The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 6/7/16.
Summary from Goodreads:
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 wasn’t sure about this one ahead of time and there were mixed reviews on Goodreads from those that had already read ARCs, but I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I almost quit reading about 10% of the way through, because the galley eBook was pretty confusing as far as formatting went. I thought it was an interesting concept though, and it wasn’t super long, so I went ahead and read the whole thing.
I am not super impressed, but also happy that I finished it to find out what happened. I wasn’t sure where this mystery was going and I’m not entirely sure that I’m happy with where it went, but I’m also still kind of processing I think. Perhaps, when I see the finished copy with correct formatting, it will make more sense. The story was told in an interesting way, from a few different viewpoints of those that had different experiences with “the leaving”–Scarlett, Lucas, and Avery mostly– so that kept the pace quick. I read the whole thing in about 2 days and I think a lot of my students would find it to be a fast read as well. I wish we had heard more from some of the other characters, like Kristen for example. I think she would have had some interesting experiences to share. I think this is a stand-alone title, so I’m not sure that will happen, but I would be open to reading it if I had time. I will buy this book for my high school library, and will probably recommend it to those that like mysteries…if I can remember it by the time school starts again. Book nerd problems! 🙂
My rating: 3.5/5