Throughout this book, Anne Heltzel illustrates the consequences that people face as they constantly keep secrets. This book is a thriller, mystery, and includes a twisted romance. The three main characters that portray this intense plot are Lena, Aubrey, and Charlie. To start off, Lena and Aubrey both receive the news of Charlie’s death and react to it very differently. One hopes it is true while the other one wants nothing more than to find him alive. I was fascinated by the so-called “friendship” between Lena and Aubrey because of the fact that they were extremely different and were friends for all of the wrong reasons. They are basically strangers to one another but think that they are on the same page on their hunt to find the truth of Charlie’s presumed death. However, they are definitely not. They hide personal secrets from each other, yet their only choice to survive is to rely on and trust each other. At the same time, it is very ironic as they think everything is in their control but wasn’t. I loved this book as I continued to read, observe the character development, and also experience the sense of thriller. I hoped to have closure by the end of the book, but I was at the edge of my seat from the first page of the book to the minute I closed the book. When you read a book, it is usually predictable as if every single problem has a logical solution. In this book, it is the exact opposite. When the secrets unravel, you have all of these questions that you want answers to, but once you get those answers, you realize that you have been asking the wrong questions all along. I admit, the book is slow-paced because of its long descriptions, but it is very necessary as it allows you to easily visualize these characters and understand their perspectives on a deeper level. If you love thrillers, being caught off guard, and expecting the unexpected, I recommend reading Charlie Presumed Dead.
By Grace Runo