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Leave No Trace

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From the author of the “compelling” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and critically acclaimed Everything You Want Me to Be, a riveting and suspenseful thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a boy and his stunning return ten years later. There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a From the author of the “compelling” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and critically acclaimed Everything You Want Me to Be, a riveting and suspenseful thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a boy and his stunning return ten years later. There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned. Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later...the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.


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From the author of the “compelling” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and critically acclaimed Everything You Want Me to Be, a riveting and suspenseful thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a boy and his stunning return ten years later. There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a From the author of the “compelling” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and critically acclaimed Everything You Want Me to Be, a riveting and suspenseful thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a boy and his stunning return ten years later. There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned. Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later...the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

30 review for Leave No Trace

  1. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Unputdownable! Leave No Trace is a highly addictive psychological thriller that kept me glued to the pages! Lucas Blackthorn was last seen when he was nine years old--he and his father disappeared without a trace. 10 years later, he makes a dramatic reentry into society which results in him being committed to a mental health facility. Maya Stark, a 23-year old speech therapist, is assigned to work with Lucas. After Lucas tries to escape and almost kills Maya in the process, the two form a stro Unputdownable! Leave No Trace is a highly addictive psychological thriller that kept me glued to the pages! Lucas Blackthorn was last seen when he was nine years old--he and his father disappeared without a trace. 10 years later, he makes a dramatic reentry into society which results in him being committed to a mental health facility. Maya Stark, a 23-year old speech therapist, is assigned to work with Lucas. After Lucas tries to escape and almost kills Maya in the process, the two form a strong connection; one that crosses the boundaries between therapist and patient. A lot of questions emerge about Maya and Lucas’ pasts: Why was Lucas living in the wild? Where is his father? What is Maya hiding? The more I read, the more I wanted to know about these characters! Leave No Trace is fast-paced, jam-packed with twists and turns, and compulsively readable! It was nice to read something with an original plot, and I found it even more appealing when thinking about all of the formulaic, over-the-top thrillers I have been reading lately. I also really liked Lucas and Maya’s characters. Maya’s voice sucked me in. She has character, wit, and balls. I couldn’t predict how events were going to play out, but I was rooting for Maya and Lucas! This is not a romance, but the chemistry between Lucas and Maya burns off the pages. While I really enjoyed reading this, I did have some issues with the plot. Maya and Lucas's relationship is beyond appropriate, as a lot of moral and ethical lines are crossed. Lucas has a tendency to be violent and this story line made me nervous. I also thought this element could have been explored more deeply. The plot spins out of control and gets a little messy, to the point where had to suspend my disbelief at times. But the premise is refreshing and the characters are alluring, which made it worth reading! I read Everything You Want Me To Be, which I enjoyed, but Leave No Trace has turned me into a true fan of Mindy Mejia. I look forward to her next book! I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Atria/Emily Bestler Books in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Happy Pub Day!!! "Belief is a powerful thing. It grabs you, unmakes you, changes the tilt and angle of everything around you into an entirely different geometry. You see the world in a new shape and no matter how horrible the belief, no matter what awful things it makes you do, a part of you is still grateful for the structure." I'm 2 for 2 out of the Mindy Mejia books I've read so far, and I love it. Her novels are lightning quick and tend to hover just above the line between thought provoking an Happy Pub Day!!! "Belief is a powerful thing. It grabs you, unmakes you, changes the tilt and angle of everything around you into an entirely different geometry. You see the world in a new shape and no matter how horrible the belief, no matter what awful things it makes you do, a part of you is still grateful for the structure." I'm 2 for 2 out of the Mindy Mejia books I've read so far, and I love it. Her novels are lightning quick and tend to hover just above the line between thought provoking and taboo. She's unafraid to cross lines that make readers uncomfortable, and yet she does it with impeccable care and the sensitivity needed to keep readers from becoming turned off. It's the old scenario where the characters personal lives are an utter train wreck that we can't help rubbernecking alongside for 300+ pages. The cover does a superb job of setting the tone and vibe of Leave No Trace, and as you pick it up to begin you can't help but be transported to rural Minnesota in preparation of the wicked journey to come. Seasoned psych thriller/domestic drama readers may be able to solve some of the pieces to this puzzle ahead of their reveals, but I found that to only be one portion of what panned out to be an engaging read. I'm not entirely sure whether to put this into the category of plot or character driven; there is a copious amount of character development, as these portions are the foundation building up to the climax of the story, but there were also some tense, action packed scenes as well, a la Mission Impossible style. Dun dun dun nah, dun dun dun na, wheeep a whoooooo wheep a whooooo, wheep a wooooo, BAM! While you will have to suspend your need for a realistic plot with this one, it was so much fun that I couldn't make myself care about silly facts and all that. I will say that I'm wholly impressed with the amount of research that went into the very real stories (and inspiration for the Blackthorns story) of the Lykovs and the Ho Vans. Mejia did such a fantastic job with these that it has lit a fire in me to search out more information on these brave and solitary families. 100 points to Mejia's Hogwart's house for including intriguing history in her fiction! If you enjoyed Mindy's previous novel Everything You Want Me To Be, then I highly recommend you check out Leave No Trace as well. If you're new to her books, this one is a great place to start, and you can just work your way backwards because trust me, you'll want to read everything she writes. You may now return to your regularly scheduled afternoon while I sit over here in a corner waiting for MM next novel. <3 *I received a copy for review via the publisher.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    3.5 stars The Boundary Waters is a wilderness area in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes. Ten years ago, Lucas Blackthorn and his father walked away from society and into the Boundary Waters and were never seen again. That is until Lucas was found while breaking into an outfitters store. Lucas appears to be non-communicative and is placed in a psychiatric hospital for treatment and observation. Maya Stark is a language therapist who works in the psychiatric facility where Lucas is p 3.5 stars The Boundary Waters is a wilderness area in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes. Ten years ago, Lucas Blackthorn and his father walked away from society and into the Boundary Waters and were never seen again. That is until Lucas was found while breaking into an outfitters store. Lucas appears to be non-communicative and is placed in a psychiatric hospital for treatment and observation. Maya Stark is a language therapist who works in the psychiatric facility where Lucas is placed. She has a troubled past - her Mother abandoned her, and as a teen she spent some time in a psychiatric facility herself. She is asked to evaluate Lucas and although he initially refuses to talk about his father or the ten years they were missing, he does form a bond with Maya. This book proved to be a fast read for me. There are so many questions at the beginning of this book - why did Maya's mother leave? Why was Maya hospitalized? Where were Lucas and his father for the last ten years? Where is his father now? Why is Lucas not talking? etc. There are some twists and turns along the way, with a few revelations to keep things interesting and the characters and readers wondering what is going to happen (or be revealed) next. As Maya connects to Lucas, she tries to find the answers to the above questions but finds that sometimes knowing all the answers comes with a price. I will admit, I am still not sure how I feel about the ending of this book. I did take some issue with the transference in this book. Anyone who has ever worked in the Mental Health field can tell you about the dangers of transference. True, she was not a Mental Health worker, but she did work in a psychiatric facility and the rules do apply. I also saw a lot of red flags regarding moral, ethical and legal issues concerning her behavior. But I was happy to see some of those addressed in the end of this book. So, the ending, everyone gets answers but there is the one thing that did not sit right with me. I would be giving away spoilers if I say why, I am interested if anyone feels the same way. I will say I enjoyed this book right up until the end, then it went a little downhill for me. Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

