ARC Review: Missing by Kelley Armstrong

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The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing?

review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Crown Books for Young Readers

+++Potential triggers for animal abuse/mutilation, abduction, violence, suicide, and physical abuse

Creepy, chilling, and all sorts of sinister, Missing is the kind of mystery that hits hard because of just how possible the situation is. 

This mystery is a challenge. There are so many clues that lead you in several directions. The reader, just like Winter, doesn’t know who to trust and what’s more, there are hints that suggest Winter is not psychologically sound or an entirely reliable narrator. I loved that the possibilities were endless and kept me guessing throughout, up until the very end. 

There are some seriously nightmare-inducing scenes. Some material may be triggering for readers, especially when it comes to animal abuse/mutilation. The adrenaline is high. Every snap of a twig, every laugh in the dark, every moment that makes you doubt, it’s a rush that will leave you breathless with anticipation. I could not put it down. 

In Reeve’s End the poverty is so profound that people can’t afford food and hunting is a necessary means of survival for some. The story begins with the main character setting traps, hunting for her dinner, resting in her personal shack in the woods. As the world building picked up, it was a huge revelation. Reeve’s End is one sketchy and messed up place. The cops are a joke. They arrest people on whim, they dismiss actual tips, and are full of prejudice that prevents them from doing real police work. And the sexism. Wow. There are several pointed comments about a woman’s position in society, victim blaming, and intelligence as something snobby and indecent. Sometimes the rage was pretty strong and the frustration that no one would listen to Winter and Jude, it’s enough to put anyone on edge. 

Winter and Jude. Steamy. Profound. Beautiful. The way they confide in each other. They see beneath the surface and fronts they put on for outsiders and they’re so cautious. Winter recognizes Jude has deep resentment, issues, and has put up a wall because she has the same feelings within herself. Their relationship isn’t angsty or particularly sexual like a lot of YA lately, it builds and grows and is rooted in understanding and compassion. 

While there were tidbits and clues throughout, I don’t think there were enough of them. The ending is so twisted that there’s really no way to see it coming and there wasn’t enough given to the reader to make a guess until a chapter or two before the reveal. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Keep reading, 

Jordan

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Author Spotlight: Jessica Wilde

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Our Time

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cooltext1889161239 copyJocelyn White’s only priority in life is her daughter, Olivia. As a single mother, with no family and the only friends she had now hours away, life isn’t easy. But the last several years taught her what is truly important and she plans on spending the time she has loving her little girl and keeping her safe and happy. She doesn’t plan on her new gorgeous, blue eyed neighbor turning out to be the one thing her and Olivia have been missing.

Andrew Carter has been waiting his whole life for a woman like Jocelyn. After his parents died years before, leaving him to care for his little sister, Madison, he spent years patiently waiting for a family of his own. When Jocelyn and Olivia completely steal his heart, he knows his patience has finally paid off and it’s time for his life to finally start.

What he doesn’t know is that Jocelyn is keeping something from him. Something she learned a few years ago.

Life is short and sometimes, time isn’t on your side.

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Every One of Me

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cooltext1889161239 copyFive years ago, Tessa Marshall turned her back on everything she once knew. She left behind her friends and family hoping they would be better off without her in the way. Now, after being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder and determined to set her life straight, she is going back. She doesn’t expect her best friend growing up, and the only man she has ever loved, to be waiting for her.

Charlie Mackenzie never knew the real reasons why Tessa left, but because of the promises he swore to keep, he feels responsible. He has spent the last five years staying distracted, and trying not to chase after her and drag her back to him. Now that she is finally back, he won’t allow her to push him away without knowing how he has felt about her all along. The only problem? He’s not just dealing with Tessa anymore.

The two of them must decide if their love is worth fighting for and Tess has to learn to just let go, because Charlie won’t let her go. He won’t let any one of her go

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Leverage (The Brannock Siblings #1)

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cooltext1889161239 copyAdventure. That’s all Aislinn ‘Ash’ Brannock wanted in her life. Her dad and two brothers – all cops – got to see it all, but their over-protectiveness made her feel like she had been locked away in a tower with three fire breathing dragons watching her every move. Yes, it was that bad. The only silver lining? Lucas Shade. Her brothers’ best friend growing up, and apparently the only man she will ever love because let’s face it, none of the others even come close. After an unfortunate mistake lands her back in her father’s home, her world is turned upside down and Lucas is there in a tightly wrapped package of serious with a big red bow on top. Life just got interesting, but it comes with a price, one she never wanted to pay.

