The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
The Leaving is the story of how six children are taken on their first day of kindergarten and eleven years later and five of them return with no recollection of where they have been for all those years. The story is told in three perspectives, Lucas and Scarlett who are two of the five children to return and also Avery who is the big sister of Max who is the sixth child that didn't return. The multiple perspectives works really well for this type of story as you get drips and drabs of each characters back story and what they remember from the eleven years.
Each of the six children begin to remember bits and pieces as theirs memories begin to come back and the story of what really happens slowly unravels. This was a fascinating read and such a page turner! i read it in two sittings as i needed to know what happened especially what happened to Max and why he didn't return with the others and really struggled to put it down.
This wasn't a 5 star read for me as there was a few things i didn't like. Mainly Avery as a character, i found her highly annoying. Also the notes she was receiving that she believed where from Max? Not sure why that didn't unravel or wasn't touched upon more.
I love mystery YA books that are not thrillers and this is the only one ive read in that genre that ive enjoyed! I thought the writing style was interesting especially in Scarletts chapters where the words are often reflective of how Scarlett is feeling and they are scattered on the pages to show or mind set or they will spiral to show her panic or if shes confused.
I enjoyed Lucas' perspective as he tries to understand his thoughts and memories and tries to figure out if he is violent or has committed any violent acts. His chapters are very thought provoking and heartfelt, it reads like a confused boy that doesn't know how to begin life again now that hes home after eleven years.
This book has some of thee worst parents in YA and im a big fan of family themes in YA books but honestly there wasn't a single redeeming adult character in this whole book! Not sure how realistic that is? Also the romance in this book was completely unnecessary and really didn't add anything to the story!
The ending wasn't disappointing to me but i felt like there could have been SO much more and it really wasn't what i expected but i was glad that after all the build up that it wasn't a total let down.
I've seen a LOT of negative reviews for this on GR and booktube, im not sure why as it wasn't a bad story and im glad it was kept as a stand alone story as we dont have enough stand alones in YA.