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Where I Left Her

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From the author of When I Was You comes a spine-tingling new thriller about a mother’s worst nightmare come true, when her teenage daughter goes to a sleepover and doesn’t come back. Whitney had some misgivings when she dropped her increasingly moody teenage daughter, Amelia, off at Lauren’s house. She’d never met the parents, and usually she’d go in, but Amelia clearly was From the author of When I Was You comes a spine-tingling new thriller about a mother’s worst nightmare come true, when her teenage daughter goes to a sleepover and doesn’t come back. Whitney had some misgivings when she dropped her increasingly moody teenage daughter, Amelia, off at Lauren’s house. She’d never met the parents, and usually she’d go in, but Amelia clearly wasn’t going to let something so humiliating happen, so instead Whitney waved to her daughter before pulling away from the little house with the roses in front. But when she goes back the next day, an elderly couple answers the door—Amelia and Lauren aren’t there, and this couple swears they never were, that she’s at the wrong house. As Whitney searches for Amelia, she uncovers a trail of lies her daughter has told her—from the Finsta account to rumors of a secret relationship. Does she really even know this girl she’s raised? And Amelia’s not the only one with secrets. Could Whitney’s own demons have something to do with her daughter’s disappearance, and can Whitney find her before it’s too late?


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From the author of When I Was You comes a spine-tingling new thriller about a mother’s worst nightmare come true, when her teenage daughter goes to a sleepover and doesn’t come back. Whitney had some misgivings when she dropped her increasingly moody teenage daughter, Amelia, off at Lauren’s house. She’d never met the parents, and usually she’d go in, but Amelia clearly was From the author of When I Was You comes a spine-tingling new thriller about a mother’s worst nightmare come true, when her teenage daughter goes to a sleepover and doesn’t come back. Whitney had some misgivings when she dropped her increasingly moody teenage daughter, Amelia, off at Lauren’s house. She’d never met the parents, and usually she’d go in, but Amelia clearly wasn’t going to let something so humiliating happen, so instead Whitney waved to her daughter before pulling away from the little house with the roses in front. But when she goes back the next day, an elderly couple answers the door—Amelia and Lauren aren’t there, and this couple swears they never were, that she’s at the wrong house. As Whitney searches for Amelia, she uncovers a trail of lies her daughter has told her—from the Finsta account to rumors of a secret relationship. Does she really even know this girl she’s raised? And Amelia’s not the only one with secrets. Could Whitney’s own demons have something to do with her daughter’s disappearance, and can Whitney find her before it’s too late?

30 review for Where I Left Her

  1. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Implausible 2.5 stars Where I Left Her is a psychological thriller about an overprotective mother looking for her teenage daughter who has disappeared without a trace. When Whitney, an overbearing single mother, drops off her 15-year-old daughter, Amelia, for a sleepover at a new friend’s house, she is distracted and not paying close attention to where she is leaving her daughter. Since Whitney is described as being overprotective of Amelia, this part of the plot does not make sense. The next day Implausible 2.5 stars Where I Left Her is a psychological thriller about an overprotective mother looking for her teenage daughter who has disappeared without a trace. When Whitney, an overbearing single mother, drops off her 15-year-old daughter, Amelia, for a sleepover at a new friend’s house, she is distracted and not paying close attention to where she is leaving her daughter. Since Whitney is described as being overprotective of Amelia, this part of the plot does not make sense. The next day when she doesn’t hear from Amelia, Whitney returns to the sleepover house to discover her daughter was never there. Now searching for Amelia, Whitney is forced to face her past and confront why her daughter vanished. Narrated solely by Whitney, she is a decent unreliable narrator who is torn between finding her daughter and protecting herself from her past misdeeds. The narrative is split between the present with flashbacks to the days and hours before drop off. There are also flashbacks of Whitney’s childhood and diary excerpts. This book was rough in the beginning. The premise was fine, but the way the events unfolded was strange, as there are weird flashbacks--some were full-on pages, others were little snippets here and there, just a sentence or two. They seemed oddly placed and often times did not make much sense. The writing was choppy, with basic sentences and lots of word-for-word repetition. On top of that, Whitney’s character annoyed me. She is a big bucket of contradictions. At a certain point, things click together, especially with the writing and Whitney's character, but it took time to get there. In the end, Whitney was a more interesting character than I initially realized. However, her character doesn’t fully work (I can’t say why without getting into spoiler territory). The revelation and why things happened the way they did was completely implausible. I found the plot lacking, partially due to the writing, the other part due to stupidity. I can't recommend this one. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael David

