Review: Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Last Seen Leaving
Caleb Roehrig
Feiwel & Friends
October 4, 2016

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Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Last Seen Leaving on Goodreads

My Review

LAST SEEN LEAVING is the first of three murder mystery/suspense type books that I’ve read lately, which is a little odd for me only in that I read them almost in a row. Most years I maybe read one or two, tops. I actually really enjoyed all three books, though.

Earlier this year I read WHITE RABBIT by Caleb Roehrig, and loved it. I love the unusual choice of character names he uses in both books. I thought WHITE RABBIT was a more polished book, which makes sense since it’s Roehrig’s second novel. In both books the main character totally drew me in so I felt connected to his emotional journey.

In LAST SEEN LEAVING, part of Flynn’s journey is recognizing something he’s not ready to admit to himself. While it may clear him of involvement in January’s disappearance, admitting it undoubtedly changes his life.

But Flynn’s not the only one who has secrets. As he looks more deeply into January’s disappearance, he discovers she may have played a role with him and perhaps he was too busy protecting his secret to notice hers.

I liked that element to the book. Again, it made Flynn reevaluate whether keeping his secret was the right choice. Was it causing him to hurt other people in ways he hadn’t considered?

Another thing that comes up in the book is unreported sexual assault. While nothing happens on scene in the story, some of the characters have really strong, evocative responses when (briefly) describing their experiences. Sensitive readers should be aware. Check my content notes section for more information.

Overall, I liked LAST SEEN LEAVING a lot, and I’m very much looking forward to reading DEATH PREFERS BLONDES because it totally looks as though it will have the same serious murder mystery packed with quirky, fabulous characters.

Last Seen Leaving on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 15 up.

The main character is gay. One of his friends is also gay and from a conservative Muslim family.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
So there’s a LOT of really strong profanity in this book. More than 70 instances of f*** and many instances of other words.

Romance/Sexual Content – Trigger Warning
A boy and girl kiss. She pressures him for sex. He refuses. Two boys kiss. Rumors spread about a girl making a sexual advance at an older man. A man faces accusations about sexually abusing teenage girls.

Some of the accusations come from victims who only relate brief stories of their experiences, but they’re pretty shocking. It’s not the detail but the way you can tell the girls are still in the midst of dealing with the trauma. This might be triggering for some readers.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content – Trigger Warning
In a pretty intense scene, two characters battle for a gun.

In one scene, Flynn witnesses a man fatally shoot himself.

Drug Content 
Flynn comments in one scene that he hopes to be able to sneak beer at a family celebration. He references a tradition where kids all go for a hay ride and then sit around a bonfire where they drink alcohol and eat s’mores.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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