Short Take: Kill all DARLINGs before you start this book.
(*Note: I received an advance copy of this book for review.*)
Good morning, my beloved nerdlings! Today I want to discuss something very serious that affects all readers at one time or another- the most dreaded DARLINGs (Dumb Annoying Real Life Interruptions – Not Good). We’ve all been there – the heroine is just about to open the door that’s been locked for 200 pages, or the villain raises the knife, and suddenly, lunch break is over or the doctor calls your name or the kids need fed. You’ve just been hit by a DARLING, and it’s LITERALLY THE WORST.
I raise this issue right now, because I just read Don’t Look For Me, and if there’s ever a book that demands a DARLING-free day, this is it. Until you have blocked out the time to finish it, do not, I repeat, DO NOT start. Don’t flip the pages, don’t crack the spine, don’t even sniff it or turn on your ereader until you have a clear schedule. Trust me, have I ever steered you wrong?
Ok, maybe that one time. Or that other one.
Molly Clarke has a life that most people would want to walk away from. After a horrific tragedy, her nearly-adult son and daughter push her away. Her marriage is hanging by a thread that’s unraveling every minute. Surely anywhere, any life, would be better than this one.
And that’s what happens. Her car is abandoned, there’s a note, it’s totally obvious what happened to Molly. Probably.
I’m not going to dump a lot of plot details on y’all, because I know you’ll be reading the book anyway, right? I will say that Molly is a great character – imperfect and walking that fine line between stubborn and resilient that’s probably kept more than one person going through bad times. Should Molly keep clinging to being a mother, or should she put her own well-being first? Her daughter, Nicole, is her mother’s girl for better or worse, and even as part of her wants to just let Molly disappear, that stubborn/resilient streak keeps asking questions.
For a book I’d classify as Ludicrous Speed,, Don’t Look For Me is also a thoughtful look at what happens to a perfect family when the unthinkable happens. Is there such a thing as “unbreakable” when it comes to the bonds we have with each other? Where’s the line between respecting boundaries and giving up?
There was at least one twist I saw coming, because I’ve been doing this a long time and I know some stuff about some stuff, but duckies, this is a thriller in the best sense of the word. Like literally heart-pounding, breath-holding, OMG all the way through. And let me just tell you, a DARLING while you’re reading this book will have you howling in frustration. So do whatever you have to do to kill all of them. Call off work, reschedule your doctor’s appointment, load the fridge with pre-made snacks and tell the kids they’re on their own. Would Auntie Nerdy ever let you down?
Maybe don’t answer that so fast.
The Nerd’s Rating: FIVE HAPPY NEURONS (and a big bottle of water, I forgot to hydrate while I was reading. Seriously, it’s that good.)