Published: June 2, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Received: An Egalley from the publisher on Netgalley! Thanks HMH!!
Charlie Price just died in a fiery plane explosion, Except all that's been recovered is his bloody jacket. So technically he's missing, presumed dead. But Lena doesn't care about technicalities or improbabilities. As Charlie's girlfriend, she's certain he's still alive, still out there somewhere, waiting for her to find him.
Aubrey had to find out about her boyfriend's death through the internet. He wasn't answering her texts or calls. But he'd encouraged her to sign up for his campus newspaper. And the paper announces the missing student. When she finds out about his funeral service, she heads to Paris. Where she meets Lena, Charlie's other girlfriend who is convinced he's still alive. Aubrey agrees to chase after Charlie. But Aubrey's just looking for something Charlie took, something Aubrey's willing to do just about anything to get back.
The first couple pages of this book really through me off. I'm not sure whether it was the setting or the voice or the situation, but I had to put it down and come back to it (like three months later, oops, sorry HMH!). However, I started reading it again yesterday, and I finished it in one day. I'm not sure that I can actively say I liked it, but I can say that it's a thriller and it had me on the edge of my seat. I needed to know what happened. I needed to know whether Charlie was alive or dead. I needed to know what was going to happen to Aubrey and Lena.
Possible spoilers in this section so skip ahead if you avoid those. What the hell was up with that ending?!? When we got to the last few chapters, I was like whoa! No! What! I definitely did not see that part coming. I'm not sure how much I buy into it either. Like I can tentatively see a spoiled rich boy at 21 coming up with a fake suicide and leaving a trail for his ex-girlfriends, or at least I'm willing to suspend my disbelief there. But somewhere around the middle I started to feel a little sensitive about the culture clashing happening and how much it reinforced certain stereotypes about those cultures. And then I got really annoyed with the last part of the book and then the criminal justice aspect. I know there are real world equivalents to this last part of the story, but I don't buy into this outcome with this story and these characters.
Overall, I would recommend this to fans of thrillers and almost murder mysteries. Well a murder isn't the driving force, I think the set-up is similar, and the did-he-did-he-not aspect is similar to trying to figure out a murderer.