Reviewed by: Brittany Carlsen, Circulation Staff
Rating: 2 stars
Six children go missing. Eleven years later, 5 of them return unharmed with no memory of where they'd been, why they were taken, and what happened to the one boy who didn't return. While this book had me intrigued by the jacket explanation and raving reviews, I was highly disappointed. I don't like to speak ill of any book, but I found this one to be very unorganized and full of under-developed characters and pointless clues wrapped in a mishmosh of ideas that just couldn't seem to come together. 5 of the 6 missing kids return, yet only 2 of them are significantly part of the plot; the others were mentioned sporadically as if they were an afterthought. The relationships in the story are sudden and disingenuous and I never felt that reader-to-character bond that one often gets with a good book. Despite these issues, I saw it through to the end and it was there that I found the biggest letdown. The answers I had waited the entire narrative for came in willy nilly fragments and involved more thrown in characters that had very little relevance to the other 400 pages. All in all, "The Leaving" left me unsatisfied and regretful that the potential of an intriguing plot got lost in an overbundance of unclear ideas and a lack of realistic character developement.