Book Review: The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
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 received a review copy of The Leaving by Tata Altebrando from Bloomsbury Australia, in exchange for an honest review, this has in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings about the book.
It’s rare that I pick up a book I am not sure about. I find it hard to finish books that I have no interested in, so I normally just pick up books that I am pretty sure that I am going to like. However, there are times that I can be misled and that is what happened with The Leaving.
The Leaving was one of my most anticipated books of the year, ever since I heard the premise I just knew that I had to read it, so to say that I am disappointed would be an understatement.
The Leaving follows five teens as they return to the town where they were born. The thing is, they had been missing for eleven years and now have no recollection of where they were, or what happened during that time. Another problem there was six of them taken.
I loved the idea of this book, six taken and only 5 return with no memory of what happen. The plot was the only reason that I kept on reading the book, I wanted to know what happened. Who took them, why were they taken? I was pleasurably surprised with how it panned. There were a couple of things that I guessed, but other than that what had happened did take me by surprise. Little hints were given through the novel and everything came together in the end.
The Leaving follows three protagonists. Scarlett and Lucas were two of the children that were stolen and Avery, the sister of the missing victim.
First and foremost, I pretty much hated Avery. I just didn’t know how to deal with her, she changes her mind every two seconds and she is all over the place. She drove me up the wall. I understand the things that she did, regarding her brother Max. He was still missing and she wanted him back, she wanted closure. But, everything else that she did. Her obsession with Lucas was horrible and I could not stand it. It was like 3 days after they had returned and she was having daydreams of walking the school halls with him.
Lucas, like Avery could not make up his mind. At first he thought he loved Scarlett, but then he started like Avery – let me remind you that the book spans over about a week – so it was all ‘insta love’and just I didn’t like it.
Scarlett I could tolerate. She was probably the most sensible of the three and didn’t fall for someone that she has just met. She feels that she has this connection to Lucas and she can have that, since she spent the last eleven years with them.
I felt that a great deal happened in this book and sometimes it was hard to wrap my head around everything, especially because we were with three protagonists.
I also wasn’t a massive fan of the writing style of The Leaving. Scarlett was all over the place and while it could have worked it was different for both Lucas and Avery. So each protagonist had a different writing style in a sense and it was just confusing and took from the novel.
Overall, The Leaving is a thrilling novel about what happens when people return having no memories of where they have been. They have come back into a life where they don’t know what is going on or even who people are. I didn’t like most of the characters and the writing style hindered my reading, however, the plot is engrossing and kept me reading.
Have you read The Leaving? Did you enjoy it more than I did? Are you going to read it? Why, why not? Let’s Chat!