Book Review: The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre(s): Young Adult

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] Eleven years ago, six kindergartners 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 kept me guessing
  • The plot twist really caught me off guard
  • The reasoning behind the leaving was crazy
  • The plot was a cool concept
  • Having a POV of one of the kids who weren’t taken mixed things up a bit


  • It was sort of all over the place emotion-wise
  • Scarlett’s mom sucked
  • The kids whose POVs weren’t shown were swept under the rug and I kept forgetting about them
  • The thing with Lucas’ dad didn’t have to happen
  • The Max thing was sort of to easy

My Thoughts: This book was crazy. Some aspects were so good – like why they were taken in the first place, the little hints leading up to it all, and the small things they could remember. But then some parts were either pointless or could have been written a little better – like Max’s part, the big twist, and the kids whose POVs weren’t shown. All in all, this was a pretty great read and I flew through it. I think it would probably make a better movie than it did a book, but I would still recommend READING the book before watching said movie. (A movie does not exist, this is hypothetical)

Tara Altebrando

One thought on “Book Review: The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

  1. I bought this one a few weeks ago after hearing so many wonderful things about it. It’s always been on my list, but I never got around to it. I’m glad that you enjoyed it for the most part, and I really loved the way you set up your review with a pros and cons list!

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