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Review: Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

Blurb from Goodreads:
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. 

No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.

My Review:
This is a new to me author and I liked her writing style in this book.  The pace was good and the descriptions were good but I feel like the character development could use some work, especially Charlie.  He is the glue for all of the characters in the book and his motivation is severely lacking -- presumably to be explained more in a second book?  People will love and/or hate the ending -- it is a big cliffhanger and I hate not knowing that a book is not standalone when I read it.  That being said, I loved the ending because I never could have predicted it and it left me reeling a bit.  My favorite parts of this book, without giving anything away, are definitely the snippets of the different cities to which Lena and Aubrey travel as well as their unique love/hate relationship.  I liked Aubrey immediately and began to like Lena more as the book progressed -- definitely a unique read!!

I would recommend this to NA fans but it is definitely more of a thriller/mystery than a romance.  It is a puzzle and most of the book you are definitely wondering what is going on -- the ending was awesome but there HAS to be a second book, I hope!  Charlie, Presumed Dead came out this week, and you can purchase HERE!
It is no secret that I was questioning things with Charlie; but I couldn't tell anyone.  None of my old friends from Liberty -- the school I attended before we moved to the eastern side of the city during my junior year -- kept in touch after I left.  The couple of casual friends I made didn't understand why I'd date someone who didn't live right there, who couldn't make out in my parents' family room or the hub of a station wagon at the drive-in, who couldn't split a six-pack in the dark corners of someone's unfinished basement.  My parents disapproved of the way I hopped on flights and trains, single-handedly (in their minds alone) sustaining the financial models of Amtrak and Southwest, industries designed (again, just in their minds) to capitalize on Before Sunrise moments.  Industries I bought into with babysitting money alone.  They called my bluff, and I couldn't bear to admit that they were right.  It was all for nothing.


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