  4. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    4.5 stars here. Ten years ago Josiah Blackthorn took his nine-year-old son Lucas camping in the Boundary Waters, an area of northern Minnesota full of forests and ice-cold lakes. One day it appeared their campsite was ravaged by bears or other creatures, and the two were never heard from again. Once media interest died down, the Blackthorns were all but forgotten. Until a night 10 years later, when now-19-year-old Lucas Blackthorn was apprehended trying to rob an outfitter store. He became aggress 4.5 stars here. Ten years ago Josiah Blackthorn took his nine-year-old son Lucas camping in the Boundary Waters, an area of northern Minnesota full of forests and ice-cold lakes. One day it appeared their campsite was ravaged by bears or other creatures, and the two were never heard from again. Once media interest died down, the Blackthorns were all but forgotten. Until a night 10 years later, when now-19-year-old Lucas Blackthorn was apprehended trying to rob an outfitter store. He became aggressive and violent, and was uncommunicative, so he was sent to the local psychiatric hospital for observation. Both the doctors and law enforcement want to know what happened to Lucas' father, but he refuses to talk—to everyone except Maya Stark, the new, young assistant speech therapist, who seems to engender reactions from the once-lost no-longer-a-boy. While at first her interactions with Lucas are mainly keeping him from hurting her and others, Maya begins to build what she belies is a genuine connection with him. She can't explain why he feels like he can trust only her, and she can't quite determine where she crossed the line from acting in a professional capacity to wanting him to be able to find his father, without having to go through law enforcement. She knows he doesn't need speech therapy; what he needs is a protector, an ally, and despite warnings from her supervisor and her father, she's determined to be that ally. The thing is, Maya has issues of her own. Her mother abandoned their family when she was a teenager, and she's spent a number of years blaming herself, as if she wasn't enough or right for her mother. And that's not the only secret Maya is hiding. "What lies beneath us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Will Maya do the right thing, if she can figure out what that is? Will her single-minded determination to help Lucas put her in danger? Will helping him get her the answers she has been seeking to her own questions, or will her decisions end in disaster? In Leave No Trace , Mindy Mejia has given us a taut, compelling exploration of the pull of family and the need to be understood. I devoured this book, and while there were certain twists I expected, she threw in some surprises here and there. I found these characters fascinating and even a little unique, and while certainly I questioned Maya's judgment, I could see how past events in her life could lead her to make the choices she did. Sure, not everything in this book is realistic. But you could see why the characters were compelled to do what they did, and how certain events unfolded. The coincidences and other things didn't bother me. I was hooked from start to finish. I really enjoyed Mejia's last book, Everything You Want Me to Be (see my review), and with Leave No Trace she proves she's capable of something completely different. She's definitely an author I'll continue to watch with great anticipation, because no matter the genre, she's immensely talented! NetGalley and Atria Books provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available! See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is a wonderfully atmospheric psychological mystery from Mindy Melia that grips from beginning to end. It is set in Duluth, Minnesota and the vast wild wilderness of the forests and lakes of Boundary Waters, locations which are evoked beautifully with Melia's rich descriptions. Josiah Blackthorn took his 9 year old son, Lucas, and disappeared into Boundary Waters. Ten years later, a 19 year old Lucas emerges to a storm of media attention when he is caught breaking and entering an outfitters. This is a wonderfully atmospheric psychological mystery from Mindy Melia that grips from beginning to end. It is set in Duluth, Minnesota and the vast wild wilderness of the forests and lakes of Boundary Waters, locations which are evoked beautifully with Melia's rich descriptions. Josiah Blackthorn took his 9 year old son, Lucas, and disappeared into Boundary Waters. Ten years later, a 19 year old Lucas emerges to a storm of media attention when he is caught breaking and entering an outfitters. His violence and refusal to communicate has him incarcerated at the Congdon Psychiatric Facility. 23 year old Maya Stark is the newly promoted assistant speech therapist working under Dr Mehta. Maya is a damaged and lonely woman who has never got over her geologist mother leaving her as a child, she is still struggling to make any meaningful connections with another human being, and she herself was once a patient in Congdon. Dr Mehta believes that Maya is the person who can get past Lucas's unco-operative behaviour and muteness, and get him to integrate with others. From difficult beginnings, a strong and intense connection begins to form between Lucas and Maya, born of their recognition of each other as kindred souls at the most elemental of levels. Maya researches other examples of people who share a similarity with Lucas's isolated wilderness experiences, such as the Russian Lykov family in Siberia and Ho Vans in Vietnam to help her to understand Lucas better. The police are keen to interview Lucas to find his father but Lucas refuses. He confides only to Maya about his terrors and fears for his sick father in Boundary Waters that led him to leave their remote and isolated home in search of medicine. Lucas's position resonates with Maya, inspiring a strong willed determination to help Lucas, irrespective of ethical and professional issues, with a disregard for keeping her job and all the consequences that might flow from her actions. Mejia writes a twisted story of broken families, mental health, emotional damage, love, loss, and the unexpected connections between Lucas and Maya. She does an amazing job in characters and their development, the slow reveals of Lucas and Maya's history, really getting under the skins of them as individuals and giving us psychological portraits of people we cannot fail to be interested in. There are occasions when a little bit of suspension of disbelief is required, but this is, after all, fiction and they never once got in the way of me enjoying this enthralling character and location driven novel. A fantastic read that I recommend highly to others! Many thanks to Quercus for an ARC.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I loved Ms. Mejia’s last book, Everything You Want Me To Be, so I jumped at the opportunity to land an advanced copy of Leave No Trace. For the most part, I really enjoyed this one as well. For me, the start was a little slow. To be fair, I had just read two outstanding books by gifted writers, so anything in follow up was going to suffer a bit. But once I got hooked on the story, I was totally on board. Props to Ms. Mejia for the premise, which is nicely outlined in the blurb. This is different, I loved Ms. Mejia’s last book, Everything You Want Me To Be, so I jumped at the opportunity to land an advanced copy of Leave No Trace. For the most part, I really enjoyed this one as well. For me, the start was a little slow. To be fair, I had just read two outstanding books by gifted writers, so anything in follow up was going to suffer a bit. But once I got hooked on the story, I was totally on board. Props to Ms. Mejia for the premise, which is nicely outlined in the blurb. This is different, and different is something I am grateful for when I find it. I loved, loved, loved the setting. The story takes place in Duluth, Minnesota, where I lived for several years back in the 1970s. There are also scenes from “up north” (as the locals would say), including the Boundary Waters, which is an area near and dear to most Minnesotans. Reading a tale in a familiar setting always raises the level of a book for me. However, I do wish that there had been more of the Minnesotan atmosphere—the fog, the sound of the foghorns at night, the majestry of the big lake, the whole sensuality of the beautiful and wondrous northern terrain. Ms. Mejia does a terrific job developing our protagonist, speech therapist Maya Stark. Maya, a very likeable character, is carrying some mega baggage and we are with her on her journey to some modicum of peace. Some will say the story demonstrates a fair bit of unbelievability. I recognized this as well, but elected to just go with it, allowing myself to enjoy the tale. The last 35% of the narrative is full of suspense and intrigue, and is the best part of the book. I did not figure out the ending (always a plus), which was well done. In summary, this novel has a lot going for it, but for the reasons stated above, I withheld one star. I continue to be a big fan of Ms. Mejia’s and look forward to her next offering. Thank you to Atria/Emily Bestler Books, Net Galley, and Mindy Mejia for an ARC of this novel. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rose (Traveling Sister)

