I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Meredith Oliver is not friends with Lisa Bellow. Meredith is unspectacular and Lisa is the most popular girl in middle school. It just so happens that they both are in a sandwich shop at the same time. But then a masked man with a gun enters, and Meredith finds herself ordered to the filthy floor where she lies face to face beside Lisa. The moments tick by and both girls are terrified, Lisa openly sobbing and Meredith doing her best to comfort her and stay calm. Then the man orders Lisa to stand and come with him. She does. And Meredith is left behind. After Lisa’s abduction, Meredith is a changed girl. As the story follows the trajectory of a community rocked by tragedy, it begs the question: what happens to the girl who is left behind?
When I read the synopsis for this story, I expected it to be more of a drama than a thriller. Which ended up being true. However, nothing happened. At all. The author definitely did a good job in writing this story in the perspective of a middle schooler. But seriously. Nothing happens. Meredith is a character I felt pity for at times but mostly, I was just bored with her and the entire story. There’s only so much I can read about inane things in her life, like how bad her mom’s pancakes are, and how she likes to sit in a certain spot in the car. While I don’t think the story needed to be a thriller, I still think it could have been a bit more …. interesting. It’s a sad story, but I felt that I was more drawn to Lisa Bellow than to Meredith and her family. In the end, this novel just didn’t do it for me.