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This Is Sarah

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  51 reviews
When Colin Leventhal leaned out his bedroom window on the night of May 12th and said goodbye to his girlfriend, he never expected it would be forever. But when Sarah Evans goes missing that night, Colin's world unravels as he transforms from the boyfriend next door to the main police suspect. Then one year later, at her memorial service, Colin makes a phone call that chang ...more
Paperback, 169 pages
Published July 3rd 2014 by BookFish Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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2014 Releases
639 books — 1,291 voters
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94 books — 26 voters

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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  96 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Heena Rathore P.
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who can handle strong negative emotions.
4+1/2 stars

You can read the original review at JC's Book Haven

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Good
The best thing about This Is Sarah is that it's about dealing with reality. Not the past, not the future but the present! At some point in life each one of us experience one or more devastating incidents that change our lives forever (if not, then I guess you're lucky!). This Is Sarah will make you relive it. Yea, I know, that scared me as well, but at t
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Today's Psychocat Reads Review is THIS IS SARAH by Ally Malinenko.
(I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review).

Most of the books I've reviewed here have been some variety of fantasy or romance. Then there is this one. THIS IS SARAH is a short book, but Ally managed to cram enough FEELS to fill a George R. R. Martin sized book into the pages. Seriously, I haven't busted out a gif in a book review in a while, but this one earned it.

Sitting down to write this review, it dawne
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
On the night of May 12th, when Colin Leventhal leaned out of his bedroom window and said goodbye to his girlfriend Sarah, he didn't realize it would be the last time that anyone would see her. Sarah has vanished, and Colin's life falls apart. A year after Sarah's disappearance, her family holds a memorial service. Colin calls her cell phone. "Hi, this is Sarah. You know what to do." After a year, her voicemail has been turned on. Could Sarah still be alive?

This book was a quick, addicting read.
Book-shelf Shelf
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This Is Sarah is a book about a girl who has gone missing, but unlike most books this story takes on how it leaves people and not just the mom & Dad. This is from Colin (Sarah's Boyfriend) and Claire's (Sarah's Sister) point of view. How they cope with life and the loss, what goes on in their mind, but actually giving nothing away until it should be.

I haven't read a book that has kept me up for a long time, but this book made sure i was not sleeping until the final page. Brilliantly written, th
T.C. McKee
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An emotionally riveting read. Loved every minute of it!
Allura  Teacups&Bookends Blog
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
*I received an eCopy in exchange for an honest review.

"Hi, this is Sarah. You know what to do."

This is Sarah is a harrowing tale about the disappearance of a teenage girl and the devastating impact it has on the two people closest to her. Although the book is called This is Sarah, it isn’t Sarah’s story, but rather the story of the people Sarah left behind.

Although the subject matter of This is Sarah is tough to stomach, it was one of my favorite reads of 2014. The story is told from alternating
It Seems Similar to the The Storyteller: A love story, a mistery, a crime (maybe) An Winter atmosphere... I Will try this someday ...more
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This Is Sarah by Ally Malinenko deals with the aftermath of the disappearance of a teenage girl, specifically through the eyes and narratives of her sister and her boyfriend. While Claire, Sarah's sister, finds herself the only member of her family who seems to care about keeping things together, Colin, Sarah's boyfriend, finds himself rapidly falling apart as he gets into a routine of calling Sarah's missing cellphone daily and fighting the world around him to keep hope alive that Sarah will re ...more
Krissy Sez
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a definite page turner. I can't recommend it strongly enough. I was quickly sucked into the story and was excited to keep reading to find out what would come next. The author switched between the perspective of two core characters so you got to experience the same event from two persons greatly injured by the same loss. I was moved to tears several times, and actually stayed up until nearly 2am on the day it arrived so I could finish reading it.
Jen Reilly
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This novel combines suspense with transforming heartache on a journey through self-discovery and acceptance. I highly recommend it!
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
OMG! This book sucked me in quickly. I felt the pain of the loss and grief that the characters go thru was real and I went thru it with them! A must read!!
Maria Carragher
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.
Poor Colin :( I feel for that boy.
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This is a story about loved ones struggling to deal with their grief after Sarah goes missing. You should know that this is NOT a story about what happened to Sarah or how to find Sarah. It is written from the alternating perspective of Sarah's boyfriend Colin and her sister Claire.

I found myself frustrated with all of the unsaid thoughts and opinions that the narrators had but never shared out loud. I was also frustrated at the lack of plot development and progression of the story.


Tell me about this ending? No way. Now I won´t sleep thinking about what happened.

This is not what I was expecting. :(
{my thoughts} – Colin Leventhal was very much in love with Sarah Evans. On the day she disappeared he lost his mind. His world collapsed, he lost his will to live, he lost his ability to care and he was crumbling from the inside out. He kept holding onto the thought that maybe just maybe Sarah was still out there and that he had to be the one to save her. He spent countless days calling her phone hoping she would answer and then one day her voicemail had managed to pick up this was one year afte ...more
Martin Appleby
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This Is Sarah is a duel protagonist narrative about the titular Sarah. A teenage girl from a small town in Colorado, who goes missing. The duel protagonists are Sarah's next door neighbour, and boyfriend, Colin, and her younger sister, Claire. The story follows the year in their lives after her disappearance, and how they each deal with the pain of their loss, and the frustration of not having any tangible answers about what happened.

