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Book Review: Release

Release. Hope Russell Nunki. Noon Key Productions LLC, November 15, 2014, Trade Paperback and Kindle, 354 pages.

Reviewed by Sarah Sadik.

The novel Release, by Hope Russell Nunki, covers many subjects such as loss, love, and the ability to rise again. It tells various stories about subjects that are relevant today: coming out of the closet, dealing with a failing economic system, and suffering from depression. The novel has the ability to be relatable and tells a story that one will enjoy. Every character develops and goes through a struggle in some way, whether it be bringing up a past memory or trying to deal with the regret that goes with it.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, there were aspects that I found quite clichéd. Our society seems to prey on romantic stories that deal with tragedy and loss. This does make romance “relatable” to the reader; in fact, I found the story quite readable. Release reads very much like a Lifetime movie. It is a very simple, present, and feel-good story. This subject, seeing a love lost, is covered in most romantic novels very often.

Nunki throws different things into the text to make it a bit compelling, though this does not necessarily make the story more enthralling. There are numerous bits of cliché and easily noticed irony—for example, using Leap Day as something that is significant. Leap Day is known for being a rare occasion; it is usually a day off so it is incredibly ironic that the main character has a miscarriage on that day. Does the Leap Day misfortune really give way to love? Does it make her dwell on the miscarriage? Instead of showing grit and honesty, which romance novels seem to tiptoe around, Nunki took a very comforting route. Not necessarily bad but it makes the reader say, “This isn’t realistic.” The novel is a feel-good read, however, and a bit easy to predict. I believe Nunki is a great author and the novel is written well. Release has a lot of similarity to a Nicholas Sparks feel-good romance.


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