Leave No Trace

Leave No TraceLeave No Trace by Mindy Mejia
Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on September 4th 2018
Pages: 352
ISBN: 1501177362
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three-half-stars

The Boundary Waters is a wilderness area in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes. Ten years ago, Lucas Blackthorn and his father walked away from society and into the Boundary Waters and were never seen again. That is until Lucas was found while breaking into an outfitters store. Lucas appears to be non-communicative and is placed in a psychiatric hospital for treatment and observation.

Maya Stark is a language therapist who works in the psychiatric facility where Lucas is placed. She has a troubled past – her Mother abandoned her, and as a teen she spent some time in a psychiatric facility herself. She is asked to evaluate Lucas and although he initially refuses to talk about his father or the ten years they were missing, he does form a bond with Maya.

This book proved to be a fast read for me. There are so many questions at the beginning of this book – why did Maya’s mother leave? Why was Maya hospitalized? Where were Lucas and his father for the last ten years? Where is his father now? Why is Lucas not talking? etc. There are some twists and turns along the way, with a few revelations to keep things interesting and the characters and readers wondering what is going to happen (or be revealed) next.

As Maya connects to Lucas, she tries to find the answers to the above questions but finds that sometimes knowing all the answers comes with a price. I will admit, I am still not sure how I feel about the ending of this book. I did take some issue with the transference in this book. Anyone who has ever worked in the Mental Health field can tell you about the dangers of transference. True, she was not a Mental Health worker, but she did work in a psychiatric facility and the rules do apply. I also saw a lot of red flags regarding moral, ethical and legal issues concerning her behavior. But I was happy to see some of those addressed in the end of this book.

So, the ending, everyone gets answers but there is the one thing that did not sit right with me. I would be giving away spoilers if I say why, I am interested if anyone feels the same way. I will say I enjoyed this book right up until the end, then it went a little downhill for me.

Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars

Everything You Want Me to Be

Everything You Want Me to BeEverything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia
Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on January 3rd 2017
Pages: 352
ISBN: 1501123424
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four-half-stars

4.5 stars

Received from the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hattie Hoffman appeared to have it all. A high school boyfriend, a part in a play, a loving family, friends, a job at a local CVS. Her hometown is rocked when she is found brutally murdered on the opening night of her high school play. Investigating her murder is her father’s friend, Del Goodman. He has known Hattie all of her life and the case hits close to home. During her murder investigation, it becomes apparent that there is more to Hattie than anyone knew. She had secrets. Secret dreams, secret desires and secret plans for her life. All her life she had been pretending to be everything others wanted her to be. But who is she really? Does anyone really know the “true” girl underneath the act.

This story it told through three points of view, Del – local sheriff and family friend, Hattie, and Paul – the new English teacher and director of the school play. This book looks at the last year of Hattie’s life and the events leading up to her Murder. I really enjoyed how this story was told. There was always just enough tension, always just enough information given, just enough shared at any given time. I was really sucked in. Who killed her? I thought I knew. I was wrong. There are not that many suspects in this case but there were enough twists and turns to keep the action going (and the reader guessing).

What I also liked about this book is how it hit close to home. How well do parents really know their teenagers? My parents did not know me or all I was up to during my teenage years. They were happily ignorant as the parents in this book were. How many of us had secret lives?

This book really was a tragedy on many levels. How quickly things can change in a blink of an eye. Actions have consequences. This book had many things to interest a reader – teenage angst, young love, an affair, betrayal, mystery, etc. We have read many of these plot points (and will again) but they really worked in this book.

Highly recommend.

four-half-stars