not just Cara. The author delivered everything I could have possibly wanted (honestly I even was praying someone would use the nickname Carabiner and almost cheered when it was finally used). I would give this novel more than five stars if I could. This is by far the best book I have read in the past year. I don't care if you're 14 or 40. Everyone should read this book. The characters are so fleshed out and we get to see them all changing from page to page, not just Cara. The author delivered everything I could have possibly wanted (honestly I even was praying someone would use the nickname Carabiner and almost cheered when it was finally used). I would give this novel more than five stars if I could.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I feel bad that I forgot to review this several years ago when I read it, but I still think about it and highly recommend it. I loved all of the great details about Cara's life as a climber and her thoughts on grief and her transformative time with her grandparents in Detroit. This book is fantastic! I feel bad that I forgot to review this several years ago when I read it, but I still think about it and highly recommend it. I loved all of the great details about Cara's life as a climber and her thoughts on grief and her transformative time with her grandparents in Detroit. This book is fantastic!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jan Wollet

    The reason this book took so long to read was my teenage daughter and I were reading it together. Finding the time our schedules jived to read together were far and few between. It was nice to read about the sport of climbing. It will not disappoint!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    I liked this book more than I was expecting! It was a lot deeper and more heart-felt than I have read in many YA books. The rock climbing descriptions were interesting as I know nothing at all about climbing. I liked the main character Cara, and I even found myself tearing up at the most unexpected places. One of my favorite characters, actually, was her grandfather. I loved his little hidden sense of humor and they way he seemed to just "get" Cara. I liked this book more than I was expecting! It was a lot deeper and more heart-felt than I have read in many YA books. The rock climbing descriptions were interesting as I know nothing at all about climbing. I liked the main character Cara, and I even found myself tearing up at the most unexpected places. One of my favorite characters, actually, was her grandfather. I loved his little hidden sense of humor and they way he seemed to just "get" Cara.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Hunley

    I stumbled upon this book in a local book shop- the beautiful cover and the fact that it was autographed copy (woohoo!) caught my attention. I'm so glad I picked his up. I'll definitely be recommending this to my middle schoolers (and adult friends too). I love how it hit on themes of risk-taking, independence, femininity, and loss. I stumbled upon this book in a local book shop- the beautiful cover and the fact that it was autographed copy (woohoo!) caught my attention. I'm so glad I picked his up. I'll definitely be recommending this to my middle schoolers (and adult friends too). I love how it hit on themes of risk-taking, independence, femininity, and loss.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I liked that the main character’s frustrations matched my own, going up and down and shifting throughout the book. I liked that this book didn’t aggressively examine and criticise some of the contemporary topics, like environmental issues or the ever-growing world of technology. On a différent note, this book has made me want to go rock climbing again!

  25. 4 out of 5

    books are love

    Received in exchange for a honest review. This is a incredible book. For a first book, Kristin Lenz hits it out of the park. each character is dynamic and amazing. the story is real and one so many of us face whether we are teens or adults. We see a young girl who is torn and lost but also angry for she is placed in a place and situation that is foreign to her and at a time when she really needs to have her parents love and security and has love but isn’t seen outright and no security. Cara is a c Received in exchange for a honest review. This is a incredible book. For a first book, Kristin Lenz hits it out of the park. each character is dynamic and amazing. the story is real and one so many of us face whether we are teens or adults. We see a young girl who is torn and lost but also angry for she is placed in a place and situation that is foreign to her and at a time when she really needs to have her parents love and security and has love but isn’t seen outright and no security. Cara is a complex character as are all the characters. Her grandpa is my favorite. He is insightful and loving. He gives Cara what she needs before she realizes she needs it. He understands her and loves her. In his own way he is Cara’s safety blanket. Cara is sent to her grandparents when tragedy strikes in Ecuador. When the situation in Ecuador first occurs you are on pins and needles hoping that Cara’s world doesn’t come crashing down. It does just not in the way expected. What her dad does is to me wrong. He is lost and feeling guilt but he also lets down his daughter and her mom I shake my head at. She is stuck for her husband needs her but so does her daughter. I think that the reason Cara is sent to her parents is so Cara can forge a relationship with them but also for her mother to show forgiveness and get back what she lost-her family. Cara is now lost and alone. She wants to be home and she wants her parents so she shuts down. She lets go of who she is and her life. For her she is proving a point and rebelling. In reality she is in pain and this is her way of lashing out and letting go of it. Only she doesn’t let go she bottles all and thinks that this will show them all and she will get home. But where is home? Really is home always what you think it is? This story is Cara’s journey. A journey in discovering who she is, what family is and who she will become. A journey is seeing what love is, what forgiveness is and understanding and coping with loss. Her journey into becoming a adult and learning about loss, life, what memories to hold on to and when to let go. Let go of the anger, pain and frustration. She becomes a butterfly and soars. This happens with the help of her family and friends. Cara learns that everyone has some pain and anger to deal with and that everyone grieves in their own way. That sometimes not everything is black and white. her grandmother for instance is more than expected. She has reasons and is grieving in her own way. Her best friend has been dealt a hard way in life but she handles it with grace although she is left feeling insecure and angry at times. She sees that there are those around her who understand loss and they teach her acceptance and how to live again. She learns that home is where you feel safe and free. Where you are loved and grow. She learns that changing is part of life and becoming who you are meant to be. The depth in which Kristin Lenz writes her characters insights and pain is so surreal and beautiful that you see what they are going through and experience it with them. Each confusion, heartache, anger and sorrow is felt with intensity. You go on the journey with Cara and are by her side as she discovers who she is and lets go of her anger to see that we all deal with things differently and there are always so many reasons for things. I love the romance with her and Tony and the boy who helps her learn to fly and gives her the desire to climb again. Who helps her be free and take chances in her climbing but also her life. This is a amazing, real and beautiful coming of age story. A story that is a journey for not only the characters but the reader as well. We all learn something from the book and you will take something away from the book. The book will change you one way or another and the characters will affect you.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alice Reeds

