Author: Tara Altebrando
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been.Review by Nara
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.
The Leaving was a very odd book. I'm actually not 100% that I enjoyed it, but thought I'd give it the benefit of the doubt and tip it over into "liked it" territory. I think the main thing that detracts from the story is the ending. The explanation of what The Leaving was turned out to be pretty underwhelming. It wasn't at all what I expected, but it also seemed a bit flimsy and unrealistic, leaving me a bit disappointed.
I also really disliked Avery's point of view, mostly because I disliked her as a character. She seemed quite self-centred and had this attraction towards Lucas that kind of came out of nowhere. Her chapters didn't really add a lot to the story either, and I would have been fine with just hearing from Scarlet and Lucas' points of view. Or even just either Scarlet or Lucas- I don't think the book really needed multi-POV.
In terms of positives, the author did a good job of keeping the suspense and mystery going, and I was actually very riveted until the mystery was revealed. I also quite liked the different formats of writing that were used for the different characters. Kept things interesting.
So overall, not too sure that I'd recommend this one. It was quite strange, but if you're willing to give a quirky book a go, then this might be one for you.