28 August, 2016

REVIEW: THE LEAVING by Tara Altebrando

Title: The Leaving
Author: Tara Altebrando
Series: -
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: ebook
Pages: 432

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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.

I have been excited about this book for about a month I think, that is when I first came across it. But because of my book buying ban I could not buy it and that was making my life really miserable till yesterday and dear friend of my sent me an ebook! So yeah, sat down and read it all.

THE WORLD: In this book we are in this small town in US where six kids at age of 5 got kidnapped from the kindergarten and after 11 years they come back without any memory. But! Only 5 of the kids come back and nobody knows what happened to the sixth one. The parents of the kids of course were traumatized and their lives ruined more or less so the kids do not come back to the happy longing families we are so used to seeing in the movies. They come back to broken, depressed, alcoholic parents who never thought they will see their child again.

CHARACTERS: Despite there being five kids that come back from the kidnapping only two of them are the main character: Lucas and Scarlett. Additionally, a third main character we also get POV of is a little sister Avery of the kid that did not come back. Frankly, I really love reading about Lucas and Scarlett. These kids...well teenagers now, they were not your typical teenagers. They were raised in secret, they know nothing of pop culture of tantrums and typical teenager behavior. It is like they a these little adults trying to find out what happened to them. Avery on the other hand, she was this typical rich spoiled brat who starts crushing on Lucas and suddenly all her decisions are shaped by it. I obviously did not like her much because hey who likes dealing with teenagers. But I must say, what the author did was brilliant because by getting to see things wrong Lucas and Scarlett POV and then being able to compare it to Avery's POV, oh wow the effect could not have been bigger. You see how Lucas and Scarlett struggling to find their identity, they remember things from their childhood but everything of last 11 years is gone. And on the other hand we see Avery, a rich girl who thinks her life was so tragically because she was a sister of a missing boy. Well, it really made me want to slap her, but I could not stop being mesmerized how well author portrait her and handled the situation in general. Really really impressed!

LOVE: This is the second book I come upon that deals with memory (not intentional) and the second time we are told that even tho we forget the actual faces and actions our body remembers. It turns out Scarlett can sew, Lucas is really good with a camera, Sarah can draw...And even little things, like Lucas being able to load a gun or Scarlett to drive, these were instincts and that you cannot delete from your memory. Same with emotions, Scarlett and Lucas feel drawn to each other more than other kids that came back with them and eventually they figure out that they used to be in love. Now, there is no romance here really, it is more of emotional memories but again I loved how it was handled. Just because they loved each other once does not mean they do now. It is strange but it fit perfectly in this book.

PLUS: So you know like almost every movie about people losing their memories ends up with them starting to remember little details and then put things together? This does not happen here. They don't remember, period. But what they have are actually little things they did whenever they figured things in the past and before their memories got erased again. Yes, they got erased multiple times which makes actually sense but I do not want to get too much into detail because spoilers.

MINUS:  I really cannot find out. I loved this book so much!

OVERALL: Recommend! Recommend! Recommend! It was so so good, I expect so much of it and got all of it back. And the ending, yes it ends not with your typical happy ending. They do find out the truth but just because they know does not mean bad guys get caught. No fantastic happy ending! Ah, it was a wonderful read!


What did you think of THE LEAVING?