by Tara Altebrando
Well then. This was an odd little book, and I (mostly) loved it.Summary: 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.
It was one of those books that's just really addictive and hard to put down. The writing was really good, although I had a love/hate relationship with some of the stylistic choices the author made because the little quirks in the way Lucas and Scarlett's chapters were written (hers in particular) were really distinctive and original...but sometimes a bit distraction too and would interrupt the flow of a chapter (maybe that was the point though, I don't know).
The plot was really interesting. I'm still not sure what to make of it -- it was weird, but I liked it and I mostly liked the way it all played out.
The reason I said I "(mostly)" loved it was because there was one part of the story I pretty much hated: Avery. One of the POV characters.
She was just so annoying (most of the time) and awful (a lot of the time) and I'd get so frustrated whenever it would switch to her POV because she'd drag the whole story down. I think there was maybe one or two paragraphs in the entirety of her chapters that didn't irritate me. Plus, the romance storyline with her is so, so contrived and didn't work at all -- they didn't make sense together, it was so forced and rushed and insta-lust portrayed as love.
I'd have much preferred another one of the five kids be the POV character, or Lucas's brother or something. I could have tolerated her as a side character without the silly romance (and normally I love the romance parts of books, just not this one).
So yeah...I loved the book, except for Avery and anything relating to her (it'd probably be on my favourites shelf if it weren't for that). I'd rate it 4 stars out of 5 and I'm really looking forward to reading more of Tara's books.