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The Leaving

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  11,914 ratings  ·  1,933 reviews
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 doe
Hardcover, 421 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Shay Dawn You should read We Were Liars. It's not a mystery in the typical sense, but you know from the beginning that something is off. You'll spend the whole …moreYou should read We Were Liars. It's not a mystery in the typical sense, but you know from the beginning that something is off. You'll spend the whole book trying to figure it out.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Hannah I think it was Scarlet processing information. I think she described it as "click"- like that was the sound her mind made when she was trying remember…moreI think it was Scarlet processing information. I think she described it as "click"- like that was the sound her mind made when she was trying remember. (less)

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Average rating 3.44  · 
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 ·  11,914 ratings  ·  1,933 reviews

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Lala BooksandLala
May 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller-mystery
This story has 2 mysteries: where these kids have been for the past eleven years, and what happened to Max - the one kid still missing. The concept was so fascinating to me, but while the journey to get there was almost bearable, the reveal to both mysteries was extremely unsatisfying.

That's basically what I took away from this book. And since I've already dedicated too much time (aka 432 pages) to this story, I don't have the desire to write a well structured, thought out review. So here are so
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: top-to-read
Ugh! I wanted to love this book. I’ve been hyped for it since I first read the description! Six kindergarteners go missing on the first "real" day of school. Eleven years later, five of the six missing kids return home with no memory of where they were or what they were doing for the past decade. The newly returned Scarlett and Lucas want to regain their memories, but maybe it's best for them both if they don’t.

What was love if not a kind of forgetting? A forgetting about the inevitability of
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
FIRSTLY, I must say I did not like the author Tara Altebrando's writing style during Scarlett's/Lucas' chapters at all. In my opinion it was totally unnecessary and broke up the free flow of the text. However, I do appreciate that this is a YA thriller so the very unique design of writing would probably be more suited and be attractive to younger readers of that genre better.
BUT - I did love the opening chapters, I was thoroughly hooked and couldn't wait to see how the story panned out. Six five
Diane S ☔
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Addicting, I was seriously addicted to this story. Six children disappear on their first day of kindergarten, eleven years later five come home. No memory of where they had been, nor who took them to begin with. No memory of Matt, the missing child. The story is narrated, in alternating chapters by Avery, the missing boys sister, Scarlet and Lucas, two of the returned. They each try together, and separately try to figure out where they have been. The writing during Scarlet's narration was ki ...more
UPDATE 7/Jul/2017

I have been wanting to lower my rating for this book ever since I read it but I just haven't been bothered. The more I thought about this book, the more I realised how anticlimactic it actually is. This book was so good and compelling right until everything is revealed and then it's so disappointing. I have no idea why I would give such a high rating so I am taking it down to 3 stars. I think that rating is much more accurate.

4.5 stars!!

Spectacular! Th
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

I have a penchant for devouring YA thrillers, so when I heard about the mystery behind The Leaving, I had to pick it up.

Five teenagers get dropped off home with no knowledge for the past 11 years. They have procedural memory, but they have no memory of their relationships with each other, or what they've done and where they've spent their time. We get three perspectives - two of the missing teenagers, Lucas and Scarlett, and
Elena Salvatore
The book starts with Avery who is just a toddler, wondering where her brother is.

And then we jump 11 year ahead... 5 Teenagers wake up with a blindfold covering their eyes, a van taking off and them having no recolection of how they got there, where there is and who they are as much as they lives beyond this exect moment.
After taking off the blindfold, they only saw the van leaving and realized they were all wering the same clothes and discovered a map in their pocets with a "X" marking a spot o
Quick review for quite a strenuous read. I think "The Leaving" had good ideas and intentions, but in the end, none of it worked for me. I'll admit I really had to push myself in a marathon just to get through this book. It was very sluggishly paced (for little to no reason at all), the characters were lacking (you have three perspectives: two of the abducted kids and one who's the sister, and there seems to be a mismatch with the gravity of the emotional events with the voices of the characters, ...more
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
I think 3.5 Stars. I HAD to know what the end result was, but I didn't much like the characters or the end result???

