Shackled by Tom Leveen
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Amazon | Goodreads
From author Tom Leveen comes a taut, suspenseful novel about a girl’s abduction that leaves her best friend emotionally paralyzed, until a chance encounter points her toward the truth…and a terrifying new danger.
Sixteen-year-old Pelly has a master plan. After years of therapy, medication, and even a stint in a mental hospital, she’s finally ready to re-enter the world of the living. Pelly has been suffering from severe panic attacks ever since her best friend, Tara, disappeared from a mall six years ago.
And her plan seems to be working, until an unkempt girl accompanied by an older man walks into the coffee shop where she works. Pelly thinks she’s seen a ghost, until the girl mouths “help me” on the way out, and Pelly knows she’s just seen Tara.
Too shocked to do anything, Pelly helplessly watches Tara slip away again as she steels herself against a renewed spiral of crippling anxiety. But rather than being overcome by anxiety, Pelly feels more energized than she has in years. Determined to track down enough evidence to force the police to reopen Tara’s file, Pelly’s master plan takes a turn for the dangerous.
Pelly decides she cannot be shackled by her past—and the anxiety, fear, and grief that comes with it—any longer if she wants to save Tara. But in seeking answers through whatever means necessary, she’ll come face-to-face with true evil. And not all the shackles are in her head...
At first, I really wasn't sure about this book. Most of the author's I read are female's and Tom's style of writing was . . . a little different. It was by no means bad, there's just something different that I can't put my finger on, most likely just a male perspective. haha Anyways . . . this book centers around Pelly. Six years ago when she was at the mall shopping with her best friend, she disappeared and never returned. Her friend's disappearance has haunted Pelly every day since. She lives with severe anxiety, and she struggles with day to day life . However, one day at work a girl comes in and mouths "help me" to Pelly, and she's convinced it's her childhood friend Tara. She takes it upon herself to do something she wasn't able to do 6 years before, save Tara and bring her home!
This isn't my favorite mystery/thriller of the year or anything but I did thoroughly enjoy it. It really flew by and the pacing was great, I read this in one day. I've suffered with a pretty big case of anxiety my entire life, and it has become so much worse this year. In December at the store I worked, there was a gun shooting and things became even worse for me. My anxiety grew exponentially worse, which I didn't think possible, I was plagued by nightmares, fear and an inability to sleep. So a lot of the things Pelly said, and did, and the way people around her re-acted to her as her anxiety mounted and she grew more agitated was written extremely accurately. I could 100% identify with how Pelly felt and why she behaves the way she does, which to others may seem odd.
The ending wasn't the picture perfect ending you sometimes see and have come to expect in books, and you know what, I actually liked that! You don't always get a happy ending or the answers that your looking for in life, and that's totally okay. It wasn't rainbows and sunbeams, it was raw and it was real. And I loved Tom Leveen for writing it that way!