In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.
No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.
Description taken from Goodreads. I received an advance copy of this book, released June 2nd, 2015 from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD started out okay. Unlike most YA cheating stories, Charlie seemed to actually do a fairly good job not letting either girl know that they were both dating him.
In fact, there were some pretty great moments to CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD. The world-building was decent going from place to place and the way that Lena and Aubrey got to know each other–and other people–over the course of the traveling was actually really fun to read about. Plot was good, even if I felt like the ending was really lacking considering I’m currently under the impression that this is a stand-alone novel.
But honestly, I wanted a lot more from CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD. Mainly, this disappointment came from the weak base upon which CHARLIE is based. Firstly, Lena and Aubrey don’t even know each other when they first meet at Charlie’s funeral, much less what the other is like. Then, all of a sudden, they act like they’re not complete strangers and decide to head off to foreign countries together on a whim.
That didn’t fly with me, and not just because it’s not safe. It’s completely unbelievable any way you look at it.
Then there were the on-again, off-again personalities. Almost no one, save for Charlie, actually clicked with me in this story, and Charlie just barely. I kept on getting confused between Lena and Aubrey because of the way their personalities change throughout the story. It seems like they’re different chapter to chapter.
While there were good elements to CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD, it’s not a book that I would recommend. It had the potential to be great, but I ended up wanting more. For anyone wanting a thriller, I would rather recommend to you a book like Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes or, in terms of a physiological thriller, Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn or Gated by Amy Christine Parker. 2 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 272