Book Review – The Leaving by Tara Alterbrando

Hello, Bookworms, yet again this is ANOTHER review that’s been in my drafts for monthssss!! So enjoy!!!!

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary


Rating: 1 out of 5.

Publisher: Published June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Length: Hardcover, 421 pages

Summary:  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. (Goodreads)

Recommendation: I ~almost~ DNF this book, ALMOST!! But I pulled through and I’m happy to say that…… IT WASN’T WORTH IT. I was pretty surprised that I didn’t enjoy this because I LOVE mysteries. The description caught my eye, and I was so excited. Unfortunately, the plot dragged on for so long, that I eventually lost interest in the story.


The story surrounded three perspectives, two being the returned teens Lucas and Scarlett and to be honest their POVs were a little boring. There was honestly nothing special about any other character,s, as they were bland and poorly developed. The only thing keeping this novel afloat was its description and the premise that seemed somewhat interesting. Something that didn’t help my already formed dislike of the characters was that it was SO hard to like them. It seemed like the author was trying to make the reader hate them, making the book even harder to finish.


Now the plot. This is where the book was supposed to recover. Okay, the characters are horrible, but at least the plot is well-developed and has some redeeming qualities…..right? No. Surprisingly, the story started completely engaging, giving me false hope, but it eventually slowed to a halt. Towards the end, it was clear that nothing was going to come from this novel, and this was depicted in the ending. A mediocre ending was what awaited me at the conclusion, and it simply didn’t live up to what it could have been.

And for some reason, I feel bad for giving such a harsh review, but this book does deserve it. There are so many well-written mystery books out there, that this one is simply a waste of time. Don’t even try reading it to see if you ~may~ like it.

A little about the author: Tara Altebrando is the author of numerous books for young adult and middle-grade readers. Her upcoming book, THE LEAVING (Bloomsbury), is a YA thriller that received a starred PW review and is a Junior Library Guild selection. Her other YA novels include ROOMIES, coauthored with Sara Zarr; Dreamland Social Club (A Kirkus Reviews Best Books for Teens), The Best Night of (Your) Pathetic Life, What Happens Here, and The Pursuit of Happiness.(Goodreads)

Praise for The Leaving

“You will not sleep, check your phone or even breathe once you begin reading The Leaving. I promise, you will not even look up from the page.” – E Lockhart

“This book gripped me on the first page, and by the last, had really moved me. It’s a twisty, oh no she didn’t thriller that keeps the surprises firing, but also a thoughtful meditation on memory, identity, and what really makes us who we are.” – Bennett Madison

“As heart-stopping as it is heartbreaking, The Leaving layers a wildly strange suspense story over a lovely and unexpected narrative of grief, loss, and the struggle to imagine a future in the shadow of the past.” – Robin Wasserman

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One response to “Book Review – The Leaving by Tara Alterbrando”

  1. […] Book Review : The Leaving by Tara Alterbrando […]


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