Leave No Trace – book review

Leave No Trace
by Mindy Mejia
Release Date:  September 4, 2018
Publisher:  Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Stand Alone Novel
Number of pages:  336
Kindle Edition
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Rating: R
Read 8/23/18 to 8/26/18

This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I just love the rhythm of her writing.  Her words pull me in and the meter of those words keep me turning the pages.

Before I get into the actual characters of this story, I want to talk about the location.  Although I’m from a suburban area and I’m just a handful of miles from the big city, growing up in Michigan I’ve been to plenty of rural areas…even “up north” all the way to Lake Superior.  I found so many parallels between Minnesota and my beloved Michigan that I couldn’t help being enchanted by Maya’s surroundings, her dad’s job, her mom’s obsessions, etc.  The bits and pieces the author reveals about the Boundary Waters has me fascinated and ready to take a canoe trip!

Maya hasn’t had an easy life.  Not only did her mom leave when she was a young girl, but then she got into some trouble when she started acting out.  Some of that trouble is one of the mysteries (to the reader anyway) that slowly unfolds as the book progresses.  It’s obvious her dad loves her to pieces, he just doesn’t know what to do to make things okay for her.  And as her father, that’s what he feels he needs to do. Maya just wants to be left to do the things that make her happy.  So what if she doesn’t have a bunch of girlfriends to go out with and would rather spend time with her dog than her coworkers after work?  That’s the life she likes.  Socializing isn’t an easy thing for her and she doesn’t appreciate when anyone tries to force those situations upon her.

The other, bigger, mystery of this story is Lucas.  He disappeared with his father 10 years before this story begins.  When he reappears, there are way more questions than answers.  Maya is put in charge of his case at the high security mental hospital where she works and there is an instant connection.  There are possibly reasons for this connection, but neither Maya or Lucas are quite sure what those reasons may be.

As always, a mystery is very hard to review without spoilers. That means I won’t be saying much more.  But I will say this is an alluring story with so many layers.  What, if anything, was Lucas’ dad running from 10 years ago?  Is Lucas telling Maya everything he knows? What is so terrible in Maya’s past that she avoids a whole city for fear of the memories?  I loved pealing back the layers, one by one, and taking this journey Mindy Mejia laid out for her readers.  I cannot recommend this one enough.  It’s funny, when I reviewed Everything You Want Me to Be I said I hope they never make it into a movie.  With this one, in the right hands and with the right cast, I think it would make a captivating film.  The location shots alone would be a draw.

5 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own and given freely.**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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4 Responses to Leave No Trace – book review

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