Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Review: The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

Book Blurb:

Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been.

Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story.

My Review:

3 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, Teen--

11 years ago 6 kids were taken. They never came home from kindergarten that day, with no signs of what had happened to them, just a lot of unanswered questions. And now 5 have returned home, with no memories of the last 11 years, or any memory of the missing student. More questions have been raised, but where will the answers lead.

I was so excited to get my hands on this book, and maybe that was part of my problem. I saw this book mentioned everywhere- features on Goodreads, in book groups, on lists of great new mysteries... it literally popped up on every book website I visited, so I could not wait to read it. I had built up this cool mystery with twists and turns to keep my guessing, but that was not really what the book was. T I totally feel like I am missing part of the story. I got to the end and was so let down by the ending of this book. It was like some cool build up that kept me wondering what would happen, and then all of a sudden it was not really a whole lot of anything. To put it mildly, I was disappointed by how the story ended and it felt like it became more of a romance than the engaging mystery it started out as. I know it is a teen book, and sure romance sells, but in this case I think the book would have been better (in my opinion) if the romance had not existed (I felt that it was unrealistic and unnecessary) and the ending/reveal had been built up more with a better twist and explanation. After I finished the book I felt a little deflated so I went to read some reviews from others on Goodreads and was surprised to see that other's felt the same way that I did towards the book. Don't get me wrong, it was not a bad book, and I enjoyed how the layers of the memory were peeled away to create this raw, realistic story of loss. I just did not like the overall end who and why(honestly, I would have preferred Scarlet's mom's theory, but whatever).

The book alternated narrations from 2 of the returned, Lucas and Scarlet, as well as from Avery, the sister of the still missing child. I enjoyed all three perspectives, from Scarlet's spiraling thoughts and Lucas' random word association, as well as Avery's view as a child not taken but still a victim of the crime since it destroyed her family and her childhood. The author used an interesting way of delivering the returned kids sections, using the way the words were organized to create pictures or just bullet points of words to give the reader a sense of confusion and help to relate to the characters in another way besides just reading the words. Each character had a unique personality, sad backstory and hard reality to face.

I would like to read more from this author in the future because I liked her writing style and I think that she has new creative ideas

I received this title from the publisher in return for my honest review.

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