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Review: The Leaving

The Leaving
The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I could not put this one down. I stayed up until 1:45am finishing it. The premise of the book is fascinating: six kindergartners abducted but only five return when they are 16 years old. And none of them remember anything. The story is narrated by three main characters. I enjoy the multiple narrative perspectives and the unique graphics and typographical features used with each character’s chapter. This helps distinguish the three teens’ voices from one another. It is also interesting that even though six different kids were taken and five have returned, Altebrando chose to have Avery (sister to Max who did not return) tell part of the story, and only had two of the five abductees narrate their stories: Lucas and Scarlett. I didn’t like Avery even though I think her role is integral to the resolution of the story. I’m not sure we’re supposed to like Avery. She has every right to feel her parents have neglected her and dealt poorly with their grief and lack of resolution over Max’s abduction. This makes her overly self-centered (understandable since her parents are clearly not concerned with her), shallow, and pushy. The ending is interesting and satisfying, but not trite. In real-life abductions, bow-tie happy endings are rarely the outcome, and Altebrando does not white wash hers.

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