Unleaving by Melissa Ostrom (ARC Review)

Genre: YA/NA Contemporary

Release Date: March 26, 2019


Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


In a book that is both urgent and timely, Melissa Ostrom explores the intricacies of shame and victim-blaming that accompany the aftermath of assault.

After surviving an assault at an off-campus party, nineteen-year-old Maggie is escaping her college town, and, because her reporting the crime has led to the expulsion of some popular athletes, many people–in particular, the outraged Tigers fans–are happy to see her go.

Maggie moves in with her Aunt Wren, a sculptor who lives in an isolated cabin bordered by nothing but woods and water. Maggie wants to forget, heal, and hide, but her aunt’s place harbors secrets and situations that complicate the plan. Worse, the trauma Maggie hoped to leave behind has followed her, haunting her in ways she can’t control, including flashbacks, insomnia and a sense of panic. Her troubles intensify when she begins to receive messages from another student who has survived a rape on her old campus. Just when Maggie musters the courage to answer her emails, the young woman goes silent.


This book will hold a special place in my heart always. This was the first book I have requested from a publisher and actually received it. Overall I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Maggie is super likable. You feel a direct connection with her. You can see her as any female around you. What happened to Maggie was wrong and she did what she thought was best and left. At first I thought she was a coward for doing so but after seeing what she went through after the investigation I understand that she was doing just what she had to in order to stay alive. Now I don’t want to put any spoilers in this review so I won’t go too in depth with this book, plot wise.

In this book we get to see how everyone is destroyed and then slowly put back together. It’s a very interesting book and I liked it a lot. I myself have co-written a book where the main character deals with the aftermath of being sexually assaulted. There were some things that I would have changed. I didn’t like how Sam’s daughter was just a straight up brat to Maggie. The things she did and said were uncalled for and she should have been punished. I didn’t like how there was no romance in the book but for some people that’s a great thing. I just kept waiting for someone to end up with someone the whole book. But like I said others will love this. I know a lot of people prefer books with no romance. There’s another thing that really bothered me further into the book but I won’t mention it because that would be a spoiler.

Now the writing style of this book was different. One thing that I didn’t like was the kind of point of view it was written in. Through-out the book Maggie’s aunt was mentioned as the aunt. It got annoying very fast and I wish the author would have just called her by her first name.

What I did like about this book was how quick it is to read. I was able to finish it in just two days. I liked the subject of the book and thought it was interesting to see another writers take on this topic. All in all I thought the author did a great job writing this book and I can’t wait to read more. This book is going to be a big hit with the me too movement that’s going on.



What 2019 release are you most excited about?

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8 thoughts on “Unleaving by Melissa Ostrom (ARC Review)

Add yours

  1. Victim-blaming is such a huge issue. I am glad to see authors taking it on and calling it out. Interesting point about naming characters. I get frustrated in my writing if I haven’t named them in the course of a scene so a book is pretty extreme.
    Thanks for an insightful review.

    Liked by 1 person

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