June 2, 2015

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

Young Adult
  • Pages: 272 
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers 
  • Release Date: June 2, 2015
  • Goodreads / Amazon

In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.
No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.

Wow. What a ride! What an ending! Great YA mystery/travel book. This novel really stands out among the few YA suspense/mystery out there. It will keep you hooked until the end. Not only is it a mystery involving a liar, cheating boyfriend but it's also a journey through several cities including Paris, London and Mumbai--what else could I ask for? The story unravels in a slow uncovering of hidden truths and missing pieces that complicates the story more in every chapter.
The writing flowed nicely and the two girls were well developed characters. Some parts of the story may have felt a bit forced and the ending was quite a shocker, but it's definitely a fresh, fun addition to Young Adult literature that readers of all ages will enjoy.

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