You know a book is really good when you can’t stop thinking about it. You want to shirk all your responsibilities just so you can read it in one sitting. The Leaving by Tara Altebrando is one of these books. You will not want to stop reading it until you’ve reached the last page and finally know what the hell happened!
Eleven years ago, six five-year-olds went missing without a trace. After all this time, the people left behind have moved on, or tried to.
Until today. Now five of those kids are back. They’re sixteen, and they are … fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mother she barely recognises, and doesn’t really know who she’s supposed to be, either. But she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, but they can’t recall where they’ve been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn’t come back and everyone wants answers.
I absolutely loved this book! The Leaving is super twisty, tense and heart-pounding. Tara Altebrando had me at the tag-line ‘Six were taken. Five came back.’ The blurb completely gripped me and I had to read it straight away. I got completely lost in the story and couldn’t stop thinking about it when I had to put the book down.
It’s one of those books that I feel that I can’t say much about, for fear that I’ll give something away. The whole premise of the story is intriguing. Six kids went missing when they were 5 years old. They have turned up at home again eleven years later. Why now? Where were they? Who had them? Tara is very good at stringing the reader along, giving you tantalising pieces of the puzzle so that you have to keep reading to find out how all the pieces fit together. When I started I had my own theories about what had happened to the characters but I couldn’t have picked what actually happened.
The story takes place over fifteen days from when the kids return and throughout the story we get the perspectives of different characters. We follow two of the returned, Lucas and Scarlett, as well as Avery, the sister of the kid who hasn’t returned. The returned desperately try to remember what happened to them, while their families adjust to having them back again (or wondering why they haven’t returned, like Avery and her mum).
I think this is one of the best YA books this year and I highly recommend it. It’s a great read for those Year 7/8 readers who want to be reading YA too. Grab a copy of The Leaving now and get lost in this incredible story.