    “The truth is I’m not comfortable unless something’s on fire or someone’s having a meltdown. I don’t know what to do with things that aren’t broken.” What a pleasant surprise! Leave No Trace was another one of those books that I didn’t read too much about before jumping in (especially because it was an ARC, and with those I normally just go off the few existing GR ratings), so I had no idea what to expect. Maya Stark is a 23-year-old speech therapist at Congdon, a psychiatric facility making news “The truth is I’m not comfortable unless something’s on fire or someone’s having a meltdown. I don’t know what to do with things that aren’t broken.” What a pleasant surprise! Leave No Trace was another one of those books that I didn’t read too much about before jumping in (especially because it was an ARC, and with those I normally just go off the few existing GR ratings), so I had no idea what to expect. Maya Stark is a 23-year-old speech therapist at Congdon, a psychiatric facility making news in Duluth, MN because of its newest resident. After over a decade missing, 19-year-old Lucas Blackthorn emerges from the Boundary Waters like a bat out of Hell, causing chaos in his wake. He is hardly fit to handle civilization, much less tolerate the people working to keep him committed. Needless to say, he’s a beautiful firecracker. At first, Lucas refuses to communicate with anybody. He was raised in the wilderness, so he’s extremely out of his element in the sterile environment of the psychiatric institution. After a while, he communicates minimally and cryptically with Maya alone; she has a troubled past, so they have more in common than their young age. “I’d spent my life separated from the rest of the world, first by my mother’s illness, then her ghost breathing in every rock around me, and by the dead man whose eyes wouldn’t stay shut when I fell asleep.” As the book progresses, the focus starts to include Lucas’s father, Josiah (which happens to be my very favorite name, so I had to try not to be biased). He went missing with Lucas all those years ago, and though both were presumed dead, Lucas begins to hint at his father’s possible survival. Mejia did a fabulous job with both the pace of the novel and the distribution of focus among her characters. Equal time was spent developing Maya and her home life, Lucas and Josiah’s past, the daunting Minnesota wilderness, and the mysteries that slowly unravel surrounding each. I normally have a hard time getting into e-books, even if I like them, because I find the medium more tedious than physical books. However, I sped through Leave No Trace. A lot of that had to do with Mejia’s technical strength. She took the time to develop rich relationships, letting them steep for just long enough before throwing more action into the mix. It isn’t just about who or where; the nucleus of this novel is about abandonment and the confines we force ourselves to live within, forming a spiritually-layered explanation of why. “Her eyes shimmered with dead pools of tears. I’d never seen an eye hold on to that much water, refusing to let it go.” My only qualms with this book didn’t detract much, but I think a lot of people would relate to them. Frankly, I think any author who chooses to write about hospitals – psychiatric or otherwise – is taking a risk and opening themselves up to nitpickers and reality sticklers. While there's nothing too egregious, you might have to suspend a bit of disbelief to get through some of the more tense scenes that take place within the walls of Congdon. Additionally, some of the choices that Maya and her superior, Dr. Mehta, make in Lucas’s treatment are questionable. Also, Lucas is presented as being unhinged and violent at the beginning, and this has the potential to be triggering, especially as he and Maya start to become closer. While I understand the whole “broken stallion” thing, and his hostility toward the clinical world makes sense in conjunction with his upbringing, I think the bad boy-ness was taken a bit too far. Lucas would’ve been an intriguing character even if he hadn’t been quite so unglued. “Belief is a powerful thing. It grabs you, unmakes you, changes the tilt and angle of everything around you into an entirely different geometry. You see the world in a new shape and no matter how horrible the belief, no matter what awful things it makes you do, a part of you is still grateful for the structure.” Thank you to NetGalley and Atria for this ARC.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3. 5 A young man, now ninteen, missing with his father, since he was ten, comes out of the wild, and placed in a mental institution. Maya, a young speech therapist, once a patient herself after the loss of her mother, is assigned his case. He refused to speak, but seems to have a natural connection to Maya. The boundary Waters, this natural, wild, beautiful place was the draw here. A place wonderfully described and Ely, where my son and his family spend a few weeks every summer. The question here 3. 5 A young man, now ninteen, missing with his father, since he was ten, comes out of the wild, and placed in a mental institution. Maya, a young speech therapist, once a patient herself after the loss of her mother, is assigned his case. He refused to speak, but seems to have a natural connection to Maya. The boundary Waters, this natural, wild, beautiful place was the draw here. A place wonderfully described and Ely, where my son and his family spend a few weeks every summer. The question here is where Lucas's father is and why they left to live within this largely untouched place. Maya, is natural, fresh, a young woman with intense feelings that she follows with little doubt. The suspense builds as the story goes on, twists and turns are expertly placed. It also shows the care and recovery in a mental health center, how being so different causes media to come out of the woodwork. I also sppreciated the inclusion of real people, who for various reasons, have lived their lives off the grid. ARC from Edelweiss and Atria.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    3.5 Stars* (rounded down) Maya works as a Licensed Speech Therapist at a facility she knows all too well, one at which she used to be a patient herself. One day, someone new arrives: Lucas Blackthorn. Lucas went missing 10 years ago with his father in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, only to turn up alone, uncommunicative and violent. Never has Maya felt more drawn to someone or needed to help someone more then Lucas, who wants to go back to the Boundary Waters to find his father, hopefully alive. Ma 3.5 Stars* (rounded down) Maya works as a Licensed Speech Therapist at a facility she knows all too well, one at which she used to be a patient herself. One day, someone new arrives: Lucas Blackthorn. Lucas went missing 10 years ago with his father in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, only to turn up alone, uncommunicative and violent. Never has Maya felt more drawn to someone or needed to help someone more then Lucas, who wants to go back to the Boundary Waters to find his father, hopefully alive. Maya and Lucas’s commonalities are endless, as is their need for each other and even though she knows it’s wrong - she knows she must help him, no matter the cost to her. “Leave No Trace” is an utterly compelling and suspenseful novel that in truth, was a bit hard for me to wrap my arms around. It stretched the realms of believability, ethics and morality and for me, as someone who works in the legal field, were things I simply couldn’t get past. That said, the characters have bite and their attraction is crazy palpable, and I get why others loved the twists and turns and were unconcerned with the unbelievability factor. Though, I called the ending early on, I do think it was very well done. This is the second novel I have read by Mindy Mejia, “Everything You Want Me to Be” being the first. While I liked that book better, what is evident is Ms. Mejia’s strong suit - which is her ability to create crazy suspense and her character development. She immediately draws you in with her characters and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Thank you to NetGalley, Atria and Mindy Mejia for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 9.26.18.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Norma * Traveling Sister

