This is a one sitting read. No matter what you feel about the characters or the plot, the mystery is going to keep you glued to the pages. The thing is, though, that I rushed through the story to get answers, and now that I have time to really consider the other things that were happening, the story is pretty intriguing beyond the mystery.
Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back–with no idea of where they’ve been.
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.
The author’s decision to tell the tale from three perspectives is a smart move because it focuses the story on the growth of three characters. I didn’t particularly enjoy one of the narrative voices because she instantly formed an attachment to someone she hadn’t seen in eleven years and it comes across as a little psycho. However, I do see the value her perspective added to the story as a whole. I appreciate the fact that the book dealt with the relationships that were cut short when the kids disappeared. There was an honesty to the struggle of reconnecting that added some depth. In the end, I was a little underwhelmed by the answers, and I think some readers will struggle when the story shifts its urgency from the mystery that has driven them most of the way. Personally, I thought that shift was essential to really highlight the focus of where the characters are at that point in their development, but other readers might see the story as loosing steam just when steam should be at an all time high. Overall, I think this is a compelling book, and I know my high school readers will devour it almost as quickly as I did. Language and situations are appropriate for high school readers.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.