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Do Not Become Alarmed

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  15,811 ratings  ·  2,138 reviews
From a beloved, award-winning writer, the much-anticipated novel about what happens when two families go on a tropical vacation - and the children go missing.

When Liv and Nora decide to take their families on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship's comforts and possibilities seem infinite. The children - two eleven-year-olds, an eight-year-old, and a six-year-ol
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Riverhead Books
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Emily Goode I didn't think the characters were well developed at all and their reactions to terrible events seemed a little nonchalant. At one point during the ki…moreI didn't think the characters were well developed at all and their reactions to terrible events seemed a little nonchalant. At one point during the kidnapping the 11 year old boy develops a crush on the 14 year old girl and he thinks to himself that in twenty years their age difference won't matter. I just don't think an 11 year old boy who has been kidnapped in a foreign country and is concerned with a health problem would be thinking this particular thought. This is just one example that bothered me; there were plenty more, including Raymond's reaction when Nora told him the truth. I also didn't like that the author used very short sentences throughout the book, which made it seem like an elementary level book, while writing about some subject matter that is very dark. (less)
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Clover White
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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 ·  15,811 ratings  ·  2,138 reviews

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Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Liv and Nora decide to book a South American cruise for themselves and their families. They have four kids between them, and after meeting an Argentinian couple onboard, who also have two kids, the three families become great friends. Initially they decide against any excursions, preferring to stay onboard and make the most of the ship's facilities. Eventually though, they book a zip lining trip for the kids, while their husbands take advantage of a local golf course. That's when things start to ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy is a 2017 Riverhead/Penguin publication.

This book started out with real promise, but…

While on vacation, cousins Liv and Nora, take their children on an off-ship excursion which seemed destined for disaster right from the start.

While Nora walks away with the tour guide, Liv rest her eyes for a bit while their children play in the river. In just an instant all the children were gone, lost or kidnapped in a country not their own.

While the parents are being gri
Diane S ☔
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Two couples, Liv and Nora, their spouses and four children between the ages of six and eleven, decide to take a two week cruise to South America. On the ship they meet an Argentinian couple vwith two children of their own and become friends. At first at the various ports they stay on the ship but eventually decide to go ashore and take the children zip lining. The men decide to play golf instead, leaving the women and the children with their excursion guide. Things will go horribly awry, and due ...more
You take your husband and two kids on a cruise with your cousin, her husband, and their two kids. During an excursion in a South American country, something goes very wrong. You can't take your eyes off the children for a second! The kids are gone. Missing. While the search ensues, the blame game begins. Do you own your part in the horrific situation? Or search for where everyone else went wrong?
That was something she was trying to work on: not always second-guessing her decisions, wondering
Rachel Hall
Disappointingly, my pulse never even progressed to a heightened state during the course of this awkward thriller. Riddled with implausibilities, this tale of missing children never really gets into its stride and Maile Meloy falls back on some appallingly bad national stereotyping and some unconvincingly simplistic characters with little evidence of any emotional investment. However, the biggest problem for me is that Do Not Be Alarmed never manages to convey a consistently serious atmosphere, s ...more
Elyse  Walters
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We ‘do’ become ‘alarmed’ in “Do Not Become Alarmed”, by Maile Melody.

This was one heck of a juicy - compelling - page turner - with what happened? - and what if’s?
This thriller ‘was’ suspenseful- (much of it seemed plausible)...but it was more than a one dimensional-thriller.
Author, Meloy, is smack-right-on with her observations about kids , teenagers, parenting, class and race. We look at morality & social prejudice- and the differences in the ways adults and children do .