    3.5 Stars! My initial impression when I first started reading LEAVE NO TRACE by MINDY MEJIA was that it was an extremely compelling tale and I was totally intrigued in discovering all the multiple layered mysteries that this book had to offer. I found the storyline to be quite interesting and unique but I struggled a little bit with some of the main characters, Maya’s choices that she made and her motivations. Which later did hinder with my feelings and initial impression of this book. I thought 3.5 Stars! My initial impression when I first started reading LEAVE NO TRACE by MINDY MEJIA was that it was an extremely compelling tale and I was totally intrigued in discovering all the multiple layered mysteries that this book had to offer. I found the storyline to be quite interesting and unique but I struggled a little bit with some of the main characters, Maya’s choices that she made and her motivations. Which later did hinder with my feelings and initial impression of this book. I thought this book was very good and definitely had some interesting aspects to it which had me flying through those pages but it didn’t really have me totally engaged while I was reading it though. I was interested in finding out all the details of the mysteries and appreciated all the twists and turns this book had to offer, although I wouldn’t necessarily say that anything really surprised me though. I will say though that there was one reveal that totally took me by surprise! MINDY MEJIA delivers a suspenseful, well-written and atmospheric read here with a great setting and captivating characters. I was totally captivated by Lucas’s character and a few of the other secondary characters as well as the wilderness setting of the Boundary Waters. Even though I had some reservations with some of the choices that Maya made, I couldn’t really fault her for some of those decisions without actually experiencing or being in the same situation as her, so the unbelievable or unrealistic aspect to the story didn’t and usually doesn’t bother me. I really like Mindy Mejia’s writing style and I really think she is a talented author. The haunting cover I found to be quite appealing and a good representation to this enjoyable read! Would recommend! Publishing Date: September 4, 2018 Thank you so much to NetGalley, Atria/Emily Bestler Books and Mindy Mejia for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the book in exchange for a review! Review is written and posted on our themed book blog Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com COULEE is a term applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley.

  11. 4 out of 5

    j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]

    THREE STARS AUDIO: Not the best narrator, but not the worst either. I was able to listen to the whole novel without cringing too much. That's always a good thing. This is my second book to read by Mindy Mejia, a super-talented author, and I did enjoy it. As with Everything You Want Me to Be, this novel only confirms to me that Mejia is truly a YA writer. I would have eaten up these books as a thirteen year old. As a mumblemumble something yr-old, they sadly don't resonate with me now. Mejia can con THREE STARS AUDIO: Not the best narrator, but not the worst either. I was able to listen to the whole novel without cringing too much. That's always a good thing. This is my second book to read by Mindy Mejia, a super-talented author, and I did enjoy it. As with Everything You Want Me to Be, this novel only confirms to me that Mejia is truly a YA writer. I would have eaten up these books as a thirteen year old. As a mumblemumble something yr-old, they sadly don't resonate with me now. Mejia can conjure up atmosphere almost as well as Ruth Wareor Jane Harper-she's a beautiful writer. I adored the noble savage theme and the mystery behind the boy that emerged from living in the forest for years. However-- the story is very safe, never shocking and I definitely would not call it suspenseful. My dark and jaded heart needs more. 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine from How Useful It Is

    My Experience: I started reading Leave No Trace on 6/16/18 and finished it on 6/25/18. This book is wow! and nature with camping for an extended period of time is an interesting topic! I like the concept of being left behind, either through unplanned death, shunned, or abandonment. I like following the characters and seeing how they are affected when those events happened to them. I personally don’t like how Josiah exit, it’s just not an ideal last image for Lucas of his dad. I like Maya’s dad’s My Experience: I started reading Leave No Trace on 6/16/18 and finished it on 6/25/18. This book is wow! and nature with camping for an extended period of time is an interesting topic! I like the concept of being left behind, either through unplanned death, shunned, or abandonment. I like following the characters and seeing how they are affected when those events happened to them. I personally don’t like how Josiah exit, it’s just not an ideal last image for Lucas of his dad. I like Maya’s dad’s adventures, though not a good career to have a family for being away most of the time. I like how Maya throw jabs at Bryce. I like learning about agate. This book is told in the first person point of view following Maya Stark, a 23 years old Speech Therapist at Congdon Psychiatric Facility. Maya is unlike the norm of therapists, she has dyed short pixie-cut hair and tiny silver hoops earrings along her ear. Lucas Blackthorn is famous for his disappearance. He and his dad went camping 10 years ago and never came home. Now the media is saying Lucas is “the boy who came back from the dead”. Lucas coming back aggressive, unresponsive, and alone. He is now admitted to a psychiatric prison for examination and Maya is assigned to him. Another view is Josiah Blackthorn, Lucas’ dad, told in the third person point of view. Josiah is a drifter who doesn’t like to stay inside a house with four walls. He goes camping for weeks at a time. Maya has a mystery past and somehow Lucas only responds to her where he is silent to everyone else. A well written story, Leave No Trace is a unique read. I love the topic of geology and the wilderness. I love the unlikely character of Maya being a therapist with her history at the facility. Maya indicates that when she goes out for a walk, the image of her would make others pull away from her and yet, here she’s a therapist, someone to help put others back on track. I love the reference to the Lykov family. I rarely look up facts in fiction but the Lykov family and Ho Van Thanh father-son duo truly spark my curiosity. I google them up and read all about them. I devour this book! I love reading about what Maya does and how she handles her job. I love following Josiah’s point of view and his love for his son. I like how outgoing Maya, Josiah, and Lucas are. They don’t lounge around at home but instead out hiking or camping. I like reading about the cost of getting something for free. This book is an excellent read and I highly recommend everyone to read it! Pro: fast paced, page turner, easy to read, suspense, mystery, nature, diversity, father-son relationship Con: none I rate it 5 stars! ***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Atria/Emily Bestler Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest. xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    After reading Everything You Want Me to Be last year, I knew this was an author I would follow. In this outing she gives us a very different book but with equally compelling characters. The blurb gives a great snapshot of the story so I won’t get into the plot too much. The MC’s are 2 damaged people who have more in common than you initially think. Maya Stark is a speech therapist at Congdon Psychiatric Facility. Her youth, innovative style & maroon hair set her apart. She lives with her dad After reading Everything You Want Me to Be last year, I knew this was an author I would follow. In this outing she gives us a very different book but with equally compelling characters. The blurb gives a great snapshot of the story so I won’t get into the plot too much. The MC’s are 2 damaged people who have more in common than you initially think. Maya Stark is a speech therapist at Congdon Psychiatric Facility. Her youth, innovative style & maroon hair set her apart. She lives with her dad Brian who really wishes she worked somewhere else. Especially after her…em…spot of trouble a few years back. Lucas Blackthorne is Congdon’s infamous new resident. After vanishing with his father 10 years ago, his sudden reappearance has caused quite a stir. The media & groupies are camped out at the gates waiting to hear his story but Lucas isn’t talking. Then he meets Maya. And one struggling outsider recognizes another. Don’t go into this expecting a thrill-a-minute ride. There are moments of action but that’s not what this is about. Like the previous book, it’s about the characters & the effect of the ripples they cause as they pass through each other’s lives. On one hand, it’s a compelling mystery as we slowly learn the MC’s histories. On the other, it touches on deeper themes such as family, loss, memories & the grey area around right vs. wrong. Strong secondary characters flesh out the story as we follow Maya & Lucas on their deeply personal search to understand the past. The last quarter has some reveals that may make you rethink what you thought you knew. And while a couple of them may stretch disbelief a teensy bit, it’s all part of the journey in this strong, well written tale.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Reading.Between.Wines

