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Review: Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos

Title: Out of Reach
Author: Carrie Arcos
Year Published: 2012

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 250
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2013 Google Reading map): USA (Louisiana)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Rachel has always idolized her older brother, Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he's in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn't come home. Rachel's terrified--and she can't help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger. With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Tyler, Micah's best friend, begin the search. Along the way Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler... and the possibility that Micah might never come home.

Review: This was a good book to begin my summer; it was thoughtful, intense at moments, and touching. Arcos has created a main character in Rachel that I could connect with even though her experiences are so far from my own. She loves her brother, Micah, and has even covered for him when she realized he was using. I think she hoped it was a one-time thing... each time. We've all done something similar: we see someone we love do something wrong or destructive and we hope it won't happen again. By the time it's too late and the meth has taken over Micah's life, Rachel realizes she and her parents are in denial.

Instead of concentrating on how meth addiction affects the user, which is an extremely depressing story to read and one we've all heard, this book shows the life of the family members. We read of Rachel's feelings and how Micah's using impacts her life on many different levels. Since Rachel is 17 years old, she is old enough to drive the hour to San Diego to look for her brother and taking along his best friend is a smart way to bring in a bit of romance (though this is only minor), to give her support, and to have someone else who knows Micah well involved with finding him.

The perfect ending is to find Micah, get him in to rehab and feel that there is hope. This book doesn't do that. I won't say what the ending is, but I thought it was really well done.

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