    Whitney has always been close to her daughter, Amelia...until recently. Now, 16-year old Amelia has been pulling away, trying to ascertain independence, and sometimes acting downright rude. When she wants to spend the night at her friend Lauren's house, Whitney allows it only if she can drive her there. Helicopter mom Whitney drops her off at Lauren’s, but when she comes back the next day, Amelia and her friend aren’t there. In fact, an elderly couple answers the door and says they have no idea w Whitney has always been close to her daughter, Amelia...until recently. Now, 16-year old Amelia has been pulling away, trying to ascertain independence, and sometimes acting downright rude. When she wants to spend the night at her friend Lauren's house, Whitney allows it only if she can drive her there. Helicopter mom Whitney drops her off at Lauren’s, but when she comes back the next day, Amelia and her friend aren’t there. In fact, an elderly couple answers the door and says they have no idea who they are...and that nobody else is living there. But that can’t be right. Whitney distinctly remembers the rose bushes in front of the house, and no other house in the vicinity has them in the same spot. As she tries to find out what happened to Amelia, Whitney uncovers secrets that her daughter has been hiding from her. Whitney has some of her own as well, and she may have to face things head on if she expects to find out what happened to Amelia. I really enjoyed author Amber Garza’s last release, When I Was You. It had a fantastic twist that blew my book friends and I away. Unfortunately, that level of twist is unaccounted for in Where I Left Her. Furthermore, this one doesn’t quite reach the same level of tension. And yet, I basically liked it! The writing is superb, and the use of multiple POVs keeps things intriguing and forward-moving. There’s some decent red herrings and ambiguity throughout to hold interest. The “surprises'' are somewhat implausible, and I wasn’t thrilled with the ending. This book could have definitely benefited from a few more chapters. Overall, an enjoyable enough read that kept me engaged, even if it won’t be particularly memorable. TW (for me and me alone): One of the characters mentions the Paula Abdul song, “Opposites Attract”, and how it’s a nineties song. Um, it’s an 80’s song. Straight Up, you need to get it right! 😤😡🤣 Thank you to MIRA and Edelweiss for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: 8/24/21. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    2.5 rounded up… I really enjoyed Amber Garza’s last novel, “When I was You” so I was eager to read her latest offering but, sadly, this one didn’t quite measure up! Overprotective mom, Whitney insists on dropping her daughter Amelia off at her friend Lauren’s house for a sleepover, even though she is 16 years old. She sees Lauren open the door, and the two girls wave as she pulls away. The next day, when she doesn’t hear from Amelia, and she cannot reach her, she drives back to the house to pick 2.5 rounded up… I really enjoyed Amber Garza’s last novel, “When I was You” so I was eager to read her latest offering but, sadly, this one didn’t quite measure up! Overprotective mom, Whitney insists on dropping her daughter Amelia off at her friend Lauren’s house for a sleepover, even though she is 16 years old. She sees Lauren open the door, and the two girls wave as she pulls away. The next day, when she doesn’t hear from Amelia, and she cannot reach her, she drives back to the house to pick her up, but an elderly couple open the door and inform her that she has the wrong house. But, it’s the only one with the roses that had caught her eye. How can that be? 🌹 The story unfolds with chapters from before and after the drop-off, and then additionally some from Whitney’s past- There is a lot of reminiscing about happy times between mom and daughter, and we spend a lot of time in Whitney’s head as she second guesses herself, and learns that she doesn’t know as much about Amelia as she thought she did. But what sets this one apart from other “missing teenage daughter” stories, is that there is a lot to discover about Whitney too! I was enjoying the book but, unfortunately the book takes a turn for the worse... The big reveal relies a lot on coincidence and was too “over the top” for my personal taste! Triggers: Physical abuse Thank You to Mira for the gifted ARC provided through Edelweiss.It was my pleasure to offer a candid review! Available August 24, 2021

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Dear Amber Garza, have mercy on us! This happens when a powerful romance author takes her first steps to the dark side: she keeps throwing so much bombs into our laps and shocking the hell of us by bringing out heavy weapons disguised as smart twists! I enjoyed squirming in my seat and binge reading this delicious page turner! Can you imagine an ungrateful, annoying step daughter of yours tricking you to drive her to the wrong house and the very next day when you bang on the door to pick her up, Dear Amber Garza, have mercy on us! This happens when a powerful romance author takes her first steps to the dark side: she keeps throwing so much bombs into our laps and shocking the hell of us by bringing out heavy weapons disguised as smart twists! I enjoyed squirming in my seat and binge reading this delicious page turner! Can you imagine an ungrateful, annoying step daughter of yours tricking you to drive her to the wrong house and the very next day when you bang on the door to pick her up, you realize she is not there. Where the hell is she? What kind of trouble did she get herself into? Also if you cannot find her, you may be in more trouble than her! What a terrible mess! See that’s Whitney’s problem: she thought she dropped sixteen years old Amelia(typical moody, annoying teenage )to her friend’s house but she lied about it! Don’t blame poor Whitney! She normally meets with parents before leaving a daughter with her friend but Amelia thought this was humiliating so she finally gave up! As Whitney digs more about Amelia’s friend circle and social life, she realizes she’s been lied for years! Does she have any idea what kind of daughter she’s been raising? Does she really know who she is! Definitely not. As we get more glimpses from Whitney’s past via flashbacks, we also understand the demons from her past are still chasing her and it could be related to disappearance of her step daughter. Two things bothered me about this wild, heart throbbing ride: there were too many coincidences related with shocking twists and I couldn’t relate with Whitney! She was one of the unlikable characters you may wish to disappear and more likable heroine takes her place! But overall pacing was good, the story development keeps your attention intact! You never get bored! Even you want to punch the faces of most of the characters you still get invested! Because of the intriguing writing style, mind bending twists, satisfying conclusion I’m rounding up 3.5 stars to 4 I love how the book pull the rug out from under me stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    I really enjoyed Amber's first novel When I was You so I was eager to get my hands on an early copy of Where I left Her. Unfortunately, this one didn't quite measure up what I had hoped for. Whitney insists on dropping her daughter Amelia off at a friends house for a sleepover. She sees her daughter walk up to the door and the two girls wave as she drives off. Whitney hasn't heard from her daughter and decides to go back to the house where she dropped her off the next afternoon. She pulls up to th I really enjoyed Amber's first novel When I was You so I was eager to get my hands on an early copy of Where I left Her. Unfortunately, this one didn't quite measure up what I had hoped for. Whitney insists on dropping her daughter Amelia off at a friends house for a sleepover. She sees her daughter walk up to the door and the two girls wave as she drives off. Whitney hasn't heard from her daughter and decides to go back to the house where she dropped her off the next afternoon. She pulls up to the house she thinks is the correct one (roses out front) but an elderly couple answers and informs her she has the wrong house. Somehow Whitney keeps coming back to the house with roses? The story unfolds between past and present alternating between before and after the drop off. Sadly, the story took a turn that was a little over the top for me. The twist wasn't as shocking as I had hoped for. I was wanting it to be a lot more darker than it was. Overall…. 3/5 stars Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin/Mira for the copy in exchange for an honest review. Pub date: 8/24/21 Published to GR: 6/21/21

