Friday, June 5, 2015

Charlie, Presumed Dead {by Anne Heltzel}

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel}
Title: Charlie, Presumed Dead
Author: Anne Heltzel
Genre: YA/NA Contemporary/Mystery
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: NetGalley
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.

I was mixed on this one. I'm not super into mysteries or thrillers but this one caught my attention. I did enjoy it, and it kept me wondering. While it did have its ups and downs, I did think it was executed well.

Aubrey flies across the ocean to London to attend the funeral of her boyfriend when she makes a shocking discovery: he had another girlfriend. And while Aubrey was kept secret from his family, everyone knew about Lena. When the two girls come face-to-face, they agree that something suspicious is going on, and set out to discover what it is. Lena is sure that Charlie isn't actually dead, while Aubrey has a terrible secret she needs to make sure no one finds out.

I thought both the characters were established very well. Although it was dual perspective, both girls remained clear and separate. These girls can barely trust each other, yet they set out to London, India, Bangkok together to find out the truth. I loved how they came to a friendship, even though they still are uneasy. Both are harboring secrets, but realize they have to trust each other to make it work. Both girls have never really had best friends before, so this is new for them. I thought their characters were built up very well and grew very well.

The plot also kept me guessing. There were some things that I did not see coming. The story was suspenseful and exciting, and even takes a deadly turn. However, some things were built up only to fall flat. I also had issue with the ending, which was quite abrupt. I went into it thinking it was a standalone, and now I'm not sure. I did love the different settings, and even the surprise of a third perspective I won't say because of spoilers. But it brought a depth and interest to the story.

All in all, I think this story was well done. While it was mysterious, I'm not sure how much of a "thriller" it was. Although there were some plot twists, some things also fell flat. But I did love the characters and how they change and grow. However, if there were to be a sequel, I'm not necessarily sure that I would read it.
This review can also be found on   Goodreads

Anne Heltzel:

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