Review by Jen
by Tara Altebrando
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (June 7, 2016)
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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 unforgettable novel--with its rich characters, high stakes, and plot twists--will leave readers breathless.
BEWARE OF THIS BOOK!!
If you don't have time to neglect your life, this is the NOT the book for you. I am not sure what happened in my life, while I was reading this book. I'm pretty sure I even lied to get back to the story, at one point. I loved (so so so much) this book.
The story starts with a group of children returning from an unknown place. Only five out of the six children, who disappeared 11 years earlier, return. They have no memory of where they have been, who took them or the past 11 years.
Told from three points of view, in third person omniscient, this story was like a swift (interesting, amazing, mysterious, smart) flowing river. 1. Lucas, one of the returned. 2. Scarlett, another returned. And 3. Avery, the sister of the only unreturned character. I loved how well these main characters gently unfolded the story.
The Leaving was a wonderful literary potpourri. The story contained love, family, longing, mystery, identity, happiness, drama, sympathy, excitement, memories, a book, aliens, kidnapping... I'm probably missing some, but you get the picture. Taking place across eight days, each character brought us closer to the answers everyone is looking for. And you are not left hanging! We find out all of the answers in the end. If you read as captivated as I did, you'll know quickly!
I loved all the characters and what they brought to the story. (Even the less-developed characters were interesting, sparking wonder and skepticism.) In this book we discover what our identities mean, how they develop and how memories affect us. The Leaving by Tara Altebrando is an exhilarating roller coaster that will satisfy your need...for a spectacular story. Go. Read. This. Book.