Review: Charlie Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

Charlie, Presumed Dead
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.

I was promised fist clenching mystery. I was promised a story of two girls who have been wronged and want to find the truth. I was promised an action packed story that would keep me reading until the very end.

I didn't get the action, I did get the two girls, and the only mystery this book brought was how these two stupid teenage girls are still alive at the end of this book. I mean enough stuff happens in this book that they shouldn't be alive, and half of me wishes that they weren't because then the series wouldn't warrant the inevitable sequel.

Okay, let me backtrack. The reason this book annoys me so is that it is conceived as a contemporary book, yet half the stuff that happens in it is so coincidental and out of it that I can't even begin to fathom the brain which things this can really be sold as reality fiction. I didn't really care about either girl, there are plot points thrown in, like Adam and the diary secret and Charlie's lists that make little to no sense and don't work for me and the ending was just ridiculous. Everything just happened because the two girls were in the right place at the right time yet they keep trodding on despite the awful things happening which should be telling them that maybe it's time to go home now.

You can probably guess, from this awfully scathing review (I'm sorry) that I will not be reading the sequel...

Book released 2nd June by HMH Press for Young Readers
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

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