Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Book Review - Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy

Amazon UK
Title: Do Not Become Alarmed
Author: Maile Meloy
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 6th July 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship's comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship's safety.

One minute the children are there, and the next they're gone.

What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents - now turning on one another and blaming themselves - try to recover their children and their shattered lives.

There are two main things I can take from this book, never go on a zip line shore excursion in Central America, and definitely never fall asleep while your children are in the sea. Although the second is a point that should in theory go without saying it was the key moment when a dream holiday turned into a nightmare for three families. 

The book starts with a nice family vacation, and I could picture the cruise ship, the buffet, the kids club and generally the feeling of being safe on board with all whims catered too.  It starts of nice and gently and my only disappointment was that the families didn't want to get off at any port. 

Well until after Christmas, at which point they figured they would do an excursion in what was meant to be the safest country on the cruise which is of course where a series of bad decisions leads to a brilliant book for the reader, but a horrific time for all involved in the story! 

As readers we are in the lucky position of seeing not only what happened to the children, but also to the parents so could feel the fear and worry from all sides.  It didn't matter which character the narrative went to, to focus on I was interested in the story and wanted to know what would happen next. 

I found myself despairing with the parents at what the local police appeared to be doing, while at the same time was scared for the children and the situation they have found themselves in.  It was just incredibly well written and being able to empathise with so many characters at once really impressed me. 

I am quite glad that I didn't read this while on my next cruise, and that I have a month to recover and build up some confidence for my own excursions!  Do Not Become Alarmed is a highly addictive read, that I couldn't read through fast enough. I was hooked from start to finish. 

Thank you to Viking and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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