Monday, October 24, 2016

Last Seen Leaving ~ Caleb Roehrig (earc) review [@MikalebRoehrig @FierceReads]

Last Seen Leaving
Feiwel and Friends
October 04, 2016
336 pages
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Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

The first person narration of Last Seen Leaving felt a bit off, to me, as a reader. The Flynn that we saw through his actions, his dialogue and his reasoning did not seem to fit with Narrator Flynn. The word choice and sentence structure - a lot of metaphors, referencing things like Torquemada and thumbscrews, words like credulous - didn't match up to the fifteen-year-old who could seem naive and immature. I do recognize that some of his thought processes could be justified by a desperation to find answers, to know the truth but they still created a disconnect between the narration and who Flynn otherwise seemed to be.

The mystery part of the novel was very predictable and seemed to follow similar themes to several other mystery/thrillers I have read recently. (Though, that could just be that I've been reading a lot of them so similarities were inevitable and if you don't read many you won't recognize things.) I did like that there were several characters you had reason to doubt, question and wonder about.

Flynn was not my favorite character when it came to being an amateur detective (he jumped to too many conclusions and many of his decisions seemed rash and not terribly logical) but I did like the sort of coming-of-age side of the story with his character. There was some nice balance with him trying to uncover the truth of what happened to January while also trying to figure out how truthful he could be about - and with - himself. It was an interesting and unique side to the story.

I'm not sure how I feel about exactly how the mystery all came together and if some things really made sense but for the different characters involved it was an eventful and satisfactory resolution.

Though the mystery felt formulaic and not as suspenseful as I would have liked and Flynn's character didn't quite match the narration (by Flynn's character), Last Seen Leaving is an enjoyable read that kept me reading. I appreciated the diversity of the author's characters, racially, sexually, economically, etc and how some of that played out in different parts of the book.

digital copy received, for review, thanks to publisher via NetGalley

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