ARC Review – Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane

20518882Title: Evidence of Things Not Seen

Author: Lindsey Lane

Rating: ★ 1/2

Synopsis: When high school junior Tommy Smythe goes missing, everyone has a theory about what happened to him. He was an odd kid, often deeply involved in particle physics, so maybe he just got distracted and wandered off. He was last seen at a pullout off the highway, so maybe someone snatched him. Tommy believes that everything is possible, and that until something can be proven false, it may be true. So as long as Tommy’s whereabouts are undetermined, he could literally be anywhere.Told in a series of first-person narratives from people who knew Tommy, Evidence of Things Not Seen by award-winning author Lindsey Lane explores themes of loneliness, connectedness, and the role we play in creating our own realities.

Huge thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) and Netgalley for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

I tried to like this book, honest. I thought the premise sounded so interesting and different from a lot of mystery novels, which is why I initially requested it. However, what this book really is, is a disjointed mess of prose thrown together in the attempt to weave a story together.

Tommy Smythe goes missing, and everyone has a theory about what happened to him. Everyone also has their own problems and issues to face, and each “character” if you can call them that has one chapter only to — poof! Never hear from them again. Seriously, how is anyone supposed to connect with the mystery if they are a one shot character? It’s a little tough to muster sympathy and sadness where there’s not much to work with.

Furthermore, the stories in this book are either about rape, murder, abuse, etc, but it jumps around so much that you don’t really get a chance to digest a lot of what you’re reading, nor does the significance in adding these elements feel as important as they could. I think if this book had spent some time on developing characters, may be this would feel more important? I don’t know. I just struggled to care about anyone (including Tommy) because there just isn’t enough to work with. Actually, there’s squat to work with.

This is a book wherein readers I feel will be wanting and expecting more than they will actually get. The ideas in this book are solid, but the execution of all of it just rubbed me the wrong way, making it difficult for me to find any enjoyment. The negatives just really out weighted any positives I could find, and I hate when that happens.

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