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Search tags: caleb-roehrig
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review 2019-11-24 14:04
Last Seen Leaving
Last Seen Leaving - Caleb Roehrig

Last Seen Leaving combines two books in one. The first is the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a teenager. This part wasn't really special, it was nice enough, but having read a couple of these books before, it becomes rather formulaic with little surprises.

On the other hand, there is the coming of age story of the main character, which was way more interesting as he struggles with his true self and is trying to keep his own secret, well, secret. I wish the book would have focused more on this aspect.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2018-06-13 04:41
White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig
White Rabbit - Caleb Roehrig

A ticking-clock thriller set in Vermont. Rufus has one night to prove that his privileged half-sister didn't kill her boyfriend before the cops get involved. April has clearly been set-up and the drug 'White Rabbit' is Rufus' best lead. With time so short he's unable to turn down any help, even if that help is coming from his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian.

Roehrig brings a noir sensibility to 'White Rabbit' that carries what would have been a sanitized thriller into an entertaining read. That noir sensibility includes some pretty fucked up ideas about relationships, and interacting with people in general. That's part of the genre, even if your world-weary detective is a teen with a bad case of the why-mes.

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review 2018-04-04 01:50
A perfectly written mystery by queer author Caleb Roehrig; brings gay characters to the the main stage, and shows off natural talent for creating suspense and compelling story
White Rabbit - Caleb Roehrig

I tried to get an early copy of ‘White Rabbit’ months ago, and if I’d been able to I would have been able to tell everyone to go and preorder this book! I thoroughly enjoyed this twisty mystery from Caleb Roehrig, and read the whole thing this last weekend, devouring his sophomore novel about Rufus Holt, and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night, and a cast of colorful teenage characters.

Seventeen year old, gay Rufus is the main character and he's just now coming to terms with the breakup of his relationship with Sebastian, when they end up having to spend the night as super sleuths; Rufus receives a call from his sister April asking for help, which starts the ball rolling. They drive out to a cottage in the middle of nowhere where she’s been at a now-abandoned party, to find her covered in blood and next to her dead boyfriend Fox Whitney. Rufus doesn't believe April could have committed any crime (nor does his stepmom Isabel, who pays him to find out who did), and he and Sebastian spend the night uncovering clues, and discovering their peers’ unsavory behavior (isn't it always that way?).

We find out about the relationship between Rufus and Sebastian, and their shared past, through memories, and the romantic storyline between the two of them is very subtle and so well-written; Roehrig’s language and written dialogue is so natural, this arc fits within the mystery so perfectly. And when it comes to the actual mystery itself, it’s without holes. Follow along with the details and clues because you want to understand the boys’ thinking, and then when it all blows open at the end, hopefully other readers will be as surprised as I was.

I’m honestly looking forward to seeing what comes next for Caleb, because this was so cleverly written, and is such compulsive reading, and I can see him writing both for teens and adults. There’s also wit and smarts about him that I feel can shine through even further (check out his Twitter feed), and I bet there’s an even more complex or even funny read coming next.

PS. And next time, I REALLY would love that early copy so I can review it and can tell everyone to go order their book!

 

 

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review 2017-04-18 20:59
Review: Last Seen Leaving
Last Seen Leaving - Caleb Roehrig

 

I snagged a copy of this one from Netgalley when it was a Read It Now title. I do rather enjoy YA mysteries. I’m a sucker particularly for missing person mysteries. The plot of this one drew me right in. The mystery aspect was what kept me reading.

 

Overall, I just didn’t like the main character Flynn much. I found him annoying and boarding on obnoxious. He had zero personality, and seemed kind of self-absorbed. Which is not exactly unusual behaviour for a teenage boy. He was so wrapped up in his own issues he barely noticed the problems his girlfriend January was having.  January had a friend at the toy shop she worked at, Kaz, who was a few years older. All of course the reader hears from Flynn in the beginning is what an ass Kaz is.

