Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo. Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

This was not the book I was expecting it to be, but I think I'm okay with that.

The synopsis sets the book up to be a fairly typical thriller, I suppose partly to draw in a larger audience, but this book was unique (at least to me) in terms of the story.

Walking home from school one day, thirteen-year-old Meredith decides to treat herself to a root beer after her big algebra test. She goes into a sandwich shop called the Deli Barn and sees her enemy, Lisa Bellow. Lisa is ahead of Meredith and is ordering two sandwiches. An armed gunman walks in, demands cash from the employee and ends up taking Lisa with him. Meredith is frozen on the floor, unable to move, call for help, do anything. She's eventually found and the search for Lisa begins.

But this book was about more than just the abduction and Meredith, the girl who was left behind. It describes Meredith's family, her brother, Evan, who was injured in a baseball accident and told he would never play again, and her parents, Claire and Mark, both dentists but very different people.

The story is told, I would say, in fairly equal parts, third person perspective of Meredith and Claire. I think this is where this book differentiates itself from the rest. We see into these two women's lives, who both broken in different ways. Claire was my preferred perspective. She told it how it was, biting back her attitude and relief that hers is the daughter left behind. She definitely has some very dark thoughts, so much so I almost got some psychopathic tendencies from her, she seemed almost emotionless at times. I liked Claire's darkness, I don't want to say it was a refreshing change of pace, but it was definitely different from mothers I'm used to reading about.

Meredith had a more fragmented perspective, she presented herself as a more unreliable narrator. It was hard to distinguish between whether or not she was actually telling the truth with what was happening. She also had some darker qualities, reminiscent of her mother, but they were both their own person with unique narrations.

I think this story was different because while it was about a kidnapping, there isn't a lot of insight into the investigation, and there is a greater focus on healing and moving forward as a family than just Meredith's chance encounter. Mark and Claire have issues, and after Evan's injury, no one really addressed anything. This book tells a story less about finding Lisa, and more about coming together as a family again.

If you go into this book hoping for a thriller, I'm not sure you will like it. You'd probably be disappointed - there's little 'thrilling,' however the story and these two women are fascinating. I think the ending will bother some people, but I think it fits perfectly. The story isn't about Lisa anymore, that was just the hook, the pivotal moment that got the ball rolling. This book is really about a family. And the ending proves that. There is no need for a finite conclusion for one storyline because it is not the important one.

Overall, I loved this one - highly recommend!