Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Book Review: The Return by Rachel Harrison

Title: The Return
Author: Rachel Harrison
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 24th 2020
Print Length: 304 pages
Genres: Contemporary, Supernatural, Horror, Suspense
A group of friends reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance in this edgy and haunting debut.

Julie is missing, and no one believes she will ever return—except Elise. Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and feels it in her bones that her best friend is out there and that one day Julie will come back. She’s right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she’s been or what happened to her.

Along with Molly and Mae, their two close friends from college, the women decide to reunite at a remote inn. But the second Elise sees Julie, she knows something is wrong—she’s emaciated, with sallow skin and odd appetites. And as the weekend unfurls, it becomes impossible to deny that the Julie who vanished two years ago is not the same Julie who came back. But then who—or what—is she?

I had been looking forward to reading The Return by Rachel Harrison for awhile, so when I got the opportunity to review it, I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, I was left feeling very disappointed.

The plot for The Return sounded promising. Elise's best friend Julie disappeared 2 years ago. No one had heard or seen her. Then one day, Julie showed up again claiming to have no memory of what happened. No one ever pressed her for answers. However, Julie isn't like she was before. She's acting much different, and the smell she gives off is terrible! What really happened to Julie during those two years she was missing?

The Return started out extremely slow. I kept reading thinking the pacing would pick up. However, it never did except for a tiny bit during the end where all the action happens, but even then, the pacing is still slow. This book really lacks any kind of action, in my opinion, and is instead more like watching three snobby and boring women on a vacation where they just stay in their hotel. I skimmed through a lot of this book waiting for something interesting to happen. 

I couldn't connect to any of the characters. There is some backstory for each of the characters, but it feels forced and jagged and like it doesn't fit in very well with the book. The only semi-decent character is Elise. She's a tad bit relatable, but even she doesn't feel that realistic. She's too dependent on others especially when it comes to Julie. Putting her life in danger after finding out what really happened to Julie was just insane and didn't feel like something a real person would do. Mae and Molly were snobby rich women how seemed to not want to do much. Mae liked complaining all the time, and I don't really know what the point of Molly was.

Trigger warnings include profanity, drinking, violence, death, and murder.

Overall, The Return fell short of my expectations. The pacing was too slow, and the characters just felt too wooden. Unfortunately, I would not recommend The Return by Rachel Harrison.
(A special thank you to the publisher for providing me with an eBook of The Return by Rachel Harrison in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.)

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