 

Kaz actually turned out to be my favourite character in the whole novel. Who is nothing like Flynn first assumes. As the novel progresses I found as a reader I had a lot of empathy for January, who has lived most of her life in the same town, has the same friends as Flynn, and then her mom married some up and coming Congressman who was fabulously rich and had a certain image to maintain and an asshole of a wayward son of his own, Anson. January was forced to move from her comfortable existence into this new world of fabulous rich political people where January and her mom were supposed to dress and act a certain way. While her mom lapped it up, January not so much.

 

As the novel progresses through flashbacks of conversations and moments that happened between January and Flynn, the reader learns about some of the problems that January was having with her situation, the ones that she told Flynn about. As Flynn starts looking deeper into January’s disappearance himself, he learns about a side of her he never really knew. Which makes him feel confused and guilty.

 

There are lots of questions and very little answers and information and everything new Flynn learns is something surprising. Flynn’s other major conflict throughout the novel is he’s gay and struggling to deal with it. He doesn’t seem to want to really accept it. Kaz is a big help here, and part of what makes Kaz such a wonderful character. He was a voice of reason and someone who really seemed to want to help Flynn and cared about him.

 

While Flynn himself…urg. I just found Flynn dull and boring and hard to connect with. He seemed very two dimensional.

 

The mystery of what happened to January was enough to keep my interest to the end of the novel, and to be fair, I didn’t guess who the bad guy was. There was a twist at the end – which was kind of a bit unbelievable to me, but left a possible question hovering.

 

Just an okay one for this reader.

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review 2017-04-01 04:30
Last Seen Leaving
Last Seen Leaving - Caleb Roehrig

Flynn's girlfriend, January, has gone missing, and Flynn is searching for answers to what happened. The two had been growing apart shortly before her disappearance after she was forced to transfer to a private school by her mother and new politician step-father. January started to withdraw from Flynn. Not helping with this is the fact that Flynn is struggling with the knowledge that, while he loves January, he is not sexually attracted to her due to the fact that he is gay.

 

I really think this book would have benefited from aging Flynn and January up to 17. As more of what happened to January is revealed

specifically an adult revealing he raped her because what they had was special and she was an old soul, so it's totally fine (in his messed up opinion)

(spoiler show)

Flynn says that January was just a child. What the book doesn't seem to get is that, at the same exact age of 15, Flynn is also just a child. Which makes the decision to give him an adult love interest seem off, particularly when details of what happened to January come to light. Now there's only a 3-5 year age difference between Flynn and his love interest, but when one is 15 and the other is in college, those couple years mean a lot more than if they were both a mere decade older. This was especially strange when the idea of that same love interest trying to get with January was treated as creepy. But apparently no one, including Flynn's parents, see anything even slightly off about a college guy dating a 15 year old kid who they just met. Then again, I was also questioning the parents giving a 15 year old a curfew of midnight. Basically, what happened to January would have been equally as awful at the age of 17, but Flynn's love life would have been considerably less creepy to me. Which is a shame because other than the age thing, I liked the love interest.

 

I also really liked January, despite only seeing her in flashbacks. She was a mess of contradictions, showing moments of great kindness and great cruelty as she struggled to deal with situations beyond her control. I felt for her, even when her crueler actions were revealed. I liked her relationship with Flynn and could see why he loved her and wanted to be in love with her.

 

Flynn, too, was a good character, although harder for me to connect with which is surprising since he was the point of view character and January was only seen in flashbacks. He was at his most engaging when dealing with his sexuality and his conflicting feelings for January. His relationship with his love interest wasn't particularly interesting. I just didn't feel a real connection between them. They were both nice as individuals, but just lacking in chemistry as a couple for me.

 

The mystery was interesting and appropriately creepy at times. I figured out the gist of it fairly early on, but not all the details. There were a few bits I questioned

(I don't think a 15 year old volunteering at the Red Cross would be taught how to draw blood properly)

(spoiler show)

but I liked it for the most part.

 

The story kept me reading, which is what I look for in a book. I just wish Flynn had been a bit older to make it more enjoyable for me.

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