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The Return

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  66 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 th
...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: March 24th 2020 by Berkley (first published March 19th 2020)
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  • The Return by Rachel   Harrison
    The Return
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    Release date: Mar 24, 2020
    A group of friends reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance in this edgy and haunting debut.

    “The Re
    ...more

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 20 copies available, 3308 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Nov 18 - Dec 15, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 3.81  · 
    Rating details
     ·  117 ratings  ·  66 reviews


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    Chelsea Humphrey
    Aug 22, 2019 marked it as to-read
    Recommended to Chelsea by: Berkley Publishing Group
    Shelves: from-publisher
    Me: I'm done reading plots featuring females with amnesia.

    "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... Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she's been or what happened to her."

    Also me: Where do I sign the dotted line to read this one?

    *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
    Nilufer Ozmekik
    Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Welcome to the DISAPPOINTED BOILING READERS REHABILITATION CENTER:

    PATIENT NAME: Nilufer (we couldn’t 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 didn’t pay for it” and she makes some undefinable, horrifying moves betwee
    ...more
    Michelle
    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 t
    ...more
    Tucker
    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
    ”’Don’t let the clock scare you,’ she says. ‘It’s 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 as a character. I agree with these complareview
    ...more
    megs_bookrack
    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!!!
    Em
    Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I read this in 24 hours - it would’ve been more like 10 hours if I hadn’t 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
    ...more
    Dennis
    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 away—but 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 indeed not the same ...more
    MariaWitBook
    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!
    OutlawPoet
    Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
    So, I got a kick out of this one. I’m saying this, knowing that some folks may not. A lot of time is spent getting to know our characters – there’s 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 don’t expect.

    No spoilers here. I’ll 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 worthwhi
    ...more
    Jessica Woodbury
    Oct 10, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: arc, horror
    2.5 stars rounded up.
    This book has a great concept, which is half the battle in Horror. If your concept isn't good, the dread and suspense just kind of flop over because there's no real heft to it. But the other half the battle is being a good book. Having interesting characters, stylish prose, and something to say. THE RETURN does some of these things but it does not do them all, so ultimately it was a disappointment for me.

    The two biggest issues I had were the prose itself and the voice
    ...more
    Talon
    Nov 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
    This review won’t be a long one. Mainly because I just didn’t enjoy this book and I don’t want to be a negative Nancy. The Return wasn’t edgy and it wasn’t 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. That’s it. That’s not even a spoiler, it’s 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 yo
    ...more
    Stacey Kade
    Oct 10, 2019 added it
    Shelves: read-2019
    This book is wild. It’s not at all what I thought it would be, and I loved that. Couldn’t put it down. If you’re expecting another woman-with-amnesia thriller...well, all I’m going to say is it’s NOT that. 😊 I suspect some people may struggle with that. But one of my favorite things in a book—whether I’m reading it or writing it—is a familiar trope turned on its head. And that’s what this was, to my absolute delight. I absolutely want to say more, but I went into this completely unspoiled and I’ ...more
    Glen
    Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
    I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

    A woman disappears for two years, then reappears. Her friends, straight out of central casting for a Sex in the City rip off take her on a girls' vacation. The girl has changed in the two years she's been gone. She's transforming into something else. Or is it all in the head of the protagonist.

    Pretty effective.
    Wendy Walker
    Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I rarely delve into the supernatural/horror world, but this was a really fast-paced, page-turner that is I really enjoyed. Witty dialogue and edgy characters put a fresh new face on this genre,
    Shelby
    Nov 14, 2019 rated it liked it
    Julie, Elise, Mae and Molly have always been best friends. Even as life took them in different directions in adulthood, the four of them remained thick as thieves. Then unexpectedly, Julie one day goes missing while out for a hike. Julie is presumed dead, her fiancé has a memorial service in her honor. But Elise never gave up hope that Julie was still alive.

    2-years after her disappearance, Julie shows back up on her doorstep, with no memory of the past 2-years. Mae gets the idea that the 4 of t
    ...more
    maggiefan
    Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: arcs
    4.5
    It's terrifying as hell, and that was exactly what I wanted from it.
    rtc
    Brianna Carosi
    Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I got this early as part of a panel at nycc

    I have to say I was really invested in the characters and the plot. I felt like Elise was super relateable and that all her friends could have been people I knew and would have been friends with. So A+ on the believe character front.