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    Happy Release Day! A somewhat uneven book with a few good surprises. I didn't like this one as well as the previous book I read by this author, but it's still pretty exciting and a fairly quick read. Whitney is a single mom to sixteen-year-old Amelia, and quite the helicopter. Amelia has been exerting her independence and trying to create some space for herself and Whitney isn't happy about it, but she's trying to loosen the apron strings a bit. So when Whitney drops Amelia off at her friend Laure Happy Release Day! A somewhat uneven book with a few good surprises. I didn't like this one as well as the previous book I read by this author, but it's still pretty exciting and a fairly quick read. Whitney is a single mom to sixteen-year-old Amelia, and quite the helicopter. Amelia has been exerting her independence and trying to create some space for herself and Whitney isn't happy about it, but she's trying to loosen the apron strings a bit. So when Whitney drops Amelia off at her friend Lauren's house for a sleepover, she doesn't come inside and meet her parents as she might have done before, she just drops Amelia off at the door and goes home to enjoy her night of freedom. Yet when Whitney goes back the next day to pick Amelia up, an elderly man answers the door and says he has never heard of Amelia. What happened to her daughter? As the plot progresses, we find out secrets Whitney has been keeping about her past and how that might tie into why Amelia is missing and where she might be. There are some red herrings along the way (which I liked) and a couple of twists (that I didn't like). The storyline moves between the distant past with Whitney's childhood, the recent past before Amelia went missing, and the present day after the drop-off. It took me a while to get into the swing of the narrative. For as strict and obsessive a parent as Whitney is portrayed to be, she is overwhelmingly clueless as to her daughter's activities and actions. Also, being very vague here as to not spoil things, I couldn't reconcile the ending with the rest of the book. I felt like it was quite over the top, if that was the way the author was going to choose to conclude the novel then there should have been some well-placed clues throughout that lead to that moment. After all, there were some hints here and there that allowed me to figure out some of the twists. Overall, this is a book worth reading in the psychological suspense genre, I just wish it was as surprising and fresh as When I Was You. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Where I Left Her by Amber Garza is thriller that tackles a mother’s worst nightmare of a missing daughter. The story is told in the present time as the mother searches for her daughter and also has flashbacks to the past before that day. Whitney had always, always done everything she can to keep her daughter, Amelia, safe. Whitney has been struggling with Amelia lately with almost every decision being questioned but that’s teenagers, right? Whitney decided not to push when Amelia quit seeing her o Where I Left Her by Amber Garza is thriller that tackles a mother’s worst nightmare of a missing daughter. The story is told in the present time as the mother searches for her daughter and also has flashbacks to the past before that day. Whitney had always, always done everything she can to keep her daughter, Amelia, safe. Whitney has been struggling with Amelia lately with almost every decision being questioned but that’s teenagers, right? Whitney decided not to push when Amelia quit seeing her old friends and started hanging out with Lauren. Lauren seemed like a good kid so when Amelia asked to stay the night at Lauren’s house Whitney reluctantly agreed and dropped the girls off. The next day when Amelia doesn’t respond Whitney goes looking for her daughter but finds herself at an older couple’s home instead so she knows something must be wrong. Where I Left Her was the type of novel that definitely starts off strong and grabbed my attention right away. I found though that to me the middle of the book slowed down a bit in the pacing, not necessarily with the flashbacks but something made the intensity slow down. However, the end of this one was one that had that devious twist to it that I couldn’t help but enjoy although I did think there were a couple of unanswered things too. Overall, though this one was compelling to read despite my few nitpicky complaints. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jonetta

    Whitney Carter drops 16-year old daughter Amelia off at the house of her friend, Lauren, for an overnight. She’s never met Lauren’s parents but is trying to pull back from her intense helicoptering tendencies. But, when she returns the next day to pick her up, the elderly couple that answers the door has never heard of Lauren nor seen either of them. Whitney begins her desperate search to find her daughter. We get Whitney’s point of view for most of the book so it’s impossible not to be emotional Whitney Carter drops 16-year old daughter Amelia off at the house of her friend, Lauren, for an overnight. She’s never met Lauren’s parents but is trying to pull back from her intense helicoptering tendencies. But, when she returns the next day to pick her up, the elderly couple that answers the door has never heard of Lauren nor seen either of them. Whitney begins her desperate search to find her daughter. We get Whitney’s point of view for most of the book so it’s impossible not to be emotionally connected to her anxiety. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to have a child go missing, no matter the age. As she reaches out to Amelia’s old friends and researches her social media accounts, it becomes increasingly clear that Whitney hasn’t a true clue of what her daughter has been involved in for the past few weeks. Her ex-husband is remarried and living out of the country so she’s on her own. Interspersed with what she’s doing in the present is Whitney’s recollections from her past, when she was involved in risky behaviors herself as a teen. You have to pay careful attention because as I learned more about Whitney, I felt unease about her reliability, whether she deserved the early impressions I had formed. I’m not sure when I started to feel off balance but it never really went away. By the time the story reached its shocking conclusion, I was kind of ready for it. Some have questioned it’s plausibility, feeling it came from left field. That wasn’t my experience because the author laid the foundation for it but it was so, so subtle. If you blinked you could miss it. I also listened to this story and the narrator contributed to these feelings with her tiny voice inflections that made me question if what I was hearing was intentional. Leheny understood the author’s nuances and added to the mystery. There’s a point in the middle when so much information was being given it felt like overload but once I processed it, the emerging picture became abundantly clearer. This was a true psychological thriller as I believed I was losing it myself at times. It’s an incredible story that took quite a turn and has lots of misdirection. When I was done, all I could think was, “What did I just read???” This far surpassed my expectations. Posted on Blue Mood Café (Thanks to Harlequin Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ludwig Reads

