Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Review: Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos

Title: Out of Reach
Author: Carrie Arcos
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: October 16th 2012
Pages: 256
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
When Micah disappears from home, his sister Rachel decides to secretly take matters into her own hands. Armed with Micah's best friend Tyler, she travels from the hazy, lazy suburbs of Southern California to the seedy side of San Diego's beach communities following the clues that Micah left behind. As each lead arrives at a dead end, she is left to piece together the puzzle that is her brother's life. And the sketchy characters Rachel and Tyler encounter make Rachel wonder if she can reach Micah before it’s too late.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

What first caught my attention about Out of Reach was the cover - it's stark and beautiful and powerful. And luckily, that's what the whole novel was like, for me!

I loved reading about Rachel on her search through San Diego. The atmosphere is so well done; Carrie Arcos's writing made everything come to life. I felt like I was right there along with Rachel and Tyler, going from seedy beaches to seedier houses.

Interspersed between the scenes of searching for Micah, we have flashbacks to how everything started, and the transitions are seamless. The addiction storyline is handled really well. It's not exactly my area of expertise, but it seemed authentic to me, Micah's downward spiral, his time in rehab, his relapse, and the effect all of it had on Rachel and the rest of the family. It was downright scary to read about Micah - a character we grew to love - losing himself like that.

Rachel is a really good main character. She is kind of typical, the good-girl little sister, not the most unique character I've read about, but with this story, it works - I can't explain why, it just does. She really grew on me over time, showing some different sides to her that I hadn't been expecting in the beginning, and by the end, I loved her and didn't want to stop reading about her life.

At first, I was kind of wary of the whole romance storyline; for the first half of the novel, Tyler just seems too perfect. He's a great musician, a great artist, sweet to Rachel, good at dealing with all these people - he just seemed to good to be true. But towards the end, he showed some vulnerability that made him seem a lot more real to me. And I really appreciated how the author left things between Rachel and Tyler.

I'm not sure what to make of the spiritual aspect. It's not a huge part of the novel, but it's definitely there. It's not exactly preachy, but it is sort of going that direction. I didn't mind too much, but it wasn't my favorite part of the novel, either.

I loved the ending. I know there will be lots of people who will complain about it, who would prefer a happy ending. But I'm never a fan of unrealistically happy endings, so I thought this one was perfect - it has just the right balance of melancholy and hope and closure, and I loved it.

With a beautifully honest story and a powerful message, Out of Reach is a bittersweet but hopeful novel that made me ache in all the right ways. I can't wait to read more from Carrie Arcos!


  1. This sounds like a good pick. I'll have to check it out!

  2. Haven't read yet but I would like to do so..sounds good.. I also don't like unrealistic happy this could be a good read!


Please leave a comment - I love to hear what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...