What She Left Behind - Review

Publication date: 01 May 2012 by Simon Pulse

ISBN 10/13: 1442439513 | 9781442439511

Category: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Keyword: Thriller, Death, Loss, Missing persons
Format: Hardcover, ebook

From Goodreads:

"Don't even think of leaving...I will find you," he whispered. "Guaranteed."
Sara and her mom have a plan to finally escape Sara's abusive father. But when her mom doesn't show up as expected, Sara's terrified. Her father says that she's on a business trip, but Sara knows he's lying. Her mom is missing--and her dad had something to do with it. Each day that passes, Sara's more on edge. Her friends know that something's wrong, but she won't endanger anyone else with her secret. And with her dad growing increasingly violent, Sara must figure out what happened to her mom before it's too late...for them both.
Kimberly's review:

I have a confession. I cheated.

So, I'm always giving my one friend a hard time because she cannot wait to read spoilers. You name it, she's read a spoiler for it. And I always tell her--No! You're ruining the surprise! Of course, I was not surprised then when she told me that while reading this book, she went and found out what happened. She said she had to know. That it was driving her crazy.

And I am sad to admit, I know how she feels. Because dear readers, I too, may have glanced at one of the back pages, although briefly, to figure out what had happened. (I told my friend this and she said, See!? It's so intense!) I'm not proud of myself. I never, very rarely, only under extreme circumstances, do I do this.

And this might have been an extreme circumstance.

From page one, Bilen threw me into her world and I haven't been able to concentrate on anything until I finished. It's a lean novel, coming in below 250 pages, but it's packed with action and suspense. The writing is perfect, leaving just enough details out until the exact time is right. I flew through this book, the only reason I had to stop was because I had to eat dinner. Bilen does a fantastic job of weaving mystery and suspense while revealing bits of family history. If I was watching this movie, I would have covered my eyes, then peeked through them so I didn't miss anything. That's how I felt reading this book.

I loved Sara's character. She's smart and very brave, navigating through dangerous time in her family. I love how she takes action, she does impulsive things. She must find out what happened to her mother, drawing her into extreme situations. Alex, the boy who likes her, is sweet and warm. Their dialogue is a light, positive shift from the crazy darkness that is going on around Sara's family.

This well balanced story is a fast ride and I loved every bit of it. It grabs your heart and your stomach and takes off.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Visit the author online at www.tracybilen.com and follow her on Twitter @tracybilen