Sunday, February 20, 2011


Without Looking BackWithout Looking Back by Tabitha Suzuma

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(from Goodreads)
I used to be called Louis Whittaker, he thought to himself. I had a sister called Millie and a brother called Max. I used to live in a big house in Paris. I used to speak French every day. None of this is true anymore...

Louis is a young Parisian with a lot on his plate - his parents are locked in a custody battle over him and his brother and sister, Mum is always working late and Dad is rarely allowed to visit. But his passion and talent for dancing and his friends at school mean that life in Paris is good and certainly not one he ever thought he'd be forced to leave behind. So when Dad suddenly whisks Louis and his siblings away on a surprise holiday to England, right in the middle of the school term, he isn't too thrilled, especially as Dad is acting strangely again. Why is he being so secretive and paranoid - could it be he has not fully recovered from his mental breakdown? The rented farmhouse in the Lake District is nice, but why is Dad furnishing it and why won't he let them call home? Then Louis comes across a poster - a missing person's poster. And it has his face on it...

This was a hard book to rate with stars because I liked it but yet I didn't love it. Usually when that happens I give the books a 3 stars even though they may deserve more then that, but obviously not too much more because I didn't "love" it....

So with that being said, "Without looking back" is about a child custody battle. Three children, Max-the oldest at 14, Louise-the middle child at 12 and Millie-the youngest at 8 live with their mother in Paris and only see their father every other weekend, but as of the first part of the book, their father is only going to be able to only see his kids one weekend a month and they will be supervised visits!

Their father can't settle with that decision and so decides to take his children and disappear with them. He tells them that they are taking a mini vacation and so starts the lies and mistruths that he tells them. That is until Louise sees a missing persons poster with his and his siblings face on it. After seeing that he confronts his father and his father tells them everything and tells them that it is their decision whether they want to stay with him or go back with their mother. I personally think that that is a huge decision to put on kids...especially since their father will have to disappear and his children won't be able to see or talk to him until they are 16years old and can make their own decisions according to the law. But I also understand that their father is giving them that choice because of his love for them (even though the inital taking of his kids was for selfish reasons).
The rest of the story is about them changing their names and appearance and them trying to fit in with society, but yet keep their former lives a secret, which is hard for anyone to do...especially kids!

And that is basically what the story is about. It was good and the writing was good and I liked that since it took place in Paris and then England I got to learn how they used some words or how they said certain things. That was interesting...and it wasn't too much so it easy for me to understand everything...which I guess it would have still been easy to understand regardless...

The characters were likable and well developed. I only wish that there would have been more drama...more intense moments or what have you. I also wish that the thing with Tessa and Max was expanded on-that seemed just thrown in... And I wish that I would have known what their mother was doing back in Paris...what she was going through or feeling.

All in all this was a good book and I think you should check it out. If you like the drama like I do or the more intense books this book may be a bit slow or fall a bit flat to you, but I still think you should at least give it a chance. Maybe check it out from you local library.

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