Sunday, 2 December 2012

Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos

Out of Reach
Blurb (from Goodreads):
How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel.Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.

Rachel’s terrified—and she can’t help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger.

With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.

Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Out of Reach(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
Rachel’s brother Micah has been missing for weeks. He started taking crystal meth when he was younger, and it’s ruined his life. He’s been to rehab, but is still in addictions vice-like grip, and now he’s missing.

Rachel has received an anonymous email from someone claiming that they have seen Micah in a coastal town an hours drive away in San Diego, so along with one of Micah’s friends, she heads over there to investigate.
Can Rachel find Micah? Does Micah want to be found?

This story was one long search for Micah. I know that that was obviously what the book was about, but I started to get bored of it after a while. It was ‘lets look here’, then ‘well lets look there next’, then ‘how about looking here’. At the 50% mark I was thinking ‘Just get on with it already!’. Rachel and Tyler were just milling around, taking their time, looking in music shops and stopping for ice cream, and I was getting seriously bored. The flirtation between the two of them was just uninspiring, and I just really wanted them to be slightly more motivated than they were. If it was my brother doing drugs and had been spotted somewhere I would be asking everybody, looking in side alleys and squats and generally anywhere! Not getting ice cream, and watching street artists and stuff. I mean you’re looking for your brother who could be in real trouble, not visiting the beach!

There’s also lot of information about addiction and drugs, and warning signs and the hereditary nature of addiction. I almost felt like I was reading an information leaflet a couple of times. I understand that the author is trying to get an important message over, but I kinda started to wonder if she’d been hired to ‘write a book about drug misuse’ by the government or something.

The flashbacks of how Rachel remembered Micah were okay, but I found a lot of them a bit boring to be honest. I liked the ones where she remembered things like how she knew that Micah was back on drugs after rehab, but the ones about camping trips and stuff from when they were younger just didn’t really do it for me.

There were also some references to religion that I wasn’t really expecting. Rachel talks about how she used to call god ‘frank’, and also talks about the religious statements in the 12 step programme. I wasn’t really expecting this, but I suppose if I was more familiar with the 12 step programme I might have known to expect this.
I can’t say I was really all that swayed or impressed by the random religious statements. Rachel makes observations such as ‘if there were a god, he’d get rid of all the stuff that sucked’ and other similar observations. I don’t know why the author wanted to go there, but that is one argument I’m not getting in to! I’m sure a lot of people feel this way when bad things happen – ‘why did God let this happen’ etc. but I didn’t really find these observations ‘deep’, I just got a heart-sinking feeling. These sort of ideas have obviously been discussed so many times before, and I wasn’t really feeling like going through them again. That’s obviously just my feelings, but I wasn’t looking for philosophy or religion when I picked up this book.

Rachel herself was just such a wishy-washy character. She said that she felt guilty and thought that she should have told her parents about Micah’s problems sooner, yet then when she speaks to her mom on the phone, she proceeds to lie to her about where she is. She obviously doesn’t regret what she did enough to come clean and maybe even help her brother by doing so.
During the story Rachel’s car is stolen, along with her mobile phone, is she upset or annoyed? – not really, she just wonders how she’ll explain losing the car to her dad, and apologises to Tyler because his bag was in the car. When Tyler calls the police, she questions why he is even phoning them!
I just didn’t get the impression that she really cared much about anyone or anything, and although she kept saying that she was worried about Micah or felt guilty etc. she waited 2 weeks from receiving the email about his possible location before going to look for him! I mean Honestly!! How ridiculous!

And as if that wasn’t bad enough (this will be a major spoiler - highlight to read) we got to the end of the book and she still hadn’t found him, and just went home. FRUSTRATING! I cannot tell you how annoyed I get when a book doesn’t have an ending. It drives me crazy! Now I will never know what happened to Micah! I am so angry about this. I know that in real-life people disappear and their families don’t have answers, but this is fictional, the author should be able to give us a little closure.
Carrie Arcos, if you are reading this, please put me out of my misery and tell me what actually happened to Micah, where he is, and if he’ll ever go home! I’m never going to forget this book for all the wrong reasons – I want an ending! I want to know what happened!

Okay, rant over, good points – it was well written, it wasn’t something that I had read before, and it had a fab opening line: “The first time my mom told me liars didn't go to heaven was when she tried to get me to confess to hitting my eight-year-old brother. I was seven.”

Overall; interesting idea, with important messages, but the wishy-washy main character and the lack of an ending just didn’t do it for me.
4 out of 10.



  1. Been there done that. I was expecting a lot more. The story line has the appeal for a great book with so many sibling going through similar situations. I tried this book thinking of my sister and how she hit rock bottom before she got clean. I only made it about 30% in before I sent the book back and labeled it..."will-never-finish"
    You get 10 out of 10 for finishing the book!
    Let me state for the record. This is not my typical genre, the plot stood out to me because of my sister's own struggles and it was one I could relate too. I personally felt it was missing the depths of emotions went through as I watched helpless as the sister I love spiraled out of control and was by her side to help her pick up the pieces when she needed an extra hand or just someone to hold her so she felt connected and in the here and now.
    SORRY about the RANT Sarah! It's you blog I will stop...

  2. Sorry this one wasn't for you! Thanks for stopping by a with the Victor Meldrew story -- funny!!

  3. Ugh, yeah, this sounds boring. I am reading a book I can't get into right now. I hate those kinds. It's like book torture!!!

    Hopefully the next book you read will be better.

  4. I was gonna buy this book because the synopsis sounded awesome-Now I think I'll just wait nd borrow it or something.Totally had high expectations for this book I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy it.

    Nuzaifa @ Say It With Books