    I made the mistake of reading a couple reviews for this book on here and I came upon one with a "trigger warning" that made me predict the ending. However, I thought this was a well-written, keep-you-guessing mystery from the author who wrote the incredible debut thriller "When I Was You", which was one of my favorite reads from last year. Though I have to say I enjoyed Garza's debut more than I did Where I Left Her, mainly because the latter is more emotionally-charged and family-driven and less I made the mistake of reading a couple reviews for this book on here and I came upon one with a "trigger warning" that made me predict the ending. However, I thought this was a well-written, keep-you-guessing mystery from the author who wrote the incredible debut thriller "When I Was You", which was one of my favorite reads from last year. Though I have to say I enjoyed Garza's debut more than I did Where I Left Her, mainly because the latter is more emotionally-charged and family-driven and less heart-thudding and twisted, in comparison. Nevertheless, it was a satisfying read and I'm excited to see what this author writes next.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    A moody teenager who had changed the past few months and an overnight with a friend didn't turn out well. The nightmare began when Amelia didn't show up the next day and her phone was turned off. Amelia wasn't where her mother left her off when she went to pick her up in the morning, and the house where she thought she left daughter had an older couple living there and said no girls lived there. The police were called, but Whitney, Amelia's mother, didn't have much to give them other than that her A moody teenager who had changed the past few months and an overnight with a friend didn't turn out well. The nightmare began when Amelia didn't show up the next day and her phone was turned off. Amelia wasn't where her mother left her off when she went to pick her up in the morning, and the house where she thought she left daughter had an older couple living there and said no girls lived there. The police were called, but Whitney, Amelia's mother, didn't have much to give them other than that her daughter hadn't been herself lately, her daughter had a boyfriend she didn't know about, and she was talking to an older man. The days dragged, and Amelia still wasn’t found. Where could she be? What could have happened to her? WHERE I LEFT HER goes back and forth from the childhood of Amelia to present day as well as back and forth with Whitney’s life. I wasn’t as impressed with this book as I was with WHEN I WAS YOU. There was a lot of back story that could have been left out, but there are some very tense moments in the back stories and present-day stories. It truly was slow and didn’t hold my interest until three quarters of the way through when the secrets and truths were revealed. WHERE I LEFT HER isn’t a bad read, but could have gotten there more quickly. The ending was worth the wait, though, and took my rating up a notch. Excellent ending so don’t give up. 4/5 This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sonica

    Thank you Mira Books/Harlequin Publishing for my copy of Where I Left Her by Amber Garza in exchange for my honest review. This title published August 24, 2021. I devoured Garza's debut, When I Was You last summer so when I heard this was releasing, I knew I had to read it immediately and I'm so glad that I did. Where I Left Her was another gripping page-turner that grabbed me and held my attention tight until I was finished reading. In a nutshell, this story explores a mother's worst nightmare wh Thank you Mira Books/Harlequin Publishing for my copy of Where I Left Her by Amber Garza in exchange for my honest review. This title published August 24, 2021. I devoured Garza's debut, When I Was You last summer so when I heard this was releasing, I knew I had to read it immediately and I'm so glad that I did. Where I Left Her was another gripping page-turner that grabbed me and held my attention tight until I was finished reading. In a nutshell, this story explores a mother's worst nightmare when she drops off her teenage daughter at a friend's house for an overnight stay and when she goes back to pick her up the next day, her daughter's gone missing... What happens next is a heart pounding spiral of uncovering secrets and lies that both Whitney and Amelia have told each other over the years and begs the question of how well we really know our loved ones. Once again Garza has written a story that will have you thinking it's going in one direction and she will completely sideswipe you with her twist and reveals. The pacing was prefect and the execution of reveals was well done - Garza sure knows how to leave you wanting more after every chapter. This author has truly mastered crafting a page-turning story with multiple timeline and POVs, effortlessly so. With both of her books, I completely sink into the pages and don't come up for air until I'm done. I highly recommend picking this one up before summer's end, and while you are at it (if you haven't already) grab her debut, When I Was You, because once you start reading this author you will be craving more.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Amber Garza has a talent for creating gripping plot lines and books that practically demand to be read in one sitting –and WHERE I LEFT HER is no exception. I took my time with this amazing and mind blowing story as I wanted to make it last. Garza reels in her readers with quite a hook. I am kicking myself for taking so long to finally pick this perfect book up! Amber Garza starts by putting the reader on a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions. Whitney has always been close to her daughter, Amel Amber Garza has a talent for creating gripping plot lines and books that practically demand to be read in one sitting –and WHERE I LEFT HER is no exception. I took my time with this amazing and mind blowing story as I wanted to make it last. Garza reels in her readers with quite a hook. I am kicking myself for taking so long to finally pick this perfect book up! Amber Garza starts by putting the reader on a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions. Whitney has always been close to her daughter, Amelia…until recently. Now, 16-year old Amelia has been pulling away, trying to strengthen her independence, and many times acting like a typical rotten teenager. When she wants to spend the night at her friend Lauren’s house, Whitney agrees to that, but only if she can drive her there. Whitney is such a helicopter mom and drops her off at Lauren’s, but when she comes back the next day, Amelia and her friend aren’t there. Did she run away? Now I’m thinking, who the heck kidnapped her?? My thoughts took a complete 180 degree turn! WHERE I LEFT HER flows smoothly between the present and past. I was quickly caught up in the story-line and found it difficult to put down. This book just flew by! Both Whitney and Amelia have huge secrets they are keeping from one another. As the story continues, we find out a few secrets Whitney has been keeping about her past and how they might tie into why Amelia is missing and where she might be. As a mother, I can’t even imagine what Whitney is going through. WHERE I LEFT HER was such a thrilling ride for me! Yes, there are mixed reviews, but not every book is for every reader. Give it a try! You might just love it like I did! WHERE I LEFT HER is a real page-turner. I couldn’t put it down until I knew what had happened. Fans of psychological mysteries will enjoy this one. WHERE I LEFT HER is so well written, that even though it jumps back and forth between the present and the past, it is still easy to follow. Whitney’s life, both the past and the present is interesting, and I was pulling for her to get to live a normal life with her daughter, after having lost so much and having been through so many struggles. WHERE I LEFT HER is a suspenseful tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final pages. I highly recommend WHERE I LEFT HER! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin Trade Publishing through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    ARC received!! Thank you so much, MIRA! I had a lot of fun with Amber Garza's 2020- release, When I Was You, and am hoping for more of the same with this one. Bring on the good time! ARC received!! Thank you so much, MIRA! I had a lot of fun with Amber Garza's 2020- release, When I Was You, and am hoping for more of the same with this one. Bring on the good time!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Mary McKinnon

