Mark's Reviews > This Is Sarah

This Is Sarah by Ally Malinenko
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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 return.

This book is equal parts emotional portrait and page-turning mystery. The sadness and loss and frustration are real, as every character in the book deals with the open-ended tragedy that has occurred. The writing is intimate and detailed when dealing with Claire and Colin's feelings, and even supporting characters have complex reactions and conflicting emotions as everyone just tries to do their best to cope. But as we try to heal along with these characters, clues surface and questions arise. What did happen to Sarah? Will she be found? Is she alive? Why haven't they found her phone? Sarah's phone becomes the center of the mystery for Colin, and us, when one day, after a year of unanswered ringing, Sarah's voicemail suddenly clicks on. Colin takes it as the sign he'd been waiting for.

Malinenko does a fantastic job of balancing the emotion and the mystery of this story. I found myself able to enjoy, if that's the right word, the simple moments of pain and loss on one page, then to get sucked back into the hope and sleuthing on the next. Colin's hope and single-mindedness is infectious, it's hard not to believe him, extremely hard not to root for him, but at the same time, we hear the people around him constantly telling him he has become dangerously obsessed and possibly delusional, which it's also hard not to believe. A fantastically complex place to put me in as reader!

I won't get into the details of the ending, but what happened I didn't see coming. Some mysteries have answers and some don't. This book sets me up for disappointment while feeding the flame of hope that all will somehow end well. A great read.
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Reading Progress

December 11, 2015 – Started Reading
December 11, 2015 – Shelved
Finished Reading

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