YA audience, a warning–don’t let your parents read this book; it may give them nightmares Anne Heltzel’s Charlie Presumed Dead is a psychological thriller guaranteed to have you turning the pages as fast as you can.
Imagine, if you will, meeting the “other” girlfriend at your boyfriend’s memorial service. Obviously, Lena and Aubrey are shocked about the other’s existence and morbidly obsessed with two questions. What was the other girl’s relationship with Charlie like? What made Charlie kill himself in such a spectacular way?
Lena wants answers. Aubrey wants a notebook that Charlie has taken from her, one that could reveal her deepest secret. Initially hostile, their relationship develops from frenemies to allies, as they trace Charlie’s footsteps from Paris, to London, to Mumbai and then Bangkok. Talking over their relationship to Charlie, Lena and Aubrey reveal different Charlies. One Charlie drinks; the other Charlie shuns alcohol. One Charlie hates olives; the other counts them a favorite food. One Charlie is into vinyl records; the other is a techie nerd, even a bit of a hacker. The girls continue to track the clues into the seedy and dangerous sides of exotic locales, feeling they are tracking a third Charlie, one with secrets they can’t even imagine.
As the girls come closer to their answers, they develop a terrifying theory. Could their whole journey be a set up? Could Charlie still be alive? If you want to read with your heart in your mouth and you love disorienting endings, Charlie Presumed Dead is a perfect read. Check this out with the Augusta Richmond County Libraries’ LIBBY app. Call your branch library for more information.