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The Return

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  485 ratings  ·  284 reviews
An edgy and haunting debut novel about a group of friends who reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance.

Julie is missing, and the missing don't often return. But Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and she feels in her bones that her best friend is out there, and that one day she'll come back. She's right. Two years to the day that
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 24th 2020 by Berkley
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Rebecca [spoiler]It seemed to have a haunted hotel vibe, which I wish was actually utilized as a device. As far as horror creature, I felt this resembled a…more[spoiler]It seemed to have a haunted hotel vibe, which I wish was actually utilized as a device. As far as horror creature, I felt this resembled a Wendigo story. (less)

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Average rating 3.54  · 
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Miranda Reads
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Miranda by: Tucker
I have read my way through 315 books to bring you my Top 10 Books of the Year (video) .

Now you know that this one made the cut, check out my video review to see the others!

(Ps. This one is technically going to be published next year but it was so good, I let it slide)

It was dread. It moved under my skin like a sickness.
Julie, Elise, Molly and Mae - best friends since college - did everything together. But, then they graduated, and spread across the country.

And they began
Chelsea Humphrey
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: from-publisher
I've come back to write this review three separate times now, and I think it's best if I keep this as brief as possible. The entire novel is a spoiler minefield, but ultimately this one didn't work well for me due to 2 reasons: 1) The first 250 pages are mostly repetitive dialogue between the four women, and at that, mostly talking about Julie behind her back, AKA "What's wrong with her?" This got old quickly, and caused me to want to skip ahead to where the suspense and possible action would ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was ok

PATIENT NAME: Nilufer (we couldnt get proper last name, she confused us with a waiter because she determinedly pointed the empty glass she held in her hand and shouted us to pour more Chardonnay)

SYMPTOMS: Cursing, punching on the walls, yelling, screaming give my money back and then she calms down and adds: Oh thank God! This is ARC COPY! I didnt pay for it and she makes some undefinable, horrifying moves between caged animals
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tucker by: Berkley Publishing Group

Many thanks to Elisha at Berkly Publishing Group for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review
Dont let the clock scare you, she says. Its only time.

If The Shining and Mean Girls had a baby, that baby would be The Return. Holy sh*t. You guys this book was truly one of the creepiest books I have read since Little Darlings . Nearly a week after reading this, I am still reeling. This book will forever leave a mark on my soul.

Elise - I know that there have been complaints about Elise
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: edelweiss-arc-s
This was, uh, interesting?

Julie, Elise, Mae, and Molly have been lifelong best friends. Then one day they are told that Julie has gone missing while out on a hike in the Maine mountains. Mae and Molly succumb to their grief but Elise is sure that Julie isn't dead. She knows that Julie likes the attention too much so she holds out hope for her return.

Two years later and Julie does return with no memory of what happened over the last two years.

The four women decide that a weekend away will be
Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
You cant erase your past when there are pieces of it scattered inside other people.

Jules goes missing and stays missing for two years, but then she reappears one day with no memory of what has happened to her over the past few years. Her best friends are unsure as to how to handle this stroke of good fortune. They had a funeral for her. They mourned her. They accepted that she was going to be a missing piece for the rest of their lives.

They cant decide if they are more happy about her
Ive had my eye on this one for some time! I was fortunate to get my early copy and couldnt wait to dive in. Early on I realized this is more than just your run of the mill thriller, maybe more along the lines of a horror. And if youve read any of my previous reviews you know Im one big scaredy-cat!

What to do...what to do?💁♀ Call it quits early, avoiding any potential scaredy-cat trauma? Or, buck-up and jump in with both feet!
Because I coveted this book for so long the choice was simple. I kept
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs, 2020
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

Im always intrigued by books that deal with missing people. This novel really caught my attention with its great cover and interesting description.

When Elise first hears that her best friend, Julie is missing, she doesnt believe it. Elise, Julie, Mae, and Molly are all very close friends though Elise has always felt closer to Julie.

Days, weeks, then months pass

Everyone else assumes Julie is dead, but Elise REFUSES to give
Susanne  Strong
2.5 Stars

Besties since college, Julie, Elise, Mae and Molly have always kept in touch. When Julie goes missing, everything changes. Elise is the only one who holds out hope for her return, even after a few years go by.

Then it happens. Two years later. Julie returns out of the blue. Looking A LOT worse for wear, with absolutely no memory of what happened.

Deciding to have a girls weekend, the four go away to an Inn in the Catskills to reconnect. The Inn boasts rooms that are all quite different
HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY to Rachel Harrison and The Return!!!