    Review forthcoming but man, oh, man - this one was deliciously dark!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    Things were going so well, until the latter half. Where I Left Her is about an overprotective mother, Whitney, who is looking for her daughter Amelia after dropping her off at a new friend's house. While the premise was great, the buildup of small annoyances (to the big reveal) made this an overall disappointing read. Reading from Whitney's unreliable POV, the POV was already one that I liked. However, there were way too many flashbacks for my liking. They constantly took me out of the story and Things were going so well, until the latter half. Where I Left Her is about an overprotective mother, Whitney, who is looking for her daughter Amelia after dropping her off at a new friend's house. While the premise was great, the buildup of small annoyances (to the big reveal) made this an overall disappointing read. Reading from Whitney's unreliable POV, the POV was already one that I liked. However, there were way too many flashbacks for my liking. They constantly took me out of the story and minimized the suspense. And — though I typically like unlikable characters — I could not stand Whitney's constant whining. The plot did keep me hooked, despite not having too many twists. And the main twist/reveal was so underwhelming. All of the red herring/other speculations of the disappearing were way more interesting than what actually happened. Although, I did like the reveal that the book ended with — but at that point, it's too late to salvage or explore that reveal. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nadene (Totally Addicted to Reading)

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Where I Left Her by Amber Garza was one of those books which kept me on my toes from start to finish. This not being my first time reading the author's work I looked forward to her latest release. I soon found myself slipping into this twisted and engaging story. Amber Garza’s latest release introduces Whitney, an overprotective mom. At least that’s what the read I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Where I Left Her by Amber Garza was one of those books which kept me on my toes from start to finish. This not being my first time reading the author's work I looked forward to her latest release. I soon found myself slipping into this twisted and engaging story. Amber Garza’s latest release introduces Whitney, an overprotective mom. At least that’s what the reader was led to believe. Then she went and did the craziest thing. She dropped her daughter, Amelia, at a friend’s house with knowing anything about the friend. To make the situation worse, she paid scant attention to where she let her off. Seriously, can she be anymore careless? It took her daughter not returning home for her to realize her lack of vigilance. This is where things got dicey. Whitney, recognizing she should have been more aware, conducts her own search. In conducting her investigation, she uncovers lies and discovers troubling things about her daughter. It is said ‘ the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’, so Whitney should not be surprised by the things she discovered. The interesting thing about the story are the main characters. Unreliable and unlikeable. Amelia’s actions bordered on obnoxious, and Whitney had no backbone in dealing with her daughter’s behavior. The reader didn’t know what to believe, with so many versions of the truth being played out, all of which came from Whitney’s perspective. It became clear she had secrets from her past. Secrets she wouldn’t want to see the light of day. The question in the reader’s mind was what role did these secrets play in Amelia’s disappearance? The deeper into the story the reader went, the more the dislike for the characters grew, especially in relation to Whitney. Despite the reader’s dislike of the characters, which one suspect was the author’s intent, the story proved difficult to set aside. The drama, twists and red herrings made Where I Left her a riveting read. The story moved between Whitney’s past, the time before the drop off and the present. This helped the reader to get a better understanding of the characters’ state of mind. The story ended on a shocking note. However, it would have been nice to have answers to questions which arose as a result. Conclusion/Recommendation Where I Left Her is a riveting tale which shows that there are usually several sides to a story.  In addition, figuring out which side is the right one can prove a challenge. Fans of psychological thrillers should add this to their reading list.This review was originally posted on Totally Addicted to Reading