This thriller myster
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Great set up and strong storyline kept this book exciting with lots of drama. As a parent it was a hard read but also some of the dread depicted felt strangely relatable with parents turning on each other almost immediately, the parents all displayed some horrible characteristics enhanced by the tragedy that unfolds during the dream family holiday turned nightmare. However there was something about the writing that felt abit off. The writing was direct and lacked some tack with descriptions of c ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I generally don’t read any of my friends’ reviews if I’ve already put my name on the wait list/obtained a book, but I made an exception this time around when it became crystal clear this was not going to be my idea of a good time. I pretty much want to copy and paste what Michelle had to say into this space because we are of one mind when it comes to Do Not Be Alarmed.

Damn my old lady brain to hell, because I know this one popped onto
Carol (Bookaria)
This is all about cruising gone bad!

Liv and Nora are cousins who decide to book a cruise with their families. Once abroad, Liv and Nora get off the ship with their children to go on an excursion which is a fairly common activity to do while cruising but then the children become separated from the group and disappear. Basically, every parent's worst nightmare and on unknown, foreign lands to boot. This is where the story begins.

The book is narrated from the alternating point of views of the par
Dannii Elle
With every good bookshop’s shelves stuffed with psychologically twisted thrillers and emotionally haunting crime stories, it can be overwhelming to find something unique in this overcrowded genre. The ‘Gone Girl’s’ and ‘The Girl on the Train’s’ of the category dominate, and it seems a plethora of books are sold in their pale imitations. It is time for something new. And Maile Meloy has delivered it.

Do Not Become Alarmed requires the reader to do exactly what the title warns against in this emoti
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was in the mood for a well-written, plot-driven book and Do Not Become Alarmed delivered. I'll quote the blurb by Ann Patchett on the cover of my edition: "Smart and thrilling and impossible to put down."
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it


Liv & Nora decide to book a cruise for themselves and their families. They have four children between them who adore their newfound independence and the 24-hour buffet! Initially, they decide to spend their time onboard, the ship has lots of great facilities to keep them entertained after all. However, after a while they decide to go on an excursion in Central America and this is where things go badly wrong - the kids have disappeared.

It i
Charlotte May
There were always lower circles of hell. Welcome to the next level down.

This was a wild ride!
More an action thriller than a mystery thriller, we follow the story of Liv and Nora - two cousins, along with their husbands and children go on a cruise over Christmas to Central and South America.
Then the worst happens. While on an excursion from the ship, their 4 children plus two others go missing. One moment swimming in the ocean the next gone, nowhere to be found.
The book follows both the parent
Sam (Clues and Reviews)
Jul 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Do Not Become Alarmed, the newest release by Maile Meloy, follows a family that meets devastation when their children disappear while on a cruise in Central America. I started this book as a buddy read with Janel from Keeper of Pages; we have been wanting to do a buddy read for a while and, when I won this book from Goodreads and it was coming up in Janel’s TBR pile, it was the perfect opportunity to get it done!

It isn’t often that I discuss a book I absolutely hated on Clues and Reviews but I
Jun 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Do not be alarmed if you can't finish this overwrought and ridiculous tale of rich white people losing track of their irritating children.
Do Not Become Alarmed. If you don't read this book, you're not missing much.

It tells the tale of two cousins, Liv and Nora, who take a cruise together with their families during the Christmas holiday.

On a trip to the island, the men go golfing and the ladies plan a day of zip lining with their kids. A scary car accident derails their original plans and the group heads off to the beach.

That's when things go awry.

Liv and Camilla, an Argentinian woman from the ship, fall asleep instead of wa
Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)
Pros: Quick read, you do want to finish to find out how it plays out
Cons: Unlikeable characters which makes it harder to really invest in their stories

Two families with 2 kids a piece go on a cruise, befriend another family with 2 kids. During an excursion gone horribly wrong all 6 kids disappear from their mothers' sight. The choices each of the parents and children make up to and after the disappearance tells the story of what ifs. The interrelationships between the family members, spouses and
This was a well narrated audio book from the author, whose name is pronounced 'Millie'. I initially thought she had a slight lisp, but decided it was just me. I enjoy audio's narrated by the author, it adds another layer.

