Sunday, October 9, 2016


pic and description taken from Goodreads


When Caroline's little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can't help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can't see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they need a friend--and their best option just might be each other


I don't know what it is with me and the sad books I have been reading.  They are like train wrecks, I cannot stop reading.  I find myself trying to wrap my head around the feelings I am having on this book.

Caroline's little brother goes missing, and she thinks it's all her fault.  She was suppose to be watching him.  When Dillon is found, he is found with another kidnapped victim.  The difference is Dillon was gone for just a few days but Ethan has been gone for 4 years.  What happens afterward is where this story takes us.

How often do we get to read a story of what happens after a kidnapped victim returns home.  Now, that I have said that, I don't think I want to ever dive inside the head of a kidnapped victim (fictional or real).  It's horrifying and scary.

Ethan's parents make sure he never leaves their site.  Taken at age 11 he is finally found after his kidnapper decided they needed another boy.  Four years had passed for Ethan.  His mom cannot seem to believe that Ethan is really home.  She keeps hugging him, crying with joy, and watching his every move.  Ethan is just trying to figure out how to live life now that he is back with his family.  He is starting to remember sounds, and smells from when he was a child.  He meets with a counselor but isn't ready to really face what horrors happened to him while he was gone.

Dillon is autistic, and had been missing for just a few days.  He doesn't know how to communicate what has happened to him, he only repeats the same words all the time.  Caroline is Dillon's older sister, and she is riddled with guilt.  She was suppose to be watching her brother when he was taken.  Caroline and Dillon's parents don't know how to deal with the tragedy.

Caroline get up the nerve to visit Ethan to see if he has answers.  I wish I could go on from here, but you must read this for yourself.  It is heart breaking, horrifying, sad, and beautiful all at the same time.  

If you like stories of over coming hard ships, and trauma, this is a great book to read.  Just be prepared for the emotional roller coaster that this book will take you on.  You will experience fear, anger, hope, and healing.   This was such an intense read.

Source:  I bought this audio book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

Content:  Some language including the "f' word.  Talk of sex, not too descriptive and innuendo of sexual abuse.





Jennifer Mathieu
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

I'm an English teacher, writer, wife, and mom who writes books for and about young adults. My debut novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, was published by Roaring Brook Press on June 3, and my second book, DEVOTED, came out in June of 2015.

My third novel, AFTERWARD, about two small town Texas teenagers whose lives are linked by a terrifying crime, will be out in September 2016.

My favorite things include chocolate, pepperoni pizza, and this super hilarious 1980s sitcom about four retired women called The Golden Girls. I can basically quote every episode.

I live with my husband, son, one rescue dog, and one old kitty cat.

When it comes to what I read, I love realistic young adult fiction (duh), creative nonfiction, super scandalous tell-all memoirs and unauthorized biographies, and basically anything that hooks me on the first page.