by Carrie Arcos
Release date: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Purchase: Amazon | BookDepository
*Finished and signed copy received from author for an honest review.
Synopsis via Goodreads:
How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel.
Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.
Rachel’s terrified—and she can’t help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger.
With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.
A journey of realization, forgiveness, and finding a little romance along the way. Out of Reach gives a realistic look at how the dangers of substance abuse affects not only yourself but those around you. And Carrie captures the situation in straight-to-the-point verbage and unsugarcoated descriptions.
The book isn't just about the addiction, it explores the path in which it takes you. Homelessness, giving sexual favors to purchase drugs, mental problems, and often times death.
I like the way the story's told; Rachel spent the entire book in between searching for her brother while reflecting on life leading up to the day he left. It was a great way for readers to connect to the characters, Micah included. I could establish an idea of the kind of person he was from the details given by Rachel's memories. He seemed really protective of his sister, and wanted desperately to be the older brother she could look up to. In fact, it seems he left more so because he felt like he had let her down with his addiction and was too embarrassed about facing her or his parents. Rachel on the other hand kept her brother's secrets because she didn't want him to hate her. Whether or not she realized, Rachel was also protective of her brother and even of the fact that he had started doing drugs.
The whole journey of finding Micah turned out to be one of Rachel learning to let him go, forgive him, and most of all forgive herself. All along she felt guilty about not doing enough for him, and even blamed herself for the seriousness of his substance abuse. If Tyler hadn't gone along with her I don't think she would've found closure because like Rachel, Tyler also thought he should've done more for Micah. At the end of their trip both acknowledged the truth, that they can only let him come to them on his own.
While the overall story's relatable and refreshing in its own way from the fantasy flood, there were times it seemed prolonged. Aside from that, I enjoyed the book. I grieved with Rachel when every lead seemed futile, and whenever she heard new details regarding Micah's state. The writing, again, was precise and had me visualizing the scenes in a simple manner. It was an acceptable debut, but I'm not sure if the story will continue as the ending left me holding on. Or was that another point depicted about drug abuse, that you truly can't do anything else but wait for the one you care about to return to you.
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