Book Review: The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

Posted August 4, 2017 by Alexia in book review / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Leaving by Tara AltebrandoThe Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Published by Bloomsbury on June 7th, 2016
Genres: contemporary
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

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.

I was really looking forward to this book last year and I was excited when the publisher sent me a copy of it. It looked like something I was going to be obsessed with. Missing children storylines are my jam. Add that to the fact that 5 out of the 6 children in this story actually return, and that gets me more excited about this book. I couldn’t wait to find out what had happened to these kids and where the sixth one was.

I crawled through this book at a snail’s pace. Mostly because I was utterly bored while reading it. There was nothing in the book that made me invested or even excited to read it. Whenever I put it down, it was a struggle to pick it back up again. Yet I stuck with it. Why you may ask? Because I kept hoping it would pick up. Hoping all these extra details and storylines would actually be important to the story. I hate to be so wrong about a book, but in this case I was wrong. There was a lot of stuff in the book that didn’t need to be there and all it did was make the book longer (which it didn’t need to be) The book was dragged on for over 400 pages. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t see the point of a contemporary book being that long.

In mystery books, I look for something that has a quick pace with interesting characters and a mystery that keeps my attention from early on. This book had none of that. Like I said already, the pace was slow, probably made even slower by me reading it slowly, but I digress. The characters were boring and for the life of me I could not even care one iota about them. And I hate that because characters are such a big deal for me. They can make or break a book and in this case, they didn’t break the book (the slow pacing & boring mystery did that) but they sure as hell didn’t help it either.

Normally, I don’t mind when a book has multiple POVs, but with this book I found it hard to get inside these characters’ heads and oftentimes the POVs sounded extremely similar. And to be honest, I’d like to totally forget Avery’s POV entirely. The book was already a snorefest and she did not make it any better. I still find it odd that one of the POVs was from a victim’s sister. It felt really out of place to me.

Final thoughts: Massive disappointment with boring characters, boring mystery and a slow pace.

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