Do Not Become Alarmed by Malie Maloy

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Publication Date: 6 June 2017

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Pages: 352

Rating: screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-9-38-57-pm

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In Do Not Become Alarmed, Cousins Liv and Nora decide to take their children and husbands on a cruise over the holidays. When they arrive in Central America, they take a day-trip to enjoy some sight-seeing off the boat. After a misfortunate event, their children go missing, and the parents and police frantically try to find them. As the story is told in multiple perspectives, the readers see what happens to the children before the parents do.

This book is a page-turner and very entertaining. Something new happens during every chapter and I was constantly wanting to know how the story would play out. I really liked that the readers knew what happened to the children when the parents did not. This made it fascinating to see their reactions as they questioned whether they were still alive or not.

What happens to the characters is unique and something that you could not guess. I was rather interested to see what happened to the children and the outcome is quite creative. However, the overall fate of the characters is fairly predictable. It was easy for me to guess what would happen to Hector, who is one of the missing children. Although, the fate of the other children was very surprising and strange to see how it played out. Rather than having just one plot twist, there were many along the way, making it intriguing to read.

There were times where I was questioning who a certain character was because there are so many. There are six kids, the captors, the parents, the detectives, and some other minor characters, which seems slightly excessive. Considering the story is told from the perspectives of at least eight different people, there is definitely reason to be confused by who a person is. Using a large amount of characters needs to be justified. Some long books have a lot of characters, but the readers quickly learn who they all are because they are fully developed from the lengthy book. This book is an average length, so it is difficult to differentiate some of the unimportant characters. But it was not too hard to remember them as I read on.

The style of writing the author employed is very basic and simple. This made it easier to read and understand. While there are some dark aspects of this novel, it reads more like a mystery or even contemporary than a thriller. This is something that I have not experienced before and I thought it was quite interesting to read. There are both funny and shocking moments, so the tragedy is easier to process because of this.

Even though I only rated it three stars, I still enjoyed reading it. This book is very gripping and I was very invested in the plot. I was constantly wanting to know what would happen to the characters and what the outcome would be. I enjoyed how entertaining it was and read it in just a few days. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a mystery/thriller that is not too intense.

*Thank you to Penguin Books for the advanced reader copy that I received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

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