Friday, May 1, 2015

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

19370188Title: Charlie, Presumed Dead
Author: Anne Heltzel

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication date: June 2, 2015
Pages: 272
Rating: 5/5 stars
Purchase: Amazon

Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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.

Whoa. Okay. Lemme just take a moment to figure out how I'm going to review this book without raving about what happens and possibly giving out major spoilers. Trust me; you are going to want to strangle me if I let something slip.

Charlie is presumed to be dead in this suspenseful story of two girlfriends in search for the truth. He was killed in an explosion, but they aren't settling for that. They think Charlie is alive and well, and they want him found so they can have answers. But as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that he might have motives of his own, and that no one is really safe.

Two girlfriends hunting down their boyfriend after he dies? Now if that doesn't intrigue you, then I don't know what will. The originality of the story is enough to excite you, even though you may or may not be a fan of suspense. Its refreshing plot is executed beautifully; it gives you a healthy dose of hope but throws anxiety and fear at you with every turn. You will not expect what Heltzel will come up with next.

Lena and Aubrey make an interesting duo. They have nothing in common, except that they once shared this boy. It took me a while to grow close to these girls, but as their friendship developed, so did mine, with them. Even if they seem like stereotypical characters at first, they are completely far from that, and they embrace unique characteristics that make them a thrill to read.

The depth of this novel goes way deeper than you imagine. I can tell you that it is twisted, and that it makes you fear for Lena and Aubrey. The intentions of each of the characters are revealed slowly, making you want to keep reading. When you reach a certain point in the book, there is no turning back. You will have to and need to finish it.

This book is immensely suspenseful and thrilling. You will think you know what's going on in one chapter, and then be completely mistaken in the next. Better not make any assumptions yet. Trust me when I say that this book will leave you breathless.

If I had to sum up my feelings toward Charlie, Presumed Dead, I'd say, "BUY IT." I don't read a lot of suspense books, let alone a Young Adult suspense book, but this book grabbed me and pulled me to its depths. I've drowned in its wonder again and again, each time not wanting to resurface.

Buy it this June when it comes out. You will not regret it.


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