Two couples, Liv and Nora are cousins, and their prospective families go on a Mexican cruise, but the worst happens - off shore the children disappear on becoming separated from the adults who are responsible for them. This is a quite confronting and at times gruesome read, and
Mar 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Won this book on goodreads,took me ages to get into this book.its a okay read maybe just not my type of book.
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
This book was harrowing and fast paced and difficult to read. As a parent it plays on your worst fears, and it does it well. Delves into questions surrounding parenting, marriage, blame, guilt, innocence. I'm glad I read it, but it was hard. 3.5*
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is a bit different from what I'd come to expect from Maile Meloy - it's a thriller about a cruise ship excursion gone bad. The thriller aspect is decent and the rich white people (who are obnoxious overall) don't escape completely, but I struggled to feel the book was entirely realistic. First of all, the cruise line unceremoniously dumps their luggage on the pier when they fail to return from a cruiseline-official excursion. Considering that this is an official excursion AND they are some ...more
Vikki VanSickle
Two American families escape the madness of Christmas to go on a cruise only to face their worst nightmares when the children go missing in South America. The premise of this book will appeal to the readers who can't get enough of griplit like The Girl on the Train, I Let You Go, and The Couple Next Door, but Meloy's deft prose and incising perception into humanity sets Do Not Become Alarmed apart from the crowd. Privilege, expectation, naivete, ego, love, humiliation, betrayal and chance are al ...more
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Family, sunshine, blame, kidnap, hope.

It took me about two chapters to get in to the flow of the writing, but after that I was hooked. I could not put it down.

I love how the narrative switched between the parents and the children - you could see these two stories, how they started together then came apart and took different turns before the end.

There are a lot of different situations explored in this book, and the different perspectives means that it really hits home. Be prepared for sh
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Visit the locations in the novel Sail away with the Literary Travel Agency

Full review to come of course but some early thoughts:

You might not want to read this is you're about to go on a cruise! Jeepers what happens when they stop at a beach to escape the ship for a while....

Seen through the eyes of the parents and the children who disappear, this is a novel of family dynamics, the will to survive and some lessons of what not to do anywhere never mind in the middle of a jungle in t
Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?
Liv and Nora are cousins and practically sisters. They decide to take their families on a two week cruise down the coast of Central America. Both women cautious, they spend the first several days aboard the ship. When they finally decide to take an excursion, the men head for golf and the women take the kids on a zip line tour. This is when all hell breaks loose! From the bus breaking down, to six children going missing in a foreign country, this family vacation is definitely not going to plan. ...more
Frank Phillips
Dec 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a story about two cousins, Liv and Nora, and their families, who go on a vacation cruise for some sun, fun and relaxation only to encounter nothing but chaos. I wouldn't say that this was a psychological suspense, but definitely a thriller. I give it a rating of 3.5 Stars due to the non-stop fast paced action thrill ride it takes you on! I feel like this would make for a fairly decent movie. The only negative I would have to say is that it started somewhat slower paced, but once it picke ...more
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-won
I received this book free from Good Reads.

It is about two cousins Liv (plus husband Benjamin & 2 children Sebastian 8yrs old & Penny 11yrs old) & Nora (plus husband Raymond & 2 children Marcus 11yrs old & June 6yrs old).
They have decided to take a 2 week cruise down the coast of Mexico & Central America over Christmas & the new year. Things do not turn out as they expected.

I really enjoyed reading it, it is a page turner & with something happening on every page & I could not wait to see how it a
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book - my first by this author. It was a compelling read - two families go on a cruise and their children go missing. I thought that the character development was uneven in that I never could remember which children went with which family and I also could not get a sense of the personalities of most of the children. Even when references were made as to their characteristics, it didn't necessarily jive with my gut feelings about them. But the parents were very well developed ...more
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Maile Meloy is the author of the novels Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter, the story collections Half in Love and Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It (named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review), and the award-winning Apothecary trilogy for young readers. She has received the PEN/Malamud Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was chosen as one of Granta’s Be ...more

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