    Find my review also on my blog. * 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 Find my review also on my blog. * 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.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Cara Jenkins is a nationally ranked competitive climber. Homeschooled by her mountaineer parents, Cara has always felt at home on rock faces and cliffs. When disaster strikes during a climb in Ecuador, Cara's carefully ordered world is completely upended. While her parents struggle to move on in Ecuador, Cara finds herself living with her grandparents in Detroit and entering a traditional high school for the first time. Determined to give up climbing in her grief, Cara will have to figure out who Cara Jenkins is a nationally ranked competitive climber. Homeschooled by her mountaineer parents, Cara has always felt at home on rock faces and cliffs. When disaster strikes during a climb in Ecuador, Cara's carefully ordered world is completely upended. While her parents struggle to move on in Ecuador, Cara finds herself living with her grandparents in Detroit and entering a traditional high school for the first time. Determined to give up climbing in her grief, Cara will have to figure out who she is on the ground as she makes new friends, discovers first love, and tries to figure out how to move past the one climb that changed everything for her and her family in The Art of Holding On and Letting Go (2016) by Kristin Bartley Lenz. The Art of Holding On and Letting Go is Lenz's first novel. Cara is a thoughtful and methodical narrator with a voice that is as measured as her rock climbing paths at the start of the novel. Lenz expertly conveys the world of rock climbing and complex terminology while expanding Cara's world with her move to Detroit. While this story starts with a tragedy, The Art of Holding On and Letting Go is ultimately hopeful as Cara learns that there are many ways to find her place and leave her mark on the world. Possible Pairings: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach, Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler, Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider, Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susannah Nichols

    I'd been looking forward to this novel for a long time, and it did not disappoint! This book delivers everything: a likable, talented, smart yet realistic protagonist (and an incredible cast of supporting characters... Grandpa practically steals the show), a nuanced and thoughtful yet non-plodding plot, and a setting that was innovative and artfully rendered. One of my favorite elements of the story was how fully it was grounded in the details of mountain climbing--I got a wonderful insight into I'd been looking forward to this novel for a long time, and it did not disappoint! This book delivers everything: a likable, talented, smart yet realistic protagonist (and an incredible cast of supporting characters... Grandpa practically steals the show), a nuanced and thoughtful yet non-plodding plot, and a setting that was innovative and artfully rendered. One of my favorite elements of the story was how fully it was grounded in the details of mountain climbing--I got a wonderful insight into this world, and it was easy to see how mountains and climbing served as a metaphor for the growth that the characters experienced throughout the story. Additionally, I think it's rare for female YA characters to grow into their beauty/sexuality over the course of a story in a way that doesn't exclusively involve attention from or connection with a guy (or really any romantic partner) -- this is one of the best treatments of that growth that I've read in a long time. Fantastic debut: I can't wait to see what's next from KBL.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gayle

    I won! I won! A copy of this book was sent to me by the good folks at Elephant Rock Books - thank you one and all! I am happy to have the opportunity to review THE ART OF HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO at its relative "birth" into the world. I will give an honest review. You can get the general gist of the book from the above description, but what I'd like to tell you about is the nice development of the characters and the way the characters learn to empathize and realize they are not alone in their t I won! I won! A copy of this book was sent to me by the good folks at Elephant Rock Books - thank you one and all! I am happy to have the opportunity to review THE ART OF HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO at its relative "birth" into the world. I will give an honest review. You can get the general gist of the book from the above description, but what I'd like to tell you about is the nice development of the characters and the way the characters learn to empathize and realize they are not alone in their troubles/problems. The writing is lovely and it was a pleasure to read a book without sex and drugs. (Although, Nick has a potty mouth and there was one time when Kaitlyn and Cara drank alcohol.) The author, Kristin Bartley Lenz, is obviously knowledgeable about rock climbing and has perhaps drawn on her memories of her own teenage years and the angst we all go through. WELL DONE! I can recommend this as an excellent read for high school-ers on up!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dunja *a chain reader*

    "The Art of Holding on and Letting Go" is a debut YA novel worth reading. The story revolves around Cara Jenkins a teenage girl and competitive climber. Cara lived with her parents and their friend. But one day after the tragic incident that changed and Cara is forced to move with her grandparents. The story follows Cara's coming of age during her junior year in highs school. During that year Cara tries to find her new life, she falls in love and, to she learns how to climb again. I was amazed by "The Art of Holding on and Letting Go" is a debut YA novel worth reading. The story revolves around Cara Jenkins a teenage girl and competitive climber. Cara lived with her parents and their friend. But one day after the tragic incident that changed and Cara is forced to move with her grandparents. The story follows Cara's coming of age during her junior year in highs school. During that year Cara tries to find her new life, she falls in love and, to she learns how to climb again. I was amazed by the story. It is so well written and it touches upon some hard issues. Although Cara is a main character and the story is told from her POV "The Art of Holding on and Letting Go" is full of very interesting secondary characters who deal with the issues of their own. Full review available at: Night Owl Reviews

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.