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    If you're a thriller lover and haven't read Garza's WHEN I WAS YOU last year, I implore you to grab a copy of it along with her latest, WHERE I LEFT HER. I was blown away with the latter so was beyond excited when my eyes and hands landed on this one and lemme tell ya, Garza is talented and can tell one hell of a story. Now, I'm not a mother but I can only imagine the panic and worry any parent goes through when their teenagers start pulling away and become rebellious. (Sorry mom and dad!) But wh If you're a thriller lover and haven't read Garza's WHEN I WAS YOU last year, I implore you to grab a copy of it along with her latest, WHERE I LEFT HER. I was blown away with the latter so was beyond excited when my eyes and hands landed on this one and lemme tell ya, Garza is talented and can tell one hell of a story. Now, I'm not a mother but I can only imagine the panic and worry any parent goes through when their teenagers start pulling away and become rebellious. (Sorry mom and dad!) But when they go missing, part of their social media erased and phone turned off... well, what the hell are you gonna do?! What I really loved about this book was that while the focus is on finding Amelia, we also get to know her mom, Whitney, a bit as well. Though, admittedly, it could be exhausting being in her head and I think that's just because when I was thinking one thing, I'd hit another chapter and get a big old NOPE, you are WRONG woman and have to switch my thinking again. (Personally, I LOVE that.) I think some people will find the ending a little bit over the top but for me, while there were some eye brow raising instances, I did enjoy where the story headed and personally, that last chapter did it for me. (Thank you, Garza!) Listen y'all, people be crazy and I am here for every bit of it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Whitney had some misgivings when she dropped her increasingly moody teenage daughter, Amelia, off at Lauren's house. She'd never met the parents, and usually she'd go in, but Amelia clearly wasn't going to let something so humiliating happen, so instead Whitney waved to her daughter before pulling away from the house. But when she goes back the next day, an elderly couple answer the door - Amelia and Lauren aren't there, and the couple swear she's at the wrong house. So where is Amelia? The story Whitney had some misgivings when she dropped her increasingly moody teenage daughter, Amelia, off at Lauren's house. She'd never met the parents, and usually she'd go in, but Amelia clearly wasn't going to let something so humiliating happen, so instead Whitney waved to her daughter before pulling away from the house. But when she goes back the next day, an elderly couple answer the door - Amelia and Lauren aren't there, and the couple swear she's at the wrong house. So where is Amelia? The story alternates between the present day, where Amelia is missing and flashbacks of the past and Whitney starts remembering significant events as Amelia found a new friend in Lauren. Whitney and Amelia had once been close. Whitney had a chequered past. We hear from someone unnamed talking about their best friend Millie. Eventually the past and present collide as we are slowly drip fed the information to understand what's been going on. At times, the pace can be slow, but stick with it as the ending is well worth it. I would like to thank #NetGalley #LittleBrownBookGroupUK and the author #AmberGarza for my ARC of #WhereILeftHer in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This book started and ended strongly for me, but fell short a bit in the middle. It centers on Whitney, whose 16-year-old daughter has become increasingly distant and "teenagery" over the recent months. She meets a new friend name Lauren; Whitney drops her off to spend the night at Lauren's house, but when she returns, the elderly couple has no idea who Lauren or Amelia are. This drop-off scenario is a great premise and was suitably creepy, but the next part of the book uncovered Whitney as being This book started and ended strongly for me, but fell short a bit in the middle. It centers on Whitney, whose 16-year-old daughter has become increasingly distant and "teenagery" over the recent months. She meets a new friend name Lauren; Whitney drops her off to spend the night at Lauren's house, but when she returns, the elderly couple has no idea who Lauren or Amelia are. This drop-off scenario is a great premise and was suitably creepy, but the next part of the book uncovered Whitney as being completely oblivious to what is going on in her daughter's life, and not that worried that she seemed to be missing. I liked the alternating voices between Whitney's past and present, but the stories of her past never really helped me connect to why she was like she was now, or honestly to relate to her at all. The end of the book contains a few big twists, some of which were more predictable than others. The book ended in a dark tone, which I enjoyed, and immediately made me like the slower parts of the book better. All in all, this was an interesting story. Though missing super likeable characters, it contained some unique twists and moved at an overall fast pace. I'd recommend it to those who enjoy domestic suspense and psychological thrillers. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    Ignoring her doubts, Whitney drops her daughter Amelia at a friend's house without meeting the girl or her parents. Amelia was at an age where image is everything so Whitney did not want to embarass her. The next day when Whitney goes to pick up her daughter, she is met by an older couple that state that the girls are not there. What is more is that they were never there. It was the wrong house. Whitney immediately begins to panic. Whitney starts to trace Amelia's activities, including a Finsta Ignoring her doubts, Whitney drops her daughter Amelia at a friend's house without meeting the girl or her parents. Amelia was at an age where image is everything so Whitney did not want to embarass her. The next day when Whitney goes to pick up her daughter, she is met by an older couple that state that the girls are not there. What is more is that they were never there. It was the wrong house. Whitney immediately begins to panic. Whitney starts to trace Amelia's activities, including a Finsta account that indicate that Amelia had more than one secret. Not only does she have secrets, but they go back quite a while. This shouldn't shock Whitney really, as she has secrets of her own. ' One thing really stands out in this book. And that is unlikable characters. Secrets and lies prove true to the fact that there is always more than one side to a story, and the truth is not always the path some choose. However, the drama between Whitney and Amelia, as well as the pasts and the twists and turns in the story made this quite a riveting read. Many thanks to Mira Books and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

