Goodreads Synopsis: In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever. Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating.
Review: I wasn't sure what to expect from this one because I hadn't really heard much about it. The story starts with a six year old boy dying after being hit by a car. The mom is just crossing the street with her son and after the car hits the boy, the car just drives away without stopping. Part one is very different from part two. It's hard to say exactly why without giving it away. A few reviews did hint about a twist and I was completely floored. The twist happens at the end pf part one, which was about halfway through the book. When I read the twist, I was so shocked that I had to reread that paragraph a couple of times just to make sure I was reading it correctly. Then it made me want to rethink everything I had read up until that point. I almost wanted to reread all of part one in its entirety. Anyway, there is so much with the investigation into the driver and what's going on with the mother and meanwhile, there is a little boy who lost his life. During part one, the female narration is told in first person, while the POV of the detectives is told in third person. It was a sharp contrast that helped add to the shock value when the twist was revealed. I will say that the second part of the book is much more suspenseful and much darker. After the twist, there are a few bits and pieces that become predictable. One thing I didn't care for was all the personal life stuff of the two detectives investigating. I didn't feel much connection with them and felt like the stuff about Patrick's (the lead detective) failing marriage was just a distraction. I think it was because of that and the ending that was a bit too neat that made me only give this one three stars. It is worth the read though.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Borrow this one.
Title and Author: The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Scheduled Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
Review: This book was such a page turner! This book has three POVs: two of the missing kids (Lucas and Scarlett) and Avery (the sister of the one kid who didn't come back). I loved the writing style of the author and I am so glad she didn't try to write from the POV of all the missing kids. Both Lucas and Scarlett are determined to find out what happened to them and who is responsible. I could relate to both of them, especially their confusion over who they were now and how they were expected to move on. Avery was the most annoying character. She got so easily upset by everything. She got annoyed when her boyfriend asked her how she was and when her best friend texted instead of called. She even got annoyed when her boyfriend took her out for ice cream and then purchased a flavor for himself that she had no interest in trying. Avery also decided that her and Lucas had a special bond, even though they hadn't seen each other since they were children. I did feel for her the most though. She was the only one who really didn't have much of a family unit, at least not one that looked after her. Her mom was clinically depressed and thought her life was over since Max was gone, despite the fact that she had another daughter. Her dad spent all his time working so he didn't have to do anything. The romance that was part of this book didn't do anything for me. I didn't really feel chemistry between any of the people involved and the love triangle came out of nowhere. At least, I think it was a love triangle. It was hard to tell who felt what for who. There was some foreshadowing about why the kids were taken, but it was still really interesting when it was revealed. There were a few plot twists that I definitely did not see coming. Both the writing style and the plot made this book a hard one to put down.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: If you enjoy mysteries, I think this one is worth buying.
Scheduled Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Goodreads Synopsis: Ava Hale will do anything to find her sister's killer...although she'll wish she hadn't. Because the harder Ava looks, the more secrets she uncovers about Kesley, and the more she begins to think that the girl she called sister was a liar. A sneak. A stranger. And Kesley's murderer could be much closer than she thought..
Review: Even though I was kind of interested in who killed Ava's sister, Kelsey, this book was kind of a mess. I didn't like any of the characters and didn't feel any emotion at all about Kelsey's death. Ava was just a bland character. There was all this backstory hinted at regarding her and her sister's past. I guess it was foreshadowing, but since I didn't learn the whole story until the end of the book, I was frustrated at all the secret hints. I also was annoyed at how the author kept referring to Ava and Kelsey's mom as her foster mom. First of all, she had been taking care of the kids for more than six years I think so it seems like she was more of an adoptive mom. Second of all, sometimes Ava would refer to her as a mom and sometimes as a foster mom. And since she didn't even have memories of her biological mom, I found it really hard to understand why she had a hard time calling the woman "Mom." And sometimes she would call her "Mom" and sometimes she would call her by her name. It was super inconsistent. Her boyfriend Jackson seems like a perfect guy, but he's a jerk. I didn't feel any chemistry between the two of them and I don't understand why she kept just taking him back after the stuff he did. Her best friend Lia was awful and totally uncaring. I hated both Jackson and Lia. The actual mystery of what happened to Kelsey is what kept me reading, but the resolution was so weird. It was totally bizarre and I will give the author one thing: it was completely unexpected. I also thought it was unrealistic and then after that, I felt the ending was rushed a bit. It was like the author thought, "Okay, the murder has been solved so let's end this book as quickly as possible." I still had questions, but whatever.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one.