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5 I know everyone raved about her previous book but Leave No Trace is the first book I have read by Mindy Mejia, and after this one I am definitely going back ASAP to read Everything You Want Me to Be. What it's about: Maya is a speech therapist at a psychiatric facility in Duluth when she gets tasked with connecting with a new high profile patient. 10 years earlier, Josiah and his 9 year old son Lucas disappeared into the woods surrounding the Boundary Waters never to be seen again. That ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 I know everyone raved about her previous book but Leave No Trace is the first book I have read by Mindy Mejia, and after this one I am definitely going back ASAP to read Everything You Want Me to Be. What it's about: Maya is a speech therapist at a psychiatric facility in Duluth when she gets tasked with connecting with a new high profile patient. 10 years earlier, Josiah and his 9 year old son Lucas disappeared into the woods surrounding the Boundary Waters never to be seen again. That is, until Lucas turns up trying to rob an outfitter store in Ely in the middle of the night a decade later. He is violent and unresponsive and ends up being transported to the psychiatric facility where Maya works. Both of them have secrets and soon they form an attachment that causes Maya to want to do anything to help Lucas reunite with his father. This book was a real page-turner of a story and I did not want to put it down. I think someone could easily read this in a day because the pacing is so on point. I loved Maya, although not always her choices, but she was a very intriguing character and I liked hearing things from her point of view. I also loved that the story is set in my home state of Minnesota. It was cool to read about places that I have either been, or at least knew about, throughout the book. I much prefer that to authors entirely making everything up. Final Thought: I don't really have anything else to say about this book as I think it is best to read it and let it carry you on the journey. And to be honest it left me feeling pretty speechless! Leave No Trace felt very atmospheric and even the places I wasn't familiar with came alive in my mind. There is a lot of action in the book and the ending was a total surprise for me. Highly recommend and so happy I read this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Traveling Sister :)

    “Leave No Trace” was quite different from “Everything You Want Me To Be” but it shared one shining quality, strong, well developed, deeply troubled characters that I desperately wanted to help. Here are some of the key points of the story. Maya Stark is a young woman who has been through a lot in her relatively young life. Abandoned by her mother at the age of 10 without a goodbye or an explanation, Maya has been searching for an explanation for years. She has a great relationship with her father “Leave No Trace” was quite different from “Everything You Want Me To Be” but it shared one shining quality, strong, well developed, deeply troubled characters that I desperately wanted to help. Here are some of the key points of the story. Maya Stark is a young woman who has been through a lot in her relatively young life. Abandoned by her mother at the age of 10 without a goodbye or an explanation, Maya has been searching for an explanation for years. She has a great relationship with her father who is gone quite a bit for his job, they share a house and seem to give each other the support and yet the space that they both need. Lucas Blackthorn is a young man who was believed to have been killed during a camping expedition with his father in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. There has been no word from father or son for ten years. Then one night a young man believed to be Lucas enters an outfitter’s store where he commits a crime for which he is apprehended. Getting no response from Lucas upon interviewing him they feel he is emotionally unstable and he is admitted to a psychiatric facility. It is here where the paths of Maya and Lucas come together. Maya had turned her life around after battling mental illness herself and is now a trained speech therapist. Her mentor and boss, Dr.Mehta, assigns Maya to Lucas’s case. She feels that since Maya had also suffered a loss perhaps she could get through to Lucas, get information about where he has been for the past ten years. The police are also interested in whether his father is still alive and where he is hiding, they have been searching the vast area of the Boundary Waters for years with never a trace found. Once Maya and Lucas do form a bond she is determined to help him recover and be allowed the freedom that he so desires. They share each others stories and secrets and become very attached. Lucas tries to escape several times but he is always apprehended. That’s about all of the plot that I will share but there is a very good story here with plenty of twists that you won’t see coming and an ending that will surprise you. The author’s strength is definitely in her fully developed characters which make you want to keep turning pages and to care deeply how the story wraps up for Lucas and Maya. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss, thank you

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Joint

    Beautiful, atmospheric, and compelling. My first thought when I finished this one was a simple "wow". No doubt the forests and lakes of the Boundary Waters in Minnesota hide many secrets, but it turns out they could hide people as well. Ten years after he disappeared with his father, a boy who is now a young man appears back in civilization, caught ransacking an outfitter store. He is violent and refuses to speak to anyone, almost feral. Maya, a young language therapist, seems to be the only one Beautiful, atmospheric, and compelling. My first thought when I finished this one was a simple "wow". No doubt the forests and lakes of the Boundary Waters in Minnesota hide many secrets, but it turns out they could hide people as well. Ten years after he disappeared with his father, a boy who is now a young man appears back in civilization, caught ransacking an outfitter store. He is violent and refuses to speak to anyone, almost feral. Maya, a young language therapist, seems to be the only one to get through to him at all. While eventually he communicates with her, he is still unwilling to talk about his past... where he's been, his father, or why they vanished ten years ago. Maya is secretive to most people about her own past. She has plenty of trauma of her own, and it only encourages her to break through the walls Lucas has put up between him and anyone else. While initially the reader only thinks Lucas has stories to tell, it soon becomes clear that we have a lot to learn about Maya as well. Brave, determined, more than a little badass, we just have to know what makes her tick. The thing is that YES a lot of this book is highly implausible which would usually lead to a lower rating from me, as I've done with many books. BUT the story and characters are so compelling, the setting is so wonderful, the story telling itself is so well done, that it makes up for it. THAT is how you keep readers hooked even if they have to suspend their disbelief a bit. Well done. The little voice in the back of my head saying "this wouldn't happen this way" was shut up by my pure enjoyment of the book and the beautiful writing. That little voice now asks "when is the next book by Mindy Mejia coming out?". Four and a half stars from me. I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and Atria Books, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin Clemence