I wasn't too sure what to expect when I picked this book up. I
Lee (Rally the Readers)
Also posted on Rally the Readers.

* A copy was provided by the author for review.

Sometimes you read the blurb for a book and you just know that it’s going to be a really, really good read. My instincts were 100% on the mark with This Is Sarah. It’s the type of novel your eyes and mind want to devour in a single sitting, which is totally feasible. Don’t let the book’s compact size, however, fool you into thinking that it’s short on emotional punch because by the time I finished reading it, my hear
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This Is Sarah is a wonderful book about love, loss and coping. Sarah has been missing for one year. At her one year memorial her boyfriend Colin makes a phone call that leaves him to believe that Sarah could still be alive. He misses Sarah every day and struggles with the guilt that he is the last person who saw her before she disappeared. His downward spiral affects everyone around him.

Claire is Sarah's little sister who has to learn to cope on her own with her sisters disappearance. With her
Susan Swiderski
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you aren't happy unless a story ties up every loose end and comes to a tidy conclusion wrapped up with a fancy bow, this isn't the story for you. But if you're up for a gut-wrenching true-to-life tale that taps into the emotions and psychology (and near-psychosis) of loss and uncertainty, regrets and "what ifs," I highly recommend this book.

Most books involving a missing person scenario tell the tale from the POV of the parents of that person or the law enforcement personnel involved in the
Crystal Collier
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
This was a hard book for me to read. I don't usually pick up emotionally heavy books, but I loved the concept behind this one so much. The author explores the grief process thoroughly, and the ending had me guessing up until the last couple pages. My hopes paralleled Colin's, as he struggled to believe his girlfriend might suddenly turn up. I was rolled along with his roller coaster of anger, lies and hope. I enjoyed how the author utilized phone messages, letters, and blog posts to give us the ...more
Scott Silsbe
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you read books looking for fun times, this might not be the book for you. And yet, even though the intensely painful subject matter of This is Sarah might make for a somewhat difficult read for some, I found the book quite mesmerizing. The characters stayed with me, haunting my day-to-day (and keeping me up a few nights) as I wondered how the remainder of the book was going to play out. I found myself getting up early before work and taking extended lunch breaks to get a few more chapters in. ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Malinenko has managed to create a beautifully written coming of age story about loss, love, grief and hope that anyone would surly be able to relate to.

The emotions in this are so tangible that you can't help but feel Colin's struggle with his grief and despair and your heart will ache for him every step of the way as his and Sarah's story unfolds and the journey to healing begins.

Riddles with heartfelt moments that will take your breath away this is truly one read that you don't want to miss ou
Donna Huber
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review
It is not your typical missing person's novel. It is more focused on those left behind, in particular Sarah's boyfriend and her sister. It was interesting, but it wasn't as engaging as I hoped. I kept reading more to see if we did find out what happened to Sarah more than to see how the characters dealt with their grief. Read my full review at Girl Who Reads ...more
Theresa Bachorik Carey
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! It grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go until the very last! This is a novel my colleagues and I will review as an addition to our current reading list! I can't wait to hear their reactions!
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
I loved it! Full review to come soon.

* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
A heart wrenching story of young love lost in tragedy. Emotional, raw, hopeful and suspenseful yet incomplete for me. I really did enjoy it but had hoped for more true closure at the end.
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is Sarah follows two young people, Colin and Claire through a devastating and life changing situation. Colin has lost the love of his life while Claire has lost a sister. While each of them wander through the troubles of coming to terms with the possibility of never seeing that special person again, we are privileged to a front row seat of this journey.

Set in a small town, where no one would believe such horrors would occur, the abduction of Sarah Evans ricochets through everyone from schoo
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reviewed for TheHonestBookclub.

(ARC graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Sarah was:
- blonde
- a klutz
- a really great singer
- honest
- goofy

Sarah is:
- dead

Ally Malienko brings us the story of Sarah, a seventeen year-old girl who gets into a car on her way to a party, never to be heard from again. Or, more specifically, Ally Malienko brings us the story of those who Sarah leaves behind. Rather than conceptualize the story as a whodunnit murder/mystery scenario, the au
Unorthodox Mama
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This may just be the toughest review I have ever had to write. I loved THIS IS SARAH. It definitely is a 5 star book.
But it it is a raw, gut wrenching read. So gut wrenching that I honestly wondered whether it was based on real events. (It's not, I asked)

A child going missing is a parents worse nightmare. The author manages to capture the emotion of what that must feel like and really makes you feel it from everyone's perspective.
My heart bled reading THIS IS SARAH.
The book stayed with me for DA
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review, 2014-release
Review originally appeared on Bibliophilia, Please.

I liked that Malinenko started off This is Sarah with the phone call that possibly means that Sarah is still alive. It gave me hope throughout the book that everything was going to be okay, which is a testament to Malinenko's writing. I still have a hard time with characters dying in books, so I wanted to believe that Sarah was still alive.

Although the title of the story is “This is Sarah”, the book is more about the people that Sarah left
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Ally Malinenko,is the author of the poetry collections, The Wanting Bone (Six Gallery Press), How to Be An American (Six Gallery Press) Better Luck Next Year (Low Ghost Press) and Fitting the Ocean In Your Mouth (Blue Hour Review) as well as the novel This Is Sarah (BookFish Books). She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and blogs at She can also be found blathering about Doctor ...more

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