The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Genres/Themes: Young adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary, “What is life?!”, very slight sci-fi feel
I’ve been reading a lot of books lately that I don’t know how to review or how I feel. I feel… lost. What an absolute adventure.
Synopsis 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.
This is not a book you want to read if you like clear-cut endings. I love knowing exactly EVERYTHING, so this ending, this book really is hard to rate because I feel unsatisfied, yet at the same time I feel it is the moral of the book. We don’t always know; we can’t always remember it all.
I really disliked Avery… she is an awesome character, but like, I dislike her personality. She is a normal teen though and I feel like I understand why she was one of our POVs.
The mystery was awesome and keeps you guessing, especially since you don’t know if you can trust the narrators or not. Scarlett and Lucas have an 11 year memory gap, they won’t ALWAYS know the truth.
“What is your most vivid memory?”
One of the other aspects I really want to bring up are the ways the author uses to show how the character is thinking. Changing font, moving font off a ‘cliff’ or in a loop, or black background with white angry letters. It helps get into the character.
Really enjoyed this read, I’m just wishing for more. Read this if you like mystery, thrillers, and don’t mind a somewhat open ending.