I should have quit Mindy Mejia’s Leave No Trace as soon as I realized the main character, Maya, was a 23-year-old speech therapist practicing at the same mental hospital where she was a patient a mere eight years ago and that her boss was also her personal therapist. Uhhh. . .

There’s fiction, there’s fantasy, and then there are things that would never happen on any planet in any galaxy at any point in history. That scenario right there, is one of those things.

I’m not sure why I didn’t quit. Maybe because the novel is set in Duluth, Minnesota? Maybe because I have romantic feelings about the Boundary Waters? Maybe I was just too damn lazy to find another book to invest in.

I should have quit. I did not enjoy this one about the wunderkind speech therapist who was abandoned by her mother and the nineteen-year-old boy who came out of the woods after being missing for ten years. It relies heavily on coincidence and coyness for its tension and it didn’t help that my brain chanted bullshit the whole time. Once I discovered Maya’s boss was also her therapist I couldn’t believe a single thing in this novel’s world.

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