  21. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    Whitney is an over-protective, divorced mother. Her 16-year-old daughter Amelia wants more independence. She drives her daughter to a sleepover at her new friend Lauren’s house and watches her walk into the house before returning home. She waits for her daughter to call her to pick her up but the call never comes. So she drives to the house and an elderly couple answers the door and they tell her she must have the wrong house. No one named Lauren lives there. And there’s no trace of Amelia. This Whitney is an over-protective, divorced mother. Her 16-year-old daughter Amelia wants more independence. She drives her daughter to a sleepover at her new friend Lauren’s house and watches her walk into the house before returning home. She waits for her daughter to call her to pick her up but the call never comes. So she drives to the house and an elderly couple answers the door and they tell her she must have the wrong house. No one named Lauren lives there. And there’s no trace of Amelia. This engaging thriller takes us through Whitney’s nightmare of trying to find her daughter. During the search, lies are uncovered as we learn about the days leading up to Amelia’s disappearance. And we learn that Whitney is also hiding her own secrets. I enjoyed this dark, twisty, fast-paced book as author Amber Garza did a fine job revealing more and more about the central characters creating a guessing game as to what was truly going on. Many thanks to Edelweiss, MIRA / HarperCollins for the opportunity to read Where I Left Her in advance of its publication. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    This is a psychological thriller dealing with a mother trying to find her teenage daughter. She dropped her off for a sleepover at a friend's house and she did not come home the next day. She is unable to contact her and as she goes over the last few months, realizes that she has been lying to her and keeping secrets. Has she left of her own accord, or is something sinister going on. I enjoyed Amber Garza's last book, When I Was You, so was anticipating another thrilling ride with Where I Left He This is a psychological thriller dealing with a mother trying to find her teenage daughter. She dropped her off for a sleepover at a friend's house and she did not come home the next day. She is unable to contact her and as she goes over the last few months, realizes that she has been lying to her and keeping secrets. Has she left of her own accord, or is something sinister going on. I enjoyed Amber Garza's last book, When I Was You, so was anticipating another thrilling ride with Where I Left Her. Although, I enjoyed this story, it didn't measure up to the last one. The story starts off well and hooked me in, but then it drags a bit in the middle. There are two timelines, the first as Whitney begins looking for Amelia. I got the impression that something accidental may have happened to her and was waiting to see if she was alive or dead. Whitney had always been an overprotective mom, so was shocked at all the secrets Amelia had been keeping, but they were close and that closeness will come into play. The second is Whitney's past story, and I was quite intrigued with it. I thought I had it all figured out, but boy was I wrong. The two ran parallel through the book and only came together near the end. Once again, Amber Garza has surprised me with her cunning mind. Yes, you will have to suspend belief, because what happened would not be possible in today's times, but it was a fun and chilling twist. Overall, I enjoyed this story, but be prepared for a bit of a slowdown in the middle. The audiobook was narrated by Vivienne Leheny. I liked the voices she used for the various characters. She used various tones and inflection for each that gave them some personality. Her expression added to the story and I will continue to listen to books narrated by her. The publisher provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    Whitney goes to pick up her daughter Amelia, a 16-year-old with an inclination to be moody and a lot of attitude. She dropped her at her new friend Lauren’s house for a sleepover at 5 pm the day before, glad of a quiet night to herself, noticing the red roses around the front garden. Single mum, Whitney has just been shopping and she has a packet of sweets for Amelia as a treat on the car seat ready, but when she arrives at Lauren's and knocks on the door, an elderly woman answers. Believing the Whitney goes to pick up her daughter Amelia, a 16-year-old with an inclination to be moody and a lot of attitude. She dropped her at her new friend Lauren’s house for a sleepover at 5 pm the day before, glad of a quiet night to herself, noticing the red roses around the front garden. Single mum, Whitney has just been shopping and she has a packet of sweets for Amelia as a treat on the car seat ready, but when she arrives at Lauren's and knocks on the door, an elderly woman answers. Believing the woman must be a grandparent of Lauren's, Whitney introduces herself and the woman is joined at the door by a man who informs her that she must have the wrong house. So begins a frantic search for Amelia. This is a disturbing tale told via different timelines; the present, with flashbacks to the days and hours before Amelia's drop off, as well as flashbacks to Whitney’s childhood using diary entries. The story starts off on a really strong note and totally grabbed my attention with an alacritous pace that carries on for the majority of the way through. Whitney's unreliability as a narrator makes this tale a terrifically good, murky and unsettling read so the fact that I couldn't really relate to her became largely superfluous. Secrets, lies, concealments, and scheming abound as Whitney searches through Amelia's social media accounts and her inner circle, as well as her own damaged past, all eventually combining into an explosive conclusion. Very highly recommended. A special thank you to MIRA Books and the author for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request, received via NetGalley. This review is my unbiased opinion.

  24. 4 out of 5

    oohlalabooks

    I was quite intrigued with the creepy and mysterious premise. Instead this is a drama about mother and daughter relationships. Single mom Whitney is trying not to be overbearing so she agrees to let her daughter Amelia sleep overnight at Lauren’s house. Though Whitney hasn’t met her parents or know much about her. She will regret this decision when she picks up Amelia at the house & she’s not there. Whitney retraces her steps, looking at Amelia’s social media accounts, and discovering secrets. T I was quite intrigued with the creepy and mysterious premise. Instead this is a drama about mother and daughter relationships. Single mom Whitney is trying not to be overbearing so she agrees to let her daughter Amelia sleep overnight at Lauren’s house. Though Whitney hasn’t met her parents or know much about her. She will regret this decision when she picks up Amelia at the house & she’s not there. Whitney retraces her steps, looking at Amelia’s social media accounts, and discovering secrets. The story alternates between current events and Whitney’s past with her best friend Millie. It was a good start, but took a different turn half way through. Thank you to NetGalley and Mira Books for a gifted copy. This is my honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    TW: abuse, infant loss WHOA. What a crazy, dark, twisty thriller this was. It was allll over the place in a really good way. Sometimes thrillers are ridiculously unbelievable but this one was just right. I did NOT see it going the way it went...and I was SO immersed in this one, I couldn't put it down. I really enjoy a good WTF thriller and this definitely fits the bill. Thanks to Harlequin/Mira for gifting me a copy of this book. All opinions are my own. TW: abuse, infant loss WHOA. What a crazy, dark, twisty thriller this was. It was allll over the place in a really good way. Sometimes thrillers are ridiculously unbelievable but this one was just right. I did NOT see it going the way it went...and I was SO immersed in this one, I couldn't put it down. I really enjoy a good WTF thriller and this definitely fits the bill. Thanks to Harlequin/Mira for gifting me a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Susan Z

    Happy Publication Day 🎉 🎉 🎉 Whitney drops off her sixteen-year-old daughter Amelia at her new friend Lauren's house for a sleepover. The next morning, Whitney hasn't heard from Amelia which isn't concerning initially because she's a teen and they don't usually get up before noon. Trust me, I know this first hand. After several hours pass with no response for her daughter, Whitney becomes very nervous and decides to go to Lauren's house to pick up Amelia. Upon arriving, an older man opens the doo Happy Publication Day 🎉 🎉 🎉 Whitney drops off her sixteen-year-old daughter Amelia at her new friend Lauren's house for a sleepover. The next morning, Whitney hasn't heard from Amelia which isn't concerning initially because she's a teen and they don't usually get up before noon. Trust me, I know this first hand. After several hours pass with no response for her daughter, Whitney becomes very nervous and decides to go to Lauren's house to pick up Amelia. Upon arriving, an older man opens the door and says there is no Lauren here. Obviously Whitney spirals into a major panic as she frantically tries to find her daughter. Told from multiple POVs AND timelines (storytelling doesn't get any better than that), this book had me hooked from page 1. As a mom of teens, this is my worst nightmare. It's really hard to balance wanting control over their lives and giving them freedom. They have to learn to make decisions on their own, and they cannot do that if their parent is always deciding for them. However, when a child has too much freedom and something like this happens, it is seriously my worst nightmare. Parents need to earn a medal for this job. I was thirsty for a good psychological thriller and this sure hit the spot.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Winfield