6 kindergarteners went missing-- 10 years later, 5 of them return unharmed, but without memory of where they've been or why they were taken. Some people think they're faking it, some think they're dangerous, some even think maybe they were abducted by aliens.

Avery is the sister of the one boy who didn't come back, and she's not giving up until she finds out the truth about her bro
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Eleven years ago six kindergartners went missing from their school with the search turning up absolutely nothing to what had happened to them. The families tried their best to go on with their lives slowly losing hope over the years that they would ever be returned.

Now, at sixteen, five of the missing children have returned. The teenagers are foggy and think that they have been drugged but have absolutely no memory of what had happened to them for the last eleven years. With only glimpses of me
Odette Brethouwer
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inbezit, 2016
This book intrigued me as soon as I saw the cover. 'Six kids disappeared. Five teenagers returned.' I wanted to knew what happened right away.

This book lived up to it's expectations. Sometimes they did special things with the layout of thoughts, which really added to the story.

I noticed when I red the second third of the book that I was still intrigued every page and wanted to know what happened, it was a real page-turner, but that I didn't learned anything about what happened.. This is really
This synopsis of this sounded like something I would absolutely enjoy, so I was eager to start reading it.

I did get sucked in right away. The idea was intriguing and the way the story was broken up between the characters kept me quickly turning the pages. I loved the misdirection and how I felt like every time I might have something figured out, everything shattered.

It was a bit long...granted there's a lot of story to tell and it did need to be told. Some scenes did seem a bit repetitive.

I a
Neil (or bleed)
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, young-adult
"A whole generation oblivious to the truth of the human condition is a recipe for the collapse of society."

This is not my first novel of Tara Alterbrando since I've already read her co-authored novel with Sara Zarr, entitled Roomies (which I loved). Roomies is a contemporary, realistic fiction novel. The Leaving is a mystery-thriller. So, I don't know what to expect, at first, with this book. And now, having read this book, I could say that Tara has the talent to write these kinds of novels.
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bloomsbury
3.5 Stars.
The Leaving was a bizarre blend of contemporary and intrigue that will leave readers wondering what is real and what we're manipulated to believe. Told from several points of view, Lucas and Scarlett who were both taken at five years of age and from the perspective of Avery, who's brother Max was taken and has yet to return with the other five teens. Scarlett is returning to a single mother, a former alcoholic who believes her daughter was abducted by aliens and has immersed herself in
Ryan Buckby
Aug 15, 2016 rated it liked it
actual rating: 3.5

i did enjoy this book but there were some flaws in the writing style and story that i had an issue with but don't get me wrong the whole story concept is very interesting and i still enjoyed it.

6 children go missing when they're all six and only 5 children return 11 years later with no memory of what had happened to them. we go back from perspectives of two of the missing children and one of the sisters of the child who never returned with the other 5. I would have love to see
Kelsey Marie
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
*****You can read my full review at Darling & Co.*****

I discovered The Leaving in an article about the best young adult books being released in June and after reading the synopsis, I went to Amazon and purchased it. When it arrived, I started reading it right away, even though I currently have 3 other books I'm reading; I needed to read this ASAP. I finished it in a day, and it's been a long time since I've done that with a book. This book is definitely on my must read list! I will be recommendi
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was UNABLE to put this book DOWN.
Super twisty mystery, not unlike GONE GIRL, without being completely repulsive, not unlike a Scandinavian crime thriller, without being totally gory. The perfect mystery/thriller, in fact for a teen looking for a great page turner! I even admired the characters I thought were horrible! And I was trying to figure out what the HECK was going on right up until the very end!

Alja Katuin
Reminded me of the 4400 (show)
Felt really cheesy and cliché
Hannah Cassie
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it

MORE? MORE! @ P.S. I love that book!

