The Leaving by Tara Alterna


Title: The Leaving
Author: Tara Altebrando
Published: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 433
Genre: Teens
Review: library book
Buy Links: Amazon, 

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.

So when I was at the public library they had a jar to draw a book out of, with the saying "Give a new book a try." Of course, I had to do it because well you never know what you might get.
When I saw the title and went to the part of the library it was I was impressed with the title and over. For me, it screamed pick me up, take me home, and readme. 
Six kids went missing after their first day at school and eleven years later only five of them returned. Though out the story we get different points of views from Lucas and Scarlett who were two of the kids that went missing and one named Avery who is the sister of one of the missing. 
What we learn throughout the story is that this was planned and it was planned to have their memories erased and just returned to their families though it lasted for years. Slowly they remember things but what are they really remembering, and who was all behind it. Government, crazy folks or someone who just wanted to experiment? We do end up learning what happened to the sixth kid and let us just say thank goodness the parents have closure.
Though I did like how the author did the different points of views I wanted to hear from the other characters as well. We sorta hear from them but not really like we did with Scarlett and Lucas. In the end, I think I knew who was behind it but I didn't fully understand.
I do have to say that I liked the way that the author did Scarlett's story where the formatting was different at times showing that her world was not the same. That was a neat idea and different. 

Tara Altebrando is the author of numerous books for young adult and middle-grade readers. Her upcoming book, THE LEAVING (Bloomsbury), is a YA thriller that received a starred PW review and is a Junior Library Guild selection. Her other YA novels include ROOMIES, coauthored with Sara Zarr; Dreamland Social Club (A Kirkus Reviews Best Books for Teens), The Best Night of (Your) Pathetic Life, What Happens Here, and The Pursuit of Happiness.
Tara is a Harvard graduate who lives in Queens, NY, with her husband and children.


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