    Special thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for a free, electronic ARC of this novel. “Leave No Trace” is the newest novel by author Mindy Mejia (of “Everything You Want Me To Be” fame.) Her novels have always seemed to end up on my TBR list, but I have yet to experience her work. Ten years ago, Josiah Blackthorn and his son, Lucas, disappeared in the Minnesota wilderness. Both were presumed dead until the day Lucas Blackthorn is discovered and brought to Congdon psychiatric fa Special thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for a free, electronic ARC of this novel. “Leave No Trace” is the newest novel by author Mindy Mejia (of “Everything You Want Me To Be” fame.) Her novels have always seemed to end up on my TBR list, but I have yet to experience her work. Ten years ago, Josiah Blackthorn and his son, Lucas, disappeared in the Minnesota wilderness. Both were presumed dead until the day Lucas Blackthorn is discovered and brought to Congdon psychiatric facility, unwilling to speak and half-feral. His speech therapist, Maya Stark, is the only one who seems to be able to make any connection with the young man. After several escape attempts, Lucas finally asks Maya for help in reuniting him with his father, who Lucas left behind in their wildlife home. Dealing with her own issues of abandonment, Maya agrees to give up everything to help Lucas reunite with the father he left behind. This novel had a fabulous premise, and it started off with just the right amount of everything I love. A mysterious stranger in a psychiatric facility, with dark secrets, that no one but a young woman can manage to get him to talk about. Right off the bat, this book intrigued me, however, it did not keep my rapt attention for long. I found “Trace” to be an unbelievable novel. And I don’t mean an “oh my God, it’s so good” kind of unbelievable. I mean, the Webster’s dictionary version of “unbelievable”. First, a young woman (23 years old), with a history of mental illness herself, becomes not only the head speech therapist at a reputable facility, but she is soon taxed with serving as Lucas’ pseudo-psychiatrist (a role which would require years of training and experience). Then, she sacrifices everything she has to go on a wild goose chase for a man she doesn’t know, with Lucas, who, of course, she starts to fall for, breaking all sorts of legal laws and ethics standards. The novel itself is superbly creative, intertwining both wilderness exploration and survival, with mental illness and family drama. There are many entertaining parts of this novel and I can admit to honestly enjoying the majority of this novel. Once I overcame the nonsensical, unbelievable parts of the novel, I was able to enjoy the plot. Maya and Lucas are highly dysfunctional characters, each with their own parental demons and abandonment issues, which of course draws them together. When they trek together through the Minnesota wilderness, a reader is drawn into the frigid setting right along with them, through creative and well-developed storyline. I am interested in reading Ms. Mejia’s other novels, as she definitely has writing talent, and I would like to draw comparisons in her writing styles across her books. I struggled with what to rate this novel, as I read through it quickly and held a strong enough attachment to the novel and the characters to want to see how it would play out (predictably, but still enjoyable), but it was really difficult to relate to the plot and characters (although they were likable). Overall, this novel was worth the read, and has intrigued me enough to explore the other novels by Ms. Mejia.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary Kubica