Detective Lucas Shade never had a real family, but the Brannocks took him in as one of their own and he never took it for granted. Ash was a big reason for why he stuck around, but in order to save himself the beating of a lifetime from her two older brothers, he kept his feelings for her hidden. When the case he has been working on for months takes a turn, Ash could become the leverage the bad guys have been waiting for, but keeping her invisible may destroy everything Lucas has worked so hard for. Good thing Ash is the only person he would give up everything to protect.

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Conned (The Brannock Siblings #2) Conned Cover

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cooltext1889161239 copyConall Brannock takes his job seriously. He doesn’t get attached, he doesn’t ask questions, and he protects his family at all costs. Nothing will change that. Not even the sweet, green eyed witness that just burst into his life and shifted his world. He has one job to do; protect Emily until she can testify. He can’t let his interest in her get in the way, but the more he finds out about her, the more he can’t help but wonder how the beautiful broken girl got into this mess in the first place. And the longer he takes to learn the truth, the deeper he falls for her.

Emily Dawson has a job to do. Stay off the grid, testify, and hopefully get her brother back. He’s all she has left of the family she struggled so hard to hold together and she would do anything to keep him safe. Even if it means she has put herself in harm’s way or that she has conned everyone into believing she saw something she didn’t. She knows where her loyalties lie, but her stoic yet gentle protector and his crazy family makes her question everything she once knew.

Loyalty can be one sided.

Family isn’t always blood.

And honesty can destroy everything she has come to love.

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MISSING (The Brannock Siblings #3)

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cooltext1889161239 copyThere are two things in this life that Gus Brannock truly loves; his family and his job. His family is growing and he wants what his brother and sister have before the job he’s worked so hard for takes its toll. The woman he’s got his eye on, however, isn’t interested in being with a man who risks his life every day. When the unexpected friendship with the sassy red head he used to hate turns into something Gus just doesn’t want to live without, he will do whatever it takes to have her. The hazards of his job as a detective for missing children may end up proving to be too much, but there’s a reason Aiden was brought into his life and nothing will stand in his way to keep her there.

Aiden Murphy used to hate the handsome jerk next door until a surprising discovery spun her world in another direction. Her life of devotion to her sister and niece has been her biggest strength with the exception of her art. That is, until Gus turns out to be the one thing that has been missing from that life all along. Aiden must decide if the unknown is worth the risk of loving the dedicated detective or if being pulled into his world is more than she can handle. When Gus becomes the only way for her to keep the people she loves most safe, will she understand why he treasures her untried strength or will she let her fear of the unknown decide for her?

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Ricochet (Rise & Fall #1)

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cooltext1889161239 copyFear.

It’s the last thing I remembered.

I was afraid.

Afraid to fight, afraid to run… afraid to breathe.

Then, everything had gone dark. As if life was finally hearing my pleas, my cries to end the torment. To end the fear.

But even in the dark, I still felt it.

I always felt it.

My life had been a ricochet of one event leading to the next. Bouncing back and forth from good to bad. Happiness to despair. Hope to fear.

My name is Arianna West. I’m stronger now. Steady. Alive.

I can find a way to survive on my own. I can see what is coming for me. I can channel my fear into strength.

Except… I didn’t see Jack.

And Jack changed everything.

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cooltext1889178114 copyI live in Morgan Utah with my husband, daughter, and dog, Kolo. I write as often as my active daughter will let me and my husband has the patience of a saint. I find inspiration from dreams, people I meet, and life experiences. When I write, I usually end up drinking one too many cans of Peace Tea, eating three too many Fruit by the Foot fruit snacks, and accidently kicking my pup and best buddy, Kolo, too many times since he loves to sleep under my desk at my feet.

I started writing as a teen, but my fear of the unknown won out every time and I threw everything out. After becoming a mother and deciding to stay at home to raise my beautiful little girl, I tried again when I couldn’t stop thinking of ideas. I loved every minute, every hour of sleep lost, and every character that came to life in my mind.

It’s strange, but my favorite moments are when I have writer’s block because I can turn to my husband and find inspiration through him by just doing what we do best together. Talking, laughing, and just being in love. He doesn’t like to read, but he never stops encouraging me to keep going.
Writing has become an important part of my life and every book has a special place in my heart.

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