Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ MIRA, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Where I Left Her by Amber Garza, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.
Where I Left Her
On Sale Date: August 24, 2021
My rating: 5/5
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From the author of WHEN I WAS YOU comes a spine-tingling new thriller about a mother’s worst nightmare come true, when she goes to pick up her daughter from a sleepover, and she’s nowhere to be found.
Whitney had some misgivings when she dropped her increasingly moody teenage daughter off for a sleepover last night. She’s never met the friend’s parents, and usually she’d go in, but Amelia clearly wasn’t going to let something so humiliating happen, so instead she waved to her daughter before pulling away from the cute little house with the rosebushes in front.
But when she goes back to get her, an elderly couple answers the door–Amelia and her friend are nowhere to be found, and this couple swears she’s at the wrong house. As Whitney searches for Amelia, she uncovers a trail of secrets and lies her daughter has told her–from Finsta accounts to rumors of a secret relationship. Does she really even know this girl she’s raised, and can she find her before it’s too late?
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Whitney goes to pick up her daughter Amelia, a 16-year-old with an inclination to be moody and a lot of attitude. She dropped her at her new friend Lauren’s house for a sleepover at 5 pm the day before, glad of a quiet night to herself, noticing the red roses around the front garden. Single mum, Whitney has just been shopping and she has a packet of sweets for Amelia on the car seat ready as a treat, but when she arrives at Lauren’s and knocks on the door, an elderly woman answers. Believing the woman must be a grandparent of Lauren’s, Whitney introduces herself and the woman is joined at the door by a man who informs her that she must have the wrong house. So begins a frantic search for Amelia.
This is a disturbing tale told via different timelines; the present, with flashbacks to the days and hours before Amelia’s drop off, as well as flashbacks to Whitney’s childhood using diary entries. The story starts off on a really strong note and totally grabbed my attention with an alacritous pace that carries on for the majority of the way through. Whitney’s unreliability as a narrator makes this tale a terrifically good, murky and unsettling read so the fact that I couldn’t really relate to her became largely superfluous. Secrets, lies, concealments, and scheming abound as Whitney searches through Amelia’s social media accounts and her inner circle, as well as her own damaged past, all eventually combining into an explosive conclusion. Very highly recommended.
A special thank you to MIRA Books and the author for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request, received via NetGalley. This review is my unbiased opinion.
About the Author:
Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they’re real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California.
Until Next Time,