I am loving this. I have no aspirations to ever write a book, but if I did, this would be it. These vibes give me life. Very Jennifer's Body feeling.


My weekend is booked!


An edgy and haunting debut?

Yes, please!
Thank you so much for my ARC, Berkley Books.

As always, it is appreciated.
I so look forward to this one!!!
Katie B
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Well, that took me on an unexpected journey. There's definitely some problems along the way, and I find myself agreeing with almost all of the criticisms I have read in other reviews. But when I finished the book, my overall feeling was I kinda liked it even if I'm not able to articulate exactly why.

Elise, Julie, Molly, and Mae have been friends since college. Julie has gone missing and well, we all know how those cases usually turn out. But Elise can't help but feel her friend is out there
Amy Imogene Reads
4.5 stars

I was NOT expecting this slim novel to be so awesome, so horror-based, and so suspenseful. Loved it. It would have been an automatic 5 stars, but some things didn't jive for me.

Suspense: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★
Setting: ★★★★★

The Return comes out on March 24, 2020!

Elise is told her best friend, Julie, went missing on a solo hiking trip. Two years go by, and Elise refuses to believe or accept that Julie's dead. She's sure Julie will turn up again, good as new.

Two years to the day that Julie
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

I read this book in December. And then I lost it in my car. Which is a Fiat . . . . . .

Why do I tell you guys stuff like this? My husband should have zero problems having me committed with all of these embarrassing confessions out there in writing. Actually he wont even have to worry about it after that fucking Google ad during the Super Bowl . . . .

*drinks gallon of antifreeze due to inability to stop crying ever*

Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
I devoured (haha) this book in one day... Creepy, weird, and disturbing without being terrifying? That's totally my type of book! Very impressed with the fact this is a debut novel. Can't wait to see what else the author comes up with!
THE RETURN is the first novel I have read by Rachel Harrison. To say that I was impressed is an understatement--this novel grabbed me from the start, and I didn't want to put it down until I had ALL the answers. Of course, that meant I was completely invested until the very end.

". . . being in this city of millions of people was worse than being alone in my apartment . . ."

We have a close group of friends--Elise, Julie, Mae, and Molly--each now in their respective careers/locations, but still
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Return is Rachel Harrison's debut horror / supernatural thriller novel, and I was dying to get my hands on it as soon as I heard about it! The synopsis sounded right up my alley, and I LOVE a good pink cover.

I really enjoyed this book, and I tore through it. It had a fun balance of horror and friendship drama. I enjoyed the setting of the hotel, and I would absolutely love to see a movie adaptation of this book.

I wish this book would have been a little longer to dive more into the horror
Rachel Harrison's debut mystery novel, The Return is a light, yet edgy, mystery-drama that encompasses friendship dynamics and the supernatural. Main character, Elise, is in conflict with her friends over the disappearance of their friend Julie. Julie mysteriously vanishes and everyone believes she has died or ran awaybut not Elise. After two years, Julie resurfaces, but something is different. The group decides to go away for a friends' trip in the Catskills, but the dynamic is off. Julie is ...more
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this in 24 hours - it wouldve been more like 10 hours if I hadnt had to do obnoxious things like sleep and go to work. This is the breathtaking next step in commercial thrillers: tipping straight over into horror. The author nails the experience of the irrational fears you make up as an anxious woman in the grip of a quarter-life crisis, and flips them over into literal fears. This is also a book about the discomforts of female friendships. I loved it.

Read my full review and cover reveal
Liz Barnsley
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Return started out really well- a friend disappears then reappears with no memory of what happened to her- but she's definitely not the same person she used to be....

The author develops the friendship dynamic between all the women really well, giving you a sense of them especially Elise. Julie's return and the aftermath begins as a beautifully creepy, tense horror so much so that I didn't want to read it in the dark. The hotel they reunite in is dastardly and haunting- so far so good.

Then it
Ellen Gail
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
What is it with me and accidentally picking tooth-horror? First Harrow Lake, now this. That is literally my only requirement for the next thing I read - no rivers of teeth or bloody teeth falling out. I don't want any more teeth!

Somehow I went into The Return not knowing a key thing about it - this is a horror novel. I mean, it's shelved here on Goodreads as horror. Edelweiss has it listed as horror fiction. I don't know how I missed it. However, as a self described horror junkie, it was a fun
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Thank you so much to Berkley Publishing for the ARC of The Return in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own.