    This was an interesting story and could be hard for me to follow at times. Whitney is a single divorced mom and very protective of her 16 year old daughter. We learn a little about Whitney and a little about her daughter and her friend. Then her daughter does not come home from a sleepover. Whitney goes crazy like any parent would. At this point the story gets crazier and crazier. I was very surprised by what happens in the end. I loved this part of the book. I really did not like any of the cha This was an interesting story and could be hard for me to follow at times. Whitney is a single divorced mom and very protective of her 16 year old daughter. We learn a little about Whitney and a little about her daughter and her friend. Then her daughter does not come home from a sleepover. Whitney goes crazy like any parent would. At this point the story gets crazier and crazier. I was very surprised by what happens in the end. I loved this part of the book. I really did not like any of the characters very well. I received a copy of this book from Harlequin for a fair and honest review that I gave of my own free will.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    Where I Left Her plays on a parent’s worst fears…that of your child being dropped for a sleepover and then going missing. In this instance, the child is sixteen year old Amelia. We are told she’s been stroppy and secretive recently so our mind conjures up the obvious things that could be happening…but the truth is far stranger than anything you might conjure up. The book begins fairly slowly. We are shown events unfolding in real time, and nothing seems that concerning until later on when we star Where I Left Her plays on a parent’s worst fears…that of your child being dropped for a sleepover and then going missing. In this instance, the child is sixteen year old Amelia. We are told she’s been stroppy and secretive recently so our mind conjures up the obvious things that could be happening…but the truth is far stranger than anything you might conjure up. The book begins fairly slowly. We are shown events unfolding in real time, and nothing seems that concerning until later on when we start to learn Amelia has been keeping secrets, there’s a new friend on the horizon, a mystery boyfriend for mum who may be hiding something and the hints that Whitney herself has been keeping secrets that she fears may be catching up with her. I can’t help but feel the story is implausible from start to finish. The reactions of certain characters make little sense, even when we are given their rationale for behaving as they do, and I really struggled to believe that such a scenario as is painted here would not have drawn a little more attention over the years. It’s important you know nothing more than the basic premise for this before you start reading. How you interpret events and motivations may vary, but you can certainly sit back and enjoy the ride you’re taken on. Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this before publication.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    On a Friday evening, Whitney Carter drops off her sixteen-year-old daughter at a friend’s house, but then the next day, Amelia isn’t there. The elderly couple that answers the door tells Whitney she has the wrong house. Whitney is worried, especially since the relationship with her daughter has been strained recently. Police think she may have run away, but Whitney is afraid old secrets are coming back to haunt her. This book has multiple timelines that hint at a few different incidents in Whitne On a Friday evening, Whitney Carter drops off her sixteen-year-old daughter at a friend’s house, but then the next day, Amelia isn’t there. The elderly couple that answers the door tells Whitney she has the wrong house. Whitney is worried, especially since the relationship with her daughter has been strained recently. Police think she may have run away, but Whitney is afraid old secrets are coming back to haunt her. This book has multiple timelines that hint at a few different incidents in Whitney’s past. The book is really good and suspenseful for the majority of the story, and I didn’t want to put it down. Things start getting confusing and a little strange when a few different bombshells are dropped. I was able to guess some of the twists because of the red flags that came up about a few different people and situations but there were still some surprises. I like the fast pace of the story and the way most of the plot threads come together by the end. However, some things are left unsaid, and I prefer things to be a little more wrapped up. Overall, I liked this combination thriller/domestic drama and would rate it 3.5 stars. I received this ebook from NetGalley through the courtesy of Mira. An advance copy was provided to me at no cost, but my review is voluntary and unbiased.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Lawrence

    Where I Left Her, is a psychological thriller by Amber Garza, featuring an overly controlling, single mother to a 16 year old daughter who is fighting for some freedom. The beginning showcases the tension and familiar struggle between parents and teenagers as they move into independence with the added twist of a sudden behavioral change and a mysterious shift in friendship, both of which are secretive and combative. Soon thereafter, the teen daughter Amelia, disappears after being dropped off at Where I Left Her, is a psychological thriller by Amber Garza, featuring an overly controlling, single mother to a 16 year old daughter who is fighting for some freedom. The beginning showcases the tension and familiar struggle between parents and teenagers as they move into independence with the added twist of a sudden behavioral change and a mysterious shift in friendship, both of which are secretive and combative. Soon thereafter, the teen daughter Amelia, disappears after being dropped off at her new friend’s house and the hunt for her whereabouts begins. Is she playing a trick on her mom, is she truly missing and is foul play suspected, or is she yet another rebellious teenage runaway? The plot reveals mystery upon mystery and secrets a-plenty. Though the family dynamics are understandable, I found the teenager to be spoiled, entitled and churlish to the extreme; and the mother was overly protective, even to the point of antagonizing her relationship without good cause. The mother made poor choices in both the past and the present and the daughter was excessively inconsiderate and rude, so I couldn’t get myself to really care for either one of them. There were also some behaviors by friends that felt a bit surprising and u reasonable given their role. Overall, the plot and character behavior was more implausible and far-fetched than I could comfortably buy into. This story did make me curious and I definitely wanted to finish it to see what happened. It was fast-paced and had its share of shocks and twists, but I apparently require a bit more realism in my stories to find them ultimately satisfying.

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