THE WORLD: In this book we are in this small town in US where six kids at age of 5 got kidnapped from the kindergarten and after 11 years they come back without any memory. But! Only 5 of the kids come back and nobody knows what happened to the sixth one. The parents of the kids of course were traumatized and their lives ruined more or less so the kids do not come back to the happy longing families we are so used to seeing in the movies. They come back to bro
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was ok

This one was very consistent for the most part. It was a solid 3 stars throughout and I knew that the ending could shift it either way. Unfortunately the ending was such a disappointment. It was far to predictable and everything slotted into place far too conveniently that some questions remained. The characters never really questioned what they were being told despite having bad memories they always went with the first thing that came to their mind. And similarly, the characters
Jen Ryland
Jun 07, 2016 marked it as setting-aside-for-now
Hmmmm. Not sure about this one. Three POVs and regular prose is interspersed with free verse and letters that make designs and that is a little much for me. I love thrillers, so I think I will set this aside for now and perhaps return to it later.

Read more of my reviews on YA Romantics or follow me on Bloglovin

Thanks to the publisher for providing a free advance copy of this book for me to review.
maddi j
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: readers who like a little mystery, contemporary, and a little romance
4/5 stars

I enjoyed this book very much. At times the plot was a little slow, though I did like the author's writing style. This is an easy, weekend read when you are looking for some mystery and a little romance woven in.

I am proud to share the main female character's name. She was not whiny in her situation, and she made decisions that I probably would have made if I were in her position.

I definitely recommend this book.
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight
This was quite an enjoyable book. I won't say much because frankly, I like to keep reviews of this type of book vague and short. As far as said mystery goes, I was definitely intrigued. I mean, kids disappearing, then coming back eleven years later? Yeah, that's messed up. And by the by, they don't know where they've been, who with, or even who they are.

I liked that there was skepticism
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Would have been much better if a stupid romance hadn't been forced into it. That and cut down the drama a lot (view spoiler). Then this would have been an interesting thriller, with smart teens using their brains, and just a much tighter story. ...more
Elle G.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Mystery

This book is one of the most original novels I have read in a while. It's one of those books where you really have no idea WHY things happened and figuring it out and how it will end is nearly impossible. The author has created something unique with this novel and I am super excited to see what she comes up with next.

The story is about 6 children who go missing on their first day of kindergarten and aren't found until 11 years later when t
A copy of this novel was provided by Bloomsbury Australia for review.

The Leaving was pretty darn addictive. I read the majority of this book in one sitting because I just wanted to know EVERYTHING. Which I think is a pretty good sign when it comes to a mystery novel. What are they without that ‘I need to know’ feeling?

The Leaving is told from three different perspectives, all in third person. We have Avery, who is the little sister of one of the six kids who went missing eleven years ago, and we
Erin Dunn
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist

Short Review Summary:
A few problems, but addictive and enjoyable.

The Leaving is an addictive story from page one. I couldn't stop reading this book and it's a very easy read. I had to binge this one so I could find out what happened to the six kids! When I first started reading the book I stayed up later than I should have reading. I had to LITERALLY force myself to set it down so I could sleep and finish it the next day. I was extremely tired the next d
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017
"It’s not like I was watching you. I saw you, is all."

This book was sh*t. There, I said it. I was very excited for it, but now that I've read it... yeah, not so good.

Eleven years ago, six kids went missing on a trip. Five came back. Nobody knows what happened to the sixth kid.

Scarlet, Lucas, Sarah, Kristen and Adam find themselves alone, with no memory how they got there or why. They find maps in their pocket, directions to go to their houses. Once they are back, things don't go as expected,
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
"Hot air balloon.
Swallowed clues.
Old staircases.
Old books.
An unreturned boy.
She didn't like any of it.
Didn't like where any of this was heading."

This was a a great adventure of a story. I liked the story broken in to parts - by Days. It kept everyone's POV nice and neat because you know what was going on each day for those that returned.

But I did find the overall explanation a little bit of a let down. But the premise/idea is very interesting and I love the moral question and ideas that linger l
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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 H ...more

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