In Tiffany King’s latest novel, Mia could never have imagined the complexity of Losing Leah.
It appears that Mia has it all. She’s surrounded by friends. Her boyfriend cares for her. Schoolwork is pretty much a breeze. But Mia has gotten migraines ever since her twin sister, Leah, was kidnapped. There is a loneliness that burns in Mia’s home. Her parents are little more than shells after losing one of their children. Jacob, Mia’s brother, feels distant, too. Lately, the separation from Leah is getting harder and harder to push down.
Leah was abducted from her front lawn at the fragile age of six by Mother. Mother insists she loves Leah, even through the beatings, the neglect, and the malnourishment. Leah is not allowed to leave Mother’s house because of her photosensitivity. She takes solace in reading any book she can get her hands on and trying to imagine what life would be like under the sun with her long-lost Mia.
Learning about the captivity plot line, I expected Losing Leah to be more of a thriller. The motion stalled at times. Reading about Mia was not very interesting for me. She was too cliché of a character to offer any real depth. Hearing about Leah’s daily struggles, however, made me frantic to turn to the next page and learn more about this poor girl. Sadly, in nearly 400 pages’ worth of reading, even Leah’s mysteries dulled in appeal. I think the book was longer than it needed to be.
I must praise King for the twists she was able to ignite. I did not see ‘em coming, which is a rare pleasure in my readings. Those few slaps in the face were easily the most enjoyable moments of the novel for me. While I found King’s overall writing style to be pretty plain, the ultimate outcome of the story was quite original. I praise her, specifically, for her take on mental illness. The particular facets explored in Losing Leah are not ones I’ve read in any other YA book.
RATING: 2.75 OUT OF 5 STARS
Losing Leah hits shelves on March 20th, but you can pre-order your copy now via Amazon.
Ten years after the tragic disappearance of her twin sister Leah, sixteen-year-old Mia Klein still struggles to exist within a family that has never fully recovered. Deep in the dark recesses of her mind lies an overwhelming shadow, taunting Mia with mind-splitting headaches that she tries to hide in an effort to appear okay.
Leah Klein’s life as she knew it ended the day she was taken, thrust into a world of abuse and fear by a disturbed captor―”Mother,” as she insists on being called. Ten years later, any recollections of her former life are nothing more than fleeting memories, except for those about her twin sister, Mia.
As Leah tries to gain the courage to escape, Mia’s headaches grow worse. Soon, both sisters will discover that their fates are linked in ways they never realized.