    As for the plot I was totally into it. It's got this atmospheric horror vibe that I dig, it the things you think about, the invasive thoughts that scare you the most. I don't want to give it away but I really li
    ...more
    Suzanne
    Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    You won't need a bookmark for this book because you won't be able to set it down! It has relatable characters, a great setting, suspense and terror and yes, humor! The pacing was perfect throughout, culminating in a breathtaking conclusion. Harrison reels us in like an old pro, though this is her debut novel, and I can't wait to see more from her!
    Alma Katsu
    Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    A woman returns after a two-year absence, the same and yet different in ways that cannot be explained. Her three closest friends are determined to find out why, and—ensconced in a weird boutique hotel that only contributes to the escalating strangeness—they discover the unimaginable truth. Combining suspense and horror with razor-sharp insights into the nature of female friendships, Rachel Harrison’s THE RETURN is a creepy, nerve-wracking, page-turning addition to the emerging field of horror th ...more
    Crystal Frappier
    Aug 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
    Warning: There will be spoilers of sorts in this review.

    I'm going to start off by saying I wanted to like this book. I love this genre and it just didn't hit the mark for me.

    There are many reasons this book just didn't make the cut for me. The writing I'll be honest felt juvenile at most times. I spent more time trying to figure out if I was in a flash back or who out of the four friends were talking. Anytime there was a big fancy word thrown in, it felt like that's what it was there for, just
    ...more
    Smart Bookaholics Inc Bookstore
    Wow what a great mysterious debut novel! I loved everything about this down to the things I didn't even see coming! Don't waste time buy this when it comes out! You won't be disappointed! Amazing debut for Rachel Harrison
    Thank you Berkley Publishing for the free arc in exchange for an honest review!
    Courtney
    Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    In an era where the female friendship narrative reigns supreme, The Return is a truly singular + special novel. The characters are compulsively relatable: though they find themselves in an extraordinary circumstance, the dynamic among them is universal + can be recognized in an instant. My favorite line reads: “You can’t erase your past when there are pieces of it scattered inside other people.” Harrison deftly approaches the nuance of friendship with precise, glimmering details of intimacy whil ...more
    Kris
    Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I didn't know what to expect. It sounded like it could be interesting but i didn't know if it would be to my liking.

    I more then liked this book. I loved it. It is so great. It not only lived up to my hopes, it greatly surpassed them.

    This book is amazing.
    Jessica B.
    Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Creeptastic and AWESOME.

    **early work perk read**
    Erica
    This was... a strange read. And I'm still very confused about some... things.

    Molly, Mae, Elise and Julie are best friends. As with most friendship constellations, there are 'cliques' within the four-mation (fun curiosa: I was looking for a more suitable alternative to quadrilogy and found that there's a page dedicated to the naming of friendship groups of four. You're welcome.): Molly and Mae and Julie and Elise.

    When Julie disappears during a hike, Molly and Mae are convinced that she's
    ...more
    Professional Apocalypse
    Nov 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
    This was like eavesdropping on a bunch of annoying people while they had stupid, pointless, “witty” conversations over brunch. Also, it’s a horror/thriller. JK JK! Absolutely nothing happens until around page 150 when one of the friends finds some blood in the sink. That gets about a paragraph’s worth of riveting exposition before the story goes back to nothing.

    Sucked.
    Rachael  Fryman
    Nov 04, 2019 added it
    Shelves: 2019
    Freaky.


    Digital copy provided by Berkley Publishing Group via Netgalley.
    Nickie
    Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Her friend disappeared. A stranger came back.

    When I saw those two lines on the front of the book I was hooked. This book was everything I wanted. It was a story about strong friendships and it was hauntingly creepy. I normally don’t read books on the creepier side but I am so glad I read this one!
    Horror Fan Girl ☠️
    Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Great read! If you like horror, this one will sure get the hair on your arms to stand up at times. Not going to lie, some moments were cringe worthy and unbelievable. Some character traits were unlikable as well. As for the story & suspense...worth it. Stay spooky! -L
    Jillian Doherty
    Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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    Rachel Harrison was born and raised in the weird state of New Jersey. She received her bachelor’s 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.
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