Thursday, October 27, 2016

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig-- Complex, Captivating, Thrilling-- Basically PERFECTION

Last Seen Leaving

The last time Flynn saw his girlfriend January, she was breaking up with him.  When the cops show up almost a week later and tell Flynn that she's missing, they want to know all about the argument.  The thing is, Flynn can't tell them about it without revealing a secret about himself that he's not ready to confront.

As more details come out about January's life in the month before she disappears-- lies she told, how she'd withdrawn from everything and everyone she used to care about-- Flynn knows he has to figure out the truth about what happened to January.  The more he digs, the more frightened he gets that January may really be never coming back.

Okay, I'm just going to say it: Flynn is gay.  It's not a spoiler, I swear.

First off, the author TOLD us this fact when he was describing the book at the book launch.

And secondly, it's told to the reader in the 2nd chapter.... so I really don't know why it's not just told in the blurb?

So, Flynn is gay, but he started dating January because he was hoping that his feelings would change.... they didn't.  That doesn't mean that Flynn doesn't genuinely care about January.  And it doesn't mean he doesn't feel protective of her or get jealous when other guys seem to be trying to move in on her.   It's a complicated relationship.

When January goes missing Flynn starts finding all this stuff out about January that he never knew and doesn't know how to make sense of.  I was getting total Gone Girl vibes because January seemed to be leading some kind of double-life and for some reason did things to make Flynn look bad.

This book was utterly fantastic.  I loved it so much I had dreams about it (which only happens to me when a book either really creeps me out or is REALLY hooking me-- this one was the latter).  The mystery was SUPER suspenseful, but then there was this other side to the book that was totally soft and mushy.  When Flynn would flashback to moments with January, you could tell there was real love in their relationship.  It was really sweet... and also sort of sad.

I especially loved the complexity that this book gave me.  I mean, can you imagine trying to accept your true self, being scared at what the world will think, AND trying to figure out if one of your best friends is dead or not??

This is one that I know will stick with me for years.  So many YA Thrillers feel very BLAH and forgettable, but this one is one of the good ones.  It's so deep and the main character is so relatable and loveable.  I couldn't not like this if I tried.

The ONLY thing I would change:  Flynn almost had this weird dual personality.  Sometimes he would be "typical teenage guy" and sometimes he would be "weird vocabulary boy".  I almost pictured him talking in a Transatlantic accent when those words and phrases were thrown in.  Basically, he could've just been a little more teenage-ish in the way he talked and all would've been good.

OVERALL:  If you like YA Mystery, PLEASE READ THIS.  It's everything I could ever want in a mystery because it's about so many other issues besides the main mystery.  I loved Flynn, I loved how all the other characters were developed and real, and I loved how twisty the plot got.  Just a big giant YES to this book!

Date Published: 10/4/2016
How I got this book: I bought it
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan)

Add it to your To-Read List!!

This Book Contains:
  • Mystery
  • Friendship 
  • Coming Out
  • LGBTQ character
  • Michigan setting
  • Drinking/Drug use
  • Political drama
  • Blended family drama
  • Wealth
  • Flashbacks

My Rating: 5/5

Character: Flynn Doherty
Book: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

  • Because Noah tried being in a straight relationship and hiding who he was, and I just feel Flynn could relate really hard to that.  Also, this book is just beautiful and I think Flynn would appreciate the beauty.

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  1. This one sounds great and after reading your review I want to read it even more. I wish the fact that Flynn is gay was in the blurb. Lol. That little tidbit makes me more intrigued lol. Fantastic review! :D

    1. I hope you find time for it because it is really really good!

  2. I like the book you think Flynn would read - I can see that. I'm so excited that you really loved this one though as I did too! I thought it was great and I LOVED the mystery, but I also liked that it was more than that too.


    1. UGHH this book was just great. It made me SO happy!!

  3. YES! So glad you loved this one. I enjoyed it. The coming of age stuff was fantastic, I just would have liked a little more of the mystery. Which I think is because the mystery was really good. It wasn't the same old same old so I wanted more. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    1. I would've been happy with ONE more twist. But yes, overall this one was really interesting and different!

  4. This sounds so good!! I definitely want to read it after reading your review!

  5. This sounds SO much like my type of book, yet I hadn't really heard about it yet! Your review definitely makes me want to check it out!

    1. It's really well done. A fabulous debut, I was SO impressed!!

  6. Great review and yes, I don't think that Flynn being gay is a spoiler -- it should be in the blurb and I pretty much thought that just reading the blurb. Moving on, great review -- this sounds really good and I 'm not sure why this wasn't on my radar before!