THE LEAVING by Tara Altebrando


Age Range: 14 - 18
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Five teens who were part of a group of six that vanished as kindergartners reappear as mysteriously as they went missing in this thriller.

Scarlett, Lucas, Sarah, Adam, and Kristen are dropped off in a park, each with a map to their respective homes tucked into their pockets. None of them has any memory of how they got there, who was driving the van that dropped them off, nor where they've been for the past 11 years. The agony experienced by their families has taken its toll, and the homes they return to are troubled places. This is only further complicated by the fact that Max, the sixth boy who disappeared with them, has not returned, and none of them has any memory of who he is. This multilayered story is told from the perspectives of Scarlett, Lucas, and Max's younger sister, Avery, all of whom come from white families, though of varying economic backgrounds. Their voices are distinct from one another, with Scarlett's narrative employing the most unconventional structure: sentences curve into various shapes on the page, and typed slashes evocatively illustrate how her mind reels. The eventual reveal is intricate and a long time coming, but it will satisfy.

A twisting and turning mystery that will grip readers even if it is at times a bit difficult to follow. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 7th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-61963-803-7
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2016


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