I think I'm still processing what I just read. I don't think I'm fully on board with why everything happened, but I also read this book in two sittings of a couple of hours, so that has to count for something, right?

Hello everyone!

I'm here with another book review, The Leaving by Tara Altebrando.
This story follows three perspectives, Scarlett, Lucas, and Avery. Scarlett and Lucas have returned home after being taken 11 years ago with 4 other kids. No one knows where they were kept or why they were taken, and the 5 kids that returned have no memory of their years away. Avery is the sister of Max, the boy who is also presumed to have been taken, but didn't come back with the others. As the group works together to piece together their memories and find Max, they are haunted by questions of why they were taken, and why Max didn't return.

First of all, I just want to say that I really appreciated Altebrando's decision to only have 3 POV's in the story. I was worried we would have a perspective from all the returnees like we often get in books dealing with many 'main' characters. But the three we got did a good job of piecing together the story and describing what was happening in the present. I found Avery to be a bit annoying, even though she is only one year younger than the rest of the kids and her brother, at times, she felt like a little kid who was constantly jumping in. She was helpful in getting insight into what things were like for the community while the kids were missing.

I also really liked how the story was written visually. Both Scarlett and Lucas had unique ways of narrating design-wise, and it helped differentiate between the voices. Plus, I'm always a sucker for some mixed-media type design in books, I think it just adds another level to the story.

Despite the fact that this book is over 400 pages (something I was dreading when I initially picked it up), it went by really quickly. I found myself flying through it, not necessarily because the plot was particularly thrilling, but because it was a fairly easy read. And having the design elements they way they were, there were some pages that had one or two words on them.

I do think that there is something missing in the book to make me fully love it. The ending seemed a bit random and, like I said, I'm not sure I'm fully on board with it. Something just seems off with how things went down, that that could be happening for 11 years. I won't spoil anything but I just felt like it was a bit of a stretch.

Overall, I think I just wanted this book to be more than it actually was.