    At its core, Leave No Trace is slow burn mystery about the reappearance of a young man who disappeared many years before with his father. Where have they been all this time, and why did they disappear in the first place? Where is his father now? But the book is so much more than that too. It's a tender, beautiful love story, a novel about loss, family, friendship and overcoming feelings of abandonment. The finale was one I never saw coming, and yet I can't think of a more perfect and a more fitt At its core, Leave No Trace is slow burn mystery about the reappearance of a young man who disappeared many years before with his father. Where have they been all this time, and why did they disappear in the first place? Where is his father now? But the book is so much more than that too. It's a tender, beautiful love story, a novel about loss, family, friendship and overcoming feelings of abandonment. The finale was one I never saw coming, and yet I can't think of a more perfect and a more fitting way for the novel to end. It came as a shock to me and broke my heart, but Mejia's ending also provided a very fulfilling resolution for the story and for these characters. Mejia's knowledge of the Boundary Waters area (among other things) is extensive and impressive. This book is so well researched and written. I highly recommend!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: Normally I liked winter - the four-foot drifts, the nostril freezing arctic blasts that drove all the tourists away, leaving the town to the hardy, the survivors who bundled up and shoveled oceans of snow before retreating to our mugs and fleece blankets to wait out the endless December nights. Winter in Duluth was antisocial paradise and for someone whose mother suffered from chronic depression, there was a disconcerting comfort in the isolation. A home I recognized, even if I hadn't a EXCERPT: Normally I liked winter - the four-foot drifts, the nostril freezing arctic blasts that drove all the tourists away, leaving the town to the hardy, the survivors who bundled up and shoveled oceans of snow before retreating to our mugs and fleece blankets to wait out the endless December nights. Winter in Duluth was antisocial paradise and for someone whose mother suffered from chronic depression, there was a disconcerting comfort in the isolation. A home I recognized, even if I hadn't asked for it. Today, though, I wasn't comforted by the cold blast of wind numbing my ankle. I didn't find relief in the absence of people on the lake walk. Today I was scared for a man I'd never met. ABOUT THIS BOOK: There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned. Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later...the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world. MY THOUGHTS: I think that if I lived in Duluth over the winter, I too would be severely depressed. I need sunshine. Mejia's writing is such that I felt every bite of those icy winds. I longed to wrap myself up in blankets and light the fire as I read. I am, because of my background, an instant reader for anything set in a psychiatric facility, anything to do with mental illness, and because I have read and enjoyed Mejia's work previously, I just had to read Leave No Trace. I raced through the first half of the book, enjoying the setting (despite the cold, icy description!), the character development, the moral and ethical dilemmas Mejia has scripted. But then, for the next quarter of the book, I felt like we were treading water, and my interest waned. But not for long. By the three quarters mark I was once again immersed in the story, not knowing where it was going, what the outcome would be, but rooting for both Maya and Lucas despite their conflicting circumstances. Kudos to Mindy Mejia for giving us a great read, so very different from every other book currently out there. I will definitely be a starter for her next book. THE AUTHOR: My name is Mindy Mejia and I’m a writer. I write because, ever since I was six years old, my favorite game has been pretend. My life doesn't have symmetry, theme, symbolism, or meditated beauty and I gravitate toward these things like a houseplant to the sun. I love the perfect words; I love how “fierce” and “confounded” and “swagger” look on the page and how my chest expands when I read them. I write because I believe in the reality of my fantasies, the truth in my fabrications. I’ve always had stories sneaking around my head, thrillers like THE DRAGON KEEPER and EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE, and sometimes I inhabit those stories more than my own life. (Best not to mention that last part to my husband, kids, or boss.) DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Atria Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I was a huge fan of Mejia’s debut and have been impatiently waiting for her next book since late 2016, but man was the wait worth it! This was totally different from Everything You Want Me to Be, I love when authors switch things up and avoid getting caught in a formulaic cycle and Mejia surely does that here. It’s every bit as compelling as EYWMTB but in a totally different way that excited me. This is mainly told from Maya’s point of view and she’s not your average mystery protagonist. She’s a I was a huge fan of Mejia’s debut and have been impatiently waiting for her next book since late 2016, but man was the wait worth it! This was totally different from Everything You Want Me to Be, I love when authors switch things up and avoid getting caught in a formulaic cycle and Mejia surely does that here. It’s every bit as compelling as EYWMTB but in a totally different way that excited me. This is mainly told from Maya’s point of view and she’s not your average mystery protagonist. She’s a speech pathologist who works at a psychiatric facility and I so enjoyed her unique viewpoint. One can only read so many thrillers with a detective as the lead and Maya was a breathe of fresh air. There are a few very imperative chapters from Josiah, the man who disappeared ten years ago that add an additional layer to an already multilayered story. The atmosphere played such a huge role in this one and that’s the biggest difference (to me) from Mejia’s last book. The Boundary Waters were a character all of it’s own thanks to her incredibly vivid writing style, she brought this hauntingly beautiful and terrifying place to life effortlessly to the point where I felt like I was there alongside her characters. Besides a fantastic setting the characters themselves were complicated people with fascinating backstories, the type you find yourself rooting for even when you’re not entirely really sure if you should be. They’re flawed, intense and wonderfully interesting making for a captivating read. Once again, Mejia had quite a few tricks up her sleeve and she definitely sucker punched me at least one time. I raced through this one as there were way more questions than answers and when all my questions were answered in the end, I was satisfied and extremely impressed by her talent and ability to construct a story. Hugely recommended by me, especially for fans of Force of Nature I had very similar feelings while reading this one and predict fans would enjoy this one as well. Leave No Trace in three words: Atmospheric, Intense and Multifaceted.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I fell in love with Mindy Mejia's debut novel Everything You Want Me To Be so when I heard she had a 2nd novel coming out I was thrilled. When I won an early ARC through BookishFirst I couldn't believe my luck. Yay me! So what's it about? Maya Stark, a language specialist, is assigned to a strange case. It appears that Lucas Blackthorne has reappeared after going missing 10 years ago with his father in the forests of Boundary Waters. They had been declared dead but the sight of Lucas here in the I fell in love with Mindy Mejia's debut novel Everything You Want Me To Be so when I heard she had a 2nd novel coming out I was thrilled. When I won an early ARC through BookishFirst I couldn't believe my luck. Yay me! So what's it about? Maya Stark, a language specialist, is assigned to a strange case. It appears that Lucas Blackthorne has reappeared after going missing 10 years ago with his father in the forests of Boundary Waters. They had been declared dead but the sight of Lucas here in the Congdon Mental Health Facility proves he is very much alive. He is violent and will not communicate to anyone.....except Maya. Maya who suffers from her own troubled past doesn't understand why Lucas chose her. It appears he thinks he knows her. How could that be? Where has he been all this time? Is his father still alive roaming Boundary Waters? As the bond between the two strengthen it becomes clear that Maya will stop at nothing to help Lucas find the closure he's looking for. I don't want to say much more about the plot in fear of spoiling anything for anyone else. It had such a thrilling opening and I couldn't wait to be sitting on the edge of my seat with bated breath but that didn't happen. The remainder of the book, I thought, was a slow burn. Not that there's anything wrong with that it's just that my expectations were expecting something dark and twisty. My bad! I did find the ending satisfying. Mindy Mejia's writing is top notch and I appreciate that she veered into a different direction from her debut. If she keeps writing I'll keep reading! 3.5 stars!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Leave No Trace wasn't much of a thriller or a mystery as a whole but it incorporates a captivating natural setting and it was an interesting exploration of what abandonment looks and feels like within a variety of dynamics. In my opinion, this story requires the reader to suspend disbelief when it comes to the romance element, but overall I enjoyed the reading experience. My favorite quote: "Maybe our parents are only ever ideas in our heads, poorly enacted by the people who brought us to life. I Leave No Trace wasn't much of a thriller or a mystery as a whole but it incorporates a captivating natural setting and it was an interesting exploration of what abandonment looks and feels like within a variety of dynamics. In my opinion, this story requires the reader to suspend disbelief when it comes to the romance element, but overall I enjoyed the reading experience. My favorite quote: "Maybe our parents are only ever ideas in our heads, poorly enacted by the people who brought us to life. It's unbearable, what we heap upon them, almost as unbearable as what they see in us. All we can do is hope the bonds tying us together are stronger than those constructs, outlasting our delusions and our failures, maybe even our lives."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathi Defranc

    This is a very enjoyable read, a different type of story looking at the relationships in families. What a mother is really,not the child's adoring idea of her Mom but the naked truth, Mom without the rose-colored glasses. We meet a speech therapist , Maya Stark, who works in a house for those with mental challenges. There are floors for people there independently, and a locked ward where the state sends criminals who need therapy with psychiatrists. We learn about Maya,what has happened in her This is a very enjoyable read, a different type of story looking at the relationships in families. What a mother is really,not the child's adoring idea of her Mom but the naked truth, Mom without the rose-colored glasses. We meet a speech therapist , Maya Stark, who works in a house for those with mental challenges. There are floors for people there independently, and a locked ward where the state sends criminals who need therapy with psychiatrists. We learn about Maya,what has happened in her life and her views of her mother. A new patient in the locked unit is Lucas, who only knows his father,being brought up by him in the northern part of Minnesota. The ongoing relationships between all the characters teach you that even though we all are different, each person has a reason to live and something special to give. The story is suspenseful and interesting, it keeps you reading to find out what happens! I received an ARC from Netgalley and the author,Mindy Meja, who I thank for an interesting adventure that makes you look at everybody a little differently.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

