Book Review: Do Not Become Alarmed (Maile Meloy)

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Do Not Become Alarmed, the newest release by Maile Meloy, follows a family that meets devastation when their children disappear while on a cruise in Central America.   I started this book as a buddy read with Janel from Keeper of Pages; we have been wanting to do a buddy read for a while and, when I won this book from Goodreads and it was coming up in Janel’s TBR pile, it was the perfect opportunity to get it done!

It isn’t often that I discuss a book I absolutely hated on Clues and Reviews but I am disappointed to say that this book left me completely underwhelmed.   This is not to say that others would not enjoy this one, but I was clearly not the correct reader for this one!

Marketed as a mystery/thriller, I found this to be completely off base.  This novel lacked any of the core components I love in my thrillers. There were no fast paced chapters to be found, there were no red herrings and no major plot twists. I didn’t find any of the characters to be particularly complex or likeable. I didn’t find myself feeling on edge. Needless to say, the author needed to no warning in the title of this book, I would not become alarmed during this text at all.

Aside from my genre issue I had a serious issue connecting with any of the characters. Both the children and the adult protagonists were a little irritating. I didn’t find myself particularly sympathetic or concerned for their plights.   I also found that I struggled enormously with the pacing. There were moments in this book where absolutely nothing was happening. I understand that not all books can be non-stop action, but this one lacked any moments of excitement for me.

This book did have a few instances where I could see some potential, but overall, they were quickly outshone by more mundane moments.   I read solidly until the 60% mark where I was tempted to add this to my DNF pile; I ended up skimming the remaining text so I could discuss it with Janel.

Overall, I would skip this book or get it from the library. I gave it 1/5 stars.



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