ARC Review: The Leaving

Posted May 30, 2016 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

ARC Review: The LeavingThe Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Published by Bloomsbury on June 7th 2016
Format: ARC (432 pages) • Source: Around the World ARC Tours
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four-stars

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 thoughts pinkWooof I haven’t been THAT addicted to a book in a long time! I sat down at 10:30 PM on a Friday night to start this book and finished it three hours later without stopping. I’m not a huge mystery/thriller reader but some of them just speak to me. This was definitely one of them.

Six kids went missing eleven years ago, and then five of them randomly return. None of them remember what happened. MEEP. I didn’t have any theories while reading (for the most part) so that made it even more fun. I had no idea what was going on.

This was the epitome of a page-turner. I sat and literally could not stop reading. I tried to stop when I got tired and ended up reading through bleary eyes for an extra two hours. I loved the style of the story; the chapters were super short and alternated between three characters. Avery is Max’s younger sister (the only person who didn’t return), and Lucas and Scarlett were two that returned. Lucas and Scarlett had some cool effects with the writing style. Hers were kind of written like poetry, with different symbols and text effects. Lucas had some parts (memories) that popped onto the page in black boxes. It’s hard to explain, but it was cool. It added to the effect of the memory loss story.

The characters were interesting because they don’t know who they are or what they’re like. They don’t remember anything about their lives, so you can’t really form an attachment to them? It’s one of the rare occasions where you don’t need a lot of character development to make a story work. It didn’t feel like it was about them, but more about what happened to them and why. However, I did hate Avery – the one character who did have a distinct personality. She was annoyingly jealous and self-centered for the entire story. I don’t know. I just didn’t like her at all. So it was very annoying that her story ended in a certain way. View Spoiler »

I did have some issues with it towards the end. First of all, I feel like some things went unanswered. There are still some aspects of the mystery that weren’t cleared up. Hopefully they fix that for the finished copy? I understood what happened and why overall, but some smaller pieces didn’t click into place for me. It almost felt anticlimactic, even though the ending was cool.

Overall, this was a major page-turner that I would highly recommend. I’m curious to see how others feel about this one!

feels from friends pink

rating breakdown pink

Plot & Premise
four-half-stars
Characters
three-stars
Writing Style
four-half-stars
Pacing & Flow
four-stars
Feels or Swoons
two-half-stars
Addiction Level
five-stars
Overall: 3.9

8 responses to “ARC Review: The Leaving

  1. I have this one coming up for review and I’m excited to hear that it’s an addicting read. I’ve heard that Avery is a little difficult as a character. I hope she doesn’t piss me off too much.
    And hmm … I’m a little bothered that there are some unanswered questions.
    Anyways, I hope I like this too!
    Great review!

  2. Yay! So glad you liked this one, because it seems like this one is a winner judging by all the amazing reviews for it. I love thrillers and glad that this one was executed well for the most part–I always try to formulate theories about who did it, so I shall see how this one goes! Great review 😀

  3. I don’t read very many mysteries/thrillers either, but The Leaving just sounds really interesting to me! The premise is so haunting. And then to try and discover what happened from the perspective of different characters? So interesting. I’m glad it was one that you couldn’t put down!

  4. I feel the exact same way about this book!!! Like, I could not stop reading it because I HAD TO KNOW where they were all those years!!! But I didn’t really CARE about the characters… and yeah, it’s probably because they didn’t even know who they were, so how could I really connect to them??? But I also HATED Avery. She was psycho and SO too cool for school. Not a fan. And not a fan of that ship either 🙁 I’m glad you got hooked on this book so intensely… that’s always fun!!

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