I have honestly never read a horror novel before in my life, because I am a huge scaredy cat.  I didn't even realize it was a scary book until one creepy thing happened...and then another ... and then I looked up the book on GoodReads and said OH, wow, ok.  I turned all the lights in the house on and kept reading.

The plot itself is an excellent idea: What happened to Julie?
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
The four of them had been lifelong best friends, so when Julie mysteriously disappeared for two years, Mae and Molly painfully let go, believing she was dead. Only Elise feels deep in her very soul that Julie is out there, somewhere, perhaps unable to get back to them, but she was alive. And then her belief proved right, Julie returned, the past two years an empty chalkboard. Julie had no idea where she had been or what happened.

Believing a best friends getaway was in order, the four women took
Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it

Thank you so much to Berkley for the gifted ARC of THE RETURN 💕 Can someone please tell me WHAT I just read?! 😱 I dont read horror novels very often, but this book freaked me out so much that I definitely need to change that!

The main reason why I enjoyed this book as much as I did is because it was so incredibly entertaining and binge-worthy. While this book is definitely dark, it was also super fun and I loved the groups dynamics throughout the story. I also LOVED how intense and
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
So, I got a kick out of this one. Im saying this, knowing that some folks may not. A lot of time is spent getting to know our characters theres a lot of patter that I actually liked, but some folks might not.

The story is weird and eerie and it goes places you definitely dont expect.

No spoilers here. Ill just say that the description of the book is bare bones compared to the actuality of the plot.

While it take a bit to get to the meat of the story, I found the journey worthwhile. I was riveted
Nov 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review wont be a long one. Mainly because I just didnt enjoy this book and I dont want to be a negative Nancy. The Return wasnt edgy and it wasnt haunting. Sorry to ya, blurb. I really hate breaking it to you. Not only that, but the majority of the book is just three girls talking behind one girls back. Thats it. Thats not even a spoiler, its just hard facts.

The other part of the book is just the author telling us things. This is definitely a book of telling. It tells you literally
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Honest review... if you like horror go for it! The kind of book everyone should read in October I guess. Spooky and scary!
Norma * Traveling Sister and proud Grandma!!!
Monotonous, menacing, & freaky!

This was one strange, different, and bizarre mystery/horror read that definitely kept me creepily absorbed in the storyline. I was a little bit grossed out at times and in the end it left me with a sour taste in my mouth and a permanently disgusted look on my face. Im not sure if that is good or bad yet..Im still deliberating! 😜

It was a very readable, quick and easy read with some creepy horror elements to it that might make this an extremely appealing read for
Feb 18, 2020 added it
Shelves: netgalley
Julie disappeared two years ago and now she has returned but has no memory of where she has been or what happened to her.
Julie and her friends go away for the weekend to spend some time together but things dont go as planned.
Unfortunately I found it hard to connect with the characters in the book and the story didnt hold my interest.
Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Elle's Book Blog
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Actual Rating: 2.5 stars

Horror | Mystery

I'm finding it hard to put into words how I felt about this book. There are a few reasons for this. [1.] this book was extremely different than I thought it was going to be based on the blurb. Take a second and read the blurb and tell me if it screams mystery to you. Because to me it does. [2.] The characters were (literally and figuratively LIFELESS). When I read a book I want to connect with the characters even if it's
Stacey Kade
Oct 10, 2019 added it
Shelves: read-2019
This book is wild. Its not at all what I thought it would be, and I loved that. Couldnt put it down. If youre expecting another woman-with-amnesia thriller...well, all Im going to say is its NOT that. 😊 I suspect some people may struggle with that. But one of my favorite things in a bookwhether Im reading it or writing itis a familiar trope turned on its head. And thats what this was, to my absolute delight. I absolutely want to say more, but I went into this completely unspoiled and Im glad I ...more
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Rachel Harrison was born and raised in the weird state of New Jersey. She received her bachelors in Writing for Film & Television from Emerson College. After graduating, she worked on TV game shows, in publishing, and for a big bank. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their cat/overlord. This is her first novel.

Librarian note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database

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“It starts, and we’re quiet for a while. Engrossed. Julie and I first watched this movie our freshman year, drunk after a bad party at a frat house. We huddled on the couch in our common room under layers of blankets. We shared a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream. We stayed up until five a.m., talking about what a good movie it was and whether or not we’d ever date a widower. We theorized about the true weight of baggage in relationships we weren’t mature enough to have or experienced enough to understand. As I watch the movie again with her now, there’s a phantom taste of mint in my mouth.” 0 likes
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