Thursday, 3 December 2015

Review: Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel


Book: Charlie, Presumed Dead

Author: Anne Heltzel 

Pages: 272

Read: Paperback edition 

Read in: 2-3 hours 

Plot Summary: 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. 

Things I Liked: Quick list:

1. The premise seemed interesting- a dead young man and two girls finding out at his funeral that he was dating both of them, which leads on an interesting yet sinister journey half way across the world. So, it seemed that the book would be a taut thriller with some big mystery behind why this Charlie died or faked his own death. 

2. The two girls- Aubrey and Lena- getting to know each other and sharing what they knew about Charlie was quite interesting. It provides some vital clues into the real issue with Charlie and also provides some hints into what is really afoot in this book. 

3. The characters were decent. They were not too well fleshed out, but were decently crafted for a thriller book. We get to know Lena and Aubrey pretty well and just enough about Charlie to figure him out. 

4. The author does a good job of moving between the past and the present. Pretty seamless and the past snippets were relevant and not superfluous at all. 

Things I Didn't Like: Quick list:

1. Overall, this book is pretty pointless and so far removed from the realm of realistic possibility that it makes one shudder! There are two teenage girls who meet at their boyfriend's funeral and on a whim just take off to Bombay, Kerala (which is referred to as a city by the girls. Kerala is a state, FYI and not a city, Ms. Heltzel) and Bangkok. The clues driving them from one city to next are negligible and there is no tangible or real reason for the girls to make this quest. 

{SPOILER} 2. Charlie comes across as this all-knowing, all-seeing psychopath, who does what he does with such precision and planning that eventually everything falls in place and in accordance with his plans. The things he orchestrates are so dependent on chance and multiple other factors that the probability of them happening just the way he hoped/ planned is slim to none! {END SPOILER}

3. The ending is ridiculous!!!! 

Rating: 2.5/ 5 

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