    Leave No Trace was just a fast and fabulously told joyride from start to finish. I know many of you love Mindy Mejia's books, but I've never had the opportunity to actually pick up one of her novels before this one, and I'm so happy that I did this time. In rural Minnesota, Maya Stark is working as a language therapist at a psychiatric facility, when the facility receives their most famous patient yet, Lucas Blackthorn. Lucas Blackthorn and his father disappeared in the nearby Boundary Waters Leave No Trace was just a fast and fabulously told joyride from start to finish. I know many of you love Mindy Mejia's books, but I've never had the opportunity to actually pick up one of her novels before this one, and I'm so happy that I did this time. In rural Minnesota, Maya Stark is working as a language therapist at a psychiatric facility, when the facility receives their most famous patient yet, Lucas Blackthorn. Lucas Blackthorn and his father disappeared in the nearby Boundary Waters forest ten years ago, leaving no trace of them to be found—until now. Lucas ends up being apprehended in a store robbery attempt, but his interpersonal social skills are off to say the least. Growing up in Boundary Waters, Lucas is now 19 years old, but doesn't have the maturity of an adult. Authorities send Lucas for review at Maya's psychiatric facility, where the patient ends up bonding with her. The doctor who administrates the facility reassigns Maya to Lucas after noticing their connection. Lacking the experience, Maya is hesitant, but she loves her career and helping people, so she will work her best at this new position. Maya tries connecting with Lucas, who lacks the social skills of conversation and personal demeanor, but is willing to try and discover the mystery behind his disappearance. Lucas's father is nowhere to be found, but authorities are determined to uncover this mystery. Will Maya be able to assist in finding the truth behind this mystery or will her own demons battle against her? Leave No Trace is so fast paced, folks! I just started it yesterday and completely devoured it! I would recommend not reading into the synopsis any further than what I've provided, because it's definitely one of those light thrillers that you need to see develop before your very eyes. Mindy Mejia, you are an amazing writer and Leave No Trace is a shining example of that. If you're looking into a thriller that encompasses family drama, the wilderness's mysterious unknown, and a deep dive into the mental culpability of everyday people in society; I urge you to pick up Leave No Trace . It was one of the most surprise fun reads I've had this summer, and definitely one of the most gripping. Thank you Atria Books for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Leave No Trace will be released September 4, 2018!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nazanin

    DNF @ 17%

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary Carrasco

    Mindy Mejia's talent shines through in Leave No Trace. I loved her previous book as well but she shows that she's clearly not a one trick pony here with a different style altogether. Leave No Trace was beautiful, atmospheric and suspenseful. The characters were well rendered and it was easy to sympathize with their situation. It gets all of the stars from me and I'll anxiously await Mejia's next book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Having been a huge fan of “The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman“ I was intrigued to find out how Mindy Mejia would follow that up. Leave No Trace is a gorgeous, emotionally resonant read, once again peppered with beautifully drawn characters who creep up on you. Descriptively this is brilliantly done bringing the wild and edgy setting to vivid life. Into this comes Maya, once a psychiatric patient herself, now a person who helps others. But she and the untamed Lucas are drawn together by more than just Having been a huge fan of “The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman“ I was intrigued to find out how Mindy Mejia would follow that up. Leave No Trace is a gorgeous, emotionally resonant read, once again peppered with beautifully drawn characters who creep up on you. Descriptively this is brilliantly done bringing the wild and edgy setting to vivid life. Into this comes Maya, once a psychiatric patient herself, now a person who helps others. But she and the untamed Lucas are drawn together by more than just a patient/therapist relationship and it will change them both in unexpected ways.. This is a road journey of sorts, both literally and figuratively as Maya deals with her past and her growing connection to Lucas. It is thought provoking and highly addictive- not some little part of me felt like disappearing into the wilderness myself, such was the power of it in places. This was a clever, memorable novel and one that will stay with me in both character and setting and has put Mindy Mejia firmly on my list of must read authors. Recommended.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    After I read Rose's fantastic review, this book jumped to the next on my tbr - and what a great book it was! Lucas Blackthorn and Maya Stark are two very differently fractured people, brought together when Lucas becomes a patient in the psychiatric facility where Maya works. He's a lost child, having vanished with his father into the expansive woods of the Minnesotan Boundary Waters, discovered after breaking into a camping store and killing one of the owners. Maya, still not recovered from her m After I read Rose's fantastic review, this book jumped to the next on my tbr - and what a great book it was! Lucas Blackthorn and Maya Stark are two very differently fractured people, brought together when Lucas becomes a patient in the psychiatric facility where Maya works. He's a lost child, having vanished with his father into the expansive woods of the Minnesotan Boundary Waters, discovered after breaking into a camping store and killing one of the owners. Maya, still not recovered from her mother's abandonment and subsequent disappearence, is the only person he'll talk to. I was sucked in from the first page - the writing is excellent, and I've got highlighted passages all over the place. Mindy Mejia has a knack for nailing feelings with the perfect turn of phrase, and an understated eloquence that doesn't have to try to dazzle. The wilderness setting, in particular, almost came to life around me as I read. There were some reservations that I, too, had with the story, most particularly with the growing bond between the two leads. Lucas is undeniably violent, though both the violence and the initial murder are somewhat glossed over. He's also a boy, three years younger than our main character, he hasn't been to school or part of society since he was too young to truly remember. He hasn't even met other women! In essence, it's uncomfortable, but I'm not entirely sure that wasn't deliberate. Making him younger wasn't necessary to any part of the story - I feel like that is the author tipping her hand to the reader, showing that the balance of power is uneven and heavily so. If it was intentional then it's an absolutely brilliant piece of writing, but it still made me edgy. All in all this is an incredibly good book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Rosenblit

    Intriguing suspense story with a bit of a wilderness aspect which creates a unique setting. Mindy Mejia became a must-read author for me after Everything You Want Me to Be and I had been eagerly awaiting her next novel, which did not disappoint! I love how Mejia writes her flawed characters in such realistic and endearing ways that you feel for them, despite all the reasons in the world not to, and Maya is surely an example of this. Thank you Atria/Emily Bestler Books for an advance copy. All opi Intriguing suspense story with a bit of a wilderness aspect which creates a unique setting. Mindy Mejia became a must-read author for me after Everything You Want Me to Be and I had been eagerly awaiting her next novel, which did not disappoint! I love how Mejia writes her flawed characters in such realistic and endearing ways that you feel for them, despite all the reasons in the world not to, and Maya is surely an example of this. Thank you Atria/Emily Bestler Books for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    2.5 stars Very underwhelmed in comparison to my reaction to Mindy's debut book Everything You Want Me to Be, which I really connected with. My biggest issue was the lack of intensity and suspense. This was a flatline for me from start to finish. It’s not a bad story, and initially the mystery had me intrigued. But as the story unfolded, there were a lot of liberties taken to help move the plot forward which were too unrealistic for me to take seriously. This, along with the lack of intensity, made 2.5 stars Very underwhelmed in comparison to my reaction to Mindy's debut book Everything You Want Me to Be, which I really connected with. My biggest issue was the lack of intensity and suspense. This was a flatline for me from start to finish. It’s not a bad story, and initially the mystery had me intrigued. But as the story unfolded, there were a lot of liberties taken to help move the plot forward which were too unrealistic for me to take seriously. This, along with the lack of intensity, made this a soon to be forgotten read. ARC provided by NetGalley

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