Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Where I Left Her!
Thank you to Harlequin Books for inviting me on the blog tour!
Special thanks to Amber Garza, Harlequin Books, and NetGalley for the privilege of previewing this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publish Date: August 24, 2021
“I promise to always keep you safe.” – Where I Left Her
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?
This book is about every mother’s nightmare come true. If you have kids – and especially daughters – you’ve probably had at least one thought in this direction: what happens if my child goes missing?
Helicopter mom Whitney shows up at a house to pick up her teen daughter Amelia from a friend’s sleepover. An elderly couple answers the door and doesn’t know anything about Amelia. If you’re a mom, that scenario probably gave you a little bit of a heart attack, as it did for me. The story starts out with this scenario, and leads the reader through the heart-pounding, disturbing situation of a missing teenager.
The reader is privy to Whitney’s thoughts, feelings, and actions as she copes with her missing daughter. She doesn’t know if Amelia left on her own, or was forced to. Rather than wait for the police to give her updates, Whitney takes matters into her own hands and plays detective herself.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“Whitney wanted to get rid of her daughter. Not forever, of course, but for the night.”
“We all make our own choices, sure. But we don’t live in a bubble. People influence us. Shape us into who we ultimately become.”
“The longer Amelia was gone, the more she felt herself unravel.”
“Let go so I can swim.”
“I kept the promise I made to her that day. I’ve always kept you safe.”
“She hate that this was what their relationship had become. Searching for right moments. Walking on eggshells. Skirting around issues. Hoping not to aggravate the teenage monster. It was getting old.”
I loved how Whitney took matters into her own hands to track down her daughter using her own amateur sleuthing skills. As the plot progresses, Whitney realizes that her daughter Amelia is not what she seems, and is a completely different person than she portrays to her mother. It made me reflect on my own relationship with my teen daughters.
This book started and ended strongly for me, but slowed down a bit in the middle. There were alternating voices between Whitney’s past and present, but it was a bit confusing for me and I didn’t realize that it was the same person until much later in the book.
One of the nice surprises of this book is that it takes place in Sacramento, California, where I live now. There are definitely not that many books that take place in Sacramento. It made references to local malls, streets, and restaurants, and I love the shout-out to the California state capitol.
The ending had a shocking, unexpected twist that I did not think would happen. The book ended very darkly, and the surprise ending redeemed itself for me.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is about secrets, motherhood, relationships, family, marriage, and betrayal. It will make you think of your kids (if you have them) and your mother (everyone has a least one of these) and remind you to look beyond what you see.
Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check out my fellow bloggers on this book tour!