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Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

August 1, 2017

 

LAST SEEN LEAVING BY CALEB ROEHRIG

3***

 

I'll start with the good first. I really liked Flynn and his development. He started out as a fairly typical teenager, and it is only when his girlfriend, January, goes missing that he begins to reveal more about himself and his inner life. For me books can be really memorable when their characters are well done, even if the story falls a little flat, but Flynn was the only character I really connected with, so I don't know how long this story will stick in my mind, unfortunately. Which brings me to the not so great...
The story was quite predictable, which may be because I read a slightly ridiculous amount of crime fiction (for someone with a rather mellow temperament;-) In any case, I never felt hooked by the plot, which was disappointing. I also felt there was a distinct lack of police presence and it felt fairly unrealistic that a teenage boy would solve the mystery before they did, because it wouldn't have taken much.
The writing also felt a little tedious at time, even though I think Roehrig is a good writer. I just felt the text was so bogged down with similes and metaphors, it seemed very unlikely that a boy like Flynn would think like that, not that teenagers don't, simply because it often felt odd given the stressful circumstances of the story.
I don't want it to sound as if this book was awful, because it definitely wasn't. It was simply a bit disappointing, because I had heard such good things. I would be curious in Roehrig's future work, especially if he wrote a novel from the perspective of an adult, to which his language might be better suited.

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