This is a story of 14 year-old Marley and her parents: Rachel and Paul. The story is told in two voices: mother and daughter which makes for a quick, compelling read. The story opens with Rachel finding a note penned on their white board in the kitchen from her daughter: “Don’t try to find me. I’ll be okay. I’ll be better. I love you.” Rachel had dropped Marley off at school that morning and failed to pay close attention to a bulging bookbag and Marley’s sudden need to be on time….for once. In the past year, Marley has become increasingly less interested in school, sports, activities, friends, etc. Rachel and Paul have failed to see just how sad…angry their daughter had become. Both were wrapped up in their own lives….to fully notice. They believed Dr. Michael (Marley’s therapist) had “fixed” her. They couldn’t be more wrong.
The story bounces between the current events and the immediate past. Paul sets up a world-wide search through social media to bring Marley back while Rachel hides from her own skeletons. Meanwhile, Marley is on her way to North Carolina to meet up with B…..a much older man she met through Facebook. Marley is tech smart, and she has researched how to make herself disappear…all online communication is wiped clean and she left her cell phone at home…also wiped cleaned. This does not stop her father and her mother from doing everything possible to find her and bring her back.
I loved the rawness…the reality of these characters and their faults. Nothing prettied-up about them. It was fascinating to see how easily Marley could could hide all online activity and yet just how naive she was about B. She believed she had fallen in love with this person….only to discover her worst nightmare. If you want to know if Marley is reunited safely with her parents or is left to live a life she did not imagine with B., then you will want to read this one. The book goes on sale in July.