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Hazel

Caleb Roehrig
Last Seen Leaving

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Flynn's girlfiend has gone missing and he looks into her disappearance. Prior to this, January was pulling away from him; she had transferred to a new school, had new friends and a job. She didn't understand why Flynn was uncomfortable around her and why he didn't want to have sex with her. Then she went missing and everything Flynn thought was happening between them begins to unravel. Flynn finds the strength to face up to what was happening to him and January, starting with his coming out.

 

Within the coming out tale and the teenage romance, we have the mystery of January's disappearance. It is a engaging mystery and one that young adults will enjoy reading, it will certainly thrill and entertain. However, for me, not exactly the target audience but generally a fan of Young Adult fiction regardless, I found this book a little dull and annoying. Flynn's narration is quite exhausting. As he works through events we are exposed to far too many of his 'maybe this...maybe that...what if...but..." it is seemingly endless. Instead of showing us things, Roehrig has Flynn tell us every single momentary thought and to be honest, he's not that interesting a character. Also, I seriously have my doubts that a teenager would use the work "preposterously". Flynn's vocabulary is not the vocabulary of a teenage boy no matter how unusual or gifted he is. Had he sounded like an actual teenager, I may have liked him more.

 

The plot plays out well and I did enjoy the denouement, but this is one YA book that should stay with the YAs.

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