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.com
With a hook like that, how can you not want to read this book? I had to know what happened to these kids whether it be alien abduction, black hole, spontaneous combustion – I needed to know.
The Leaving alternates between three POVs – two of the returned kids and the sister of the one who didn’t. The bits and pieces that remain of the kids’ memories are revealed along the way, but no matter what kind of theories I created, I couldn’t have predicted the ending. This book points out how fascinating the mind is, how memories can be altered, retained, lost, etc., and how even though the conscious mind may not remember something, the memory might still be lurking in the subconscious.
Despite being completely engrossed in the storyline, I had a little trouble buying into one of the relationships in this book – I won’t say between which two characters – because I find it difficult to believe anyone could form such a strong bond at a very young age. It just didn’t ring true for me.
The Leaving is a gripping, dare-someone-to-pry-it-from-your-fingers, YA novel that would also appeal to adults. Highly recommended. This book is scheduled for publication June 7th, 2016.
I received a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.