Review Blog

Jul 13 2016

The leaving by Tara Altebrando

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Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408877807
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Mystery. Abduction. I couldn't put this down. A very suspenseful novel with a great premise sees five teens come back years after six of them were abducted when they were attending kindergarten. They all appear in good health but none of them can remember where they have been and what has happened to Max, the sixth young child who went missing at the same time. Avery is Max's sister, and she is determined to find out what has happened to Max. Lucas and Scarlett think that they can remember each other, and gradually by following obscure clues that they seem to have left behind as reminders, strange things begin to unfold.
This was an edge of the seat thriller as Avery begins to ask the questions that the reader is thinking - have the five who returned really lost their memories and what have they done with Max? She knows that her life is impossible without discovering the truth. Lucas is also determined to find out what the camera symbol means and he and Scarlett start to follow eerie clues in an attempt to find out the truth. Told from the viewpoints of Avery, Lucas and Scarlett, each chapter often ends on a cliffhanger that ensures the reader continues on to find out what happens next. Scarlett's chapters in particular were fascinating, with print arranged in different patterns to make an impact and to get the reader thinking.
Very tightly written until the last chapter, it had me guessing until the unexpected end. A great read for those who like thrillers.
Pat Pledger

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