The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

March 17, 2017     Elle     , ,

The Leaving by Tara AltebrandoThe Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 421
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My Rating : four-stars

Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been. A riveting mystery for fans of We Were Liars.

Eleven years ago, six kindergartners 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--the only one who hasn't come back. Which leaves Max's sister, Avery, wanting answers. She wants to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story. But as details of the disappearance begin to unfold, no one is prepared for the truth.

This book is one of the most original novels I have read in a while. It’s one of those books where you really have no idea WHY things happened and figuring it out and how it will end is nearly impossible. The author has created something unique with this novel and I am super excited to see what she comes up with next. 

The story is about 6 children who go missing on their first day of kindergarten and aren’t found until 11 years later when they come back home with no memories of what happened over these years. It is told in alternating points of view which allows readers a glimpse into the minds of 2 of the kids who were kidnapped and one who is the sister of a kidnapped boy. Intertwined in the story is a second mystery as well. Because even though 6 children were taken only 5 of them came back. So what happened to the sixth child? Why were they taken in the first place? And who is behind everything?

As far as the plot goes, I think the whole concept is very original. However, I did find the ending to be a little underwhelming as I felt like I was hanging onto the edge of my seat up until the point. That’s not to say the ending was bad because it’s not. But I was hoping for a bit more in terms of emotions from the characters and a little more information about the lives of these kids in the aftermath of figuring out what happened. Perhaps a nice little epilogue would have helped? 

Other than this, the novel is pretty fantastic. I’ll admit, there were times when I thought this book was going sci-fi on me, and then I thought it was turning into a murder mystery and so on. This is all due to how the author tells the story and weaves it through readers minds. For me, this makes it so much more interesting and I couldn’t be more pleased with it.

So, if your looking for a unique mystery I would certainly recommend this book. It’s told in a way that will leave readers anxious to know more while also adding an enjoyment factor as well. I will be looking for more